The firm running the government’s work capability assessments for tenants on disability benefits has been given a vote of no confidence by Islington Council’s executive.
Atos is a French multinational IT services corporation that carries out assessment of people’s eligibility for a range of disability benefits. These include employment support allowance and the new personal independence payment which has replaced disability living allowance.
The vote of no confidence from Islington Council comes after an investigation raised significant concerns about the performance of Atos. Of 108 ESA appeals made by Islington residents and assisted by the council in 18 months to September 2013, 95 were won, reports 24dash.
Cllr Richard Watts, the council’s leader, said: “Many of Islington’s disabled residents are already in work or would like to work and Islington Council is proud to support them. However, it’s important those who can’t have financial security. The government wants to cut the benefits bill by 20% and the assessment process is weighted against the disabled claimant, limiting the number allowed. Disabled residents deserve far better than this over-reliance on dangerously simplistic computer questionnaires. Atos’s performance in Islington has been shocking and we are telling the government we no longer have any confidence in them.”
Many have complained that Atos methodology is too simplistic, ignores medical evidence and assessors lack the high level of knowledge and understanding required.
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