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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - My assessment went, well...



My assessment went, well...

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My assessment went, well...

Postby bouncer0304 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:52 pm

So my assessment was today. At first she seemed a nice lady but as soon as the interview started i could tell she was in work mode. She tried to trip me up a few times and didn't leave me explain about my volunteering and how someone has to stay with me. I was so nervous and she made some jokes which i didn't like (asking if i'd sprinted from the car park despite her seeing how i walk) and trying to trip me up on the meds i was taking despite her having a list in front of her! She didn't even bother looking at some of the evidence but luckily it's been recorded so i now have a copy to dispute anything untrue. My sister was amazing and pushed through when the woman didn't want to hear how my fatigue had affected my gastroenteritis! Those are the highlights mind you including how i shower- there's more than that!

Then there was my memory. My sister mentioned it since i forgot and i was asked to remember three words (one of which i forgot at the end) and was asked maths questions. My sister told me after i'd given the wrong answer which the assessor didn't say anything. It makes me wonder if she was hoping i'd spot it- no chance! My thought process takes a while so any mistakes like that bypass me.

Another thing she asked was what i did before my illness- maybe it was me but she didn't sound impressed when i said i hadn't worked since i came out of uni. Not being funny bit i went on every damn course they put me on and none of it helped. I can't help i've become ill- it just happened that way!

Next came the physical- i refused to bend forwards as i'd get stuck. She then asked me to push against her hands. Well they didn't move much to be honest and my grip is pathetic. She also asked me to go on my tippie toes- i nearly fell over :O I bent my knees and tried to crouch down but i got stuck. Again my sister had to help me get back upright. I then had to lay down on a couch thing and again she asked me to push against her which hurt. She also asked a few other things including pointing my feet straight up. Finally she checked my legs for muscle wastage but as she asked me if there was anything i wanted to ask, she started washing her hands by putting the tap on and having gushing water. Felt like she was obscuring me! As i left she critisied the way i walk which i thought was unfair too- i can't help it love!

Have to admit i'm not holding much hope despite my sister plus two doctors backing me. I couldn't understand some of what she said due to her accent which is unfair on me. Can't believe i forgot my sisters name though :-P Honest to god if she wasn't there i'd be in a much worse situation. As i said, i'm not holding my breath. I just hope they don't think i'm trying it on. That medical was horrible and i now truly understand why it needs to be changed. It should be a doctors sick note followed by a consultant visit. If you're ill, that's that. This whole thing is nonsense and needs to go. Anyway, i could get lucky and have a good result- oh look, a pig has flown past my window...
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby Spange » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:20 pm

Hiya,

That sounds horrendous! :yikes: I've had one bad one (where he said he wouldn't make me do physical tests as I was obviously in pain and then put in his report that I'd shown normal movement in all physical tests(!) as well as lying about other stuff. Needless to say, I appealed & won) and one good one, where the lady was lovely and really understood FMS and all that comes with it. I've another on Monday and I feel so sick just thinking about what it's going to be like.

I wish you all the best of luck with the outcome :fingerscrossed: Glad you had your sister with you and that you recorded it. I really don't know why they see fit to treat us with such indignity. As if we don't feel low enough already! So angry at how she made you feel. If they only knew eh?

Keep us informed
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby bouncer0304 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:56 pm

Thanks will do. Yeah i asked for a recording because of all the problems i've heard about :-( I volunteer for 5 hours a week under docs guidance and with someone constantly with me otherwise i'm home otherwise with four walls which is no good for me at all. It helps with my communication skills and so much more but is so tiring! I didn't even go this week as i was in a lot of pain and i didn't sleep at all :-(

Looking back on it, a few things cross my mind- why was she so interested in my social media usage? Not being funny but that's just scrapping the barrel. I felt she was only there to do her job but that end comment about how i walk after the recording ended was bang out of order- lucky my sister was there as well! If i do get the dreaded 0 i'm gonna have a filed day with this! I'm ready to fight whatever they throw my way. Put it this way, i think the recording will back me up. The jokes about walking and stuff just wern't on. I was so nervous i just wanted it to end. After being through it now myself, i understand fully why people get so ill with stress. The system needs to change so that only medically qualified people make the decision and not someone who hasn't got a clue. Best of luck to all those waiting for an assessment!
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby Helhit » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:49 am

Blimey, it sounded horrendous. Thank goodness you've got it recorded. Sounds like she didn't have a clue!!

It's bad enough being ill, let alone having to prove it to others.

Good luck with your claim
Fibro is like the wind. You can't see it and when it flares up it knocks you off your feet!
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby leetankers » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:27 am

The people at atos deserve a lot of credit for conducting these interviews.There are good and bad people in every workforce and I admire atos for the work they do for the benefit of us all.If you have told the total truth as to how your illness affects you then you will have no problems whatsoever.Please lets all try to stop demonising these people.They do a hard enough job without us giving them stick and are a total credit to society.
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby Helhit » Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:12 pm

You're absolutely right there. My friend works at our local job centre and is constantly being sworn at and having to call the police to remove abusive people. She says she is hardened to it, but I know she is stressed and upset by it. It hurts more I think that age is really trying to help.

Wrt the assessment it's going to be hard too for the assessor, having to know about and understand different illnesses and whether someone is being genuine or not. It's just with fibro we've all had such a long journey to get a diagnosis, we're all wary and upset at having to go through the process with someone that comes across as either uncaring or suspicious.

We all long for someone to just say 'I know what you're going through, and totally understand' - what a wonderful world that would be :-D
Fibro is like the wind. You can't see it and when it flares up it knocks you off your feet!
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby gross1 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:18 pm

Hi bouncer, first off sorry you had such a rotten assessment (this is not a medical assessment). I am so pleased you had the sense to record it, I wish everyone would do this as it could save them a lot of pain further down the line.

The questions are all loaded questions and there's a meaning behind each one. "Do you watch tv" "Do you listen to the radio" I am not suggesting anybody lies as that is plain wrong but I do suggest people stop and think about where each question is heading before answering. For example, you may only watch tv for an hour before needing to move due to stiffness and pain but the report later could well say you watch tv without problems. Never feel under pressure or hurried and take your time if you need to.

More importantly, you are under no obligation to perform any of the physical activities at an assessment if they could cause you discomfort/distress/pain etc.. Simply decline but be sure to tell them your reasons why, simply saying no wouldn't be acceptable. The assessor will put on your form that you declined to undertake the activity and should include the reasons why ie pain. This happened to me and declining the physical activities did not have a negative effect on my esa entitlement.

Personally, I cannot and will never defend ATOS for the 'job' they are doing. In my opinion they know exactly what they are doing and I can only imagine how praising ATOS for the work they do must feel for the relatives or friends of disabled people who have died after being found fit for work. I have no wish to argue or get into disputes over this subject but cannot sit and read what a great job ATOS do without commenting. If the assessments were fair, then I would agree with the comment that if you have been honest about your problems/illness, you have nothing to worry about.. but this simply isn't a fair process and until that positive result comes back to us, we should all be that little bit worried.

Best of luck with it bouncer and let everyone know what happens next x
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby bouncer0304 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:08 pm

I know not all of them are horrible and they're only doing their job. This lady was determined not to let me answer some of the questions and as i said my sister had to push those answers through. The way she switched off after the recording had ended only to comment on the way i walk as i was leaving! I can only hope she mentions that in the written report but what unnerves me is the way she changed so quickly. The only thing i slightly toned down was about social media- yes i go on facebook and twitter etc a few times a day on the apps but that doesn't mean i can stay at a computer for hours on end. I'm not on them long as it makes me feel sick looking at the screen too long plus it hurts my wrists and lower arms amd not to mention my back kills in those chairs- i hate sitting in them. Even typing this is making me feel queasy :-( The way she'd been made me feel i had no choice but to tone it down as by that point she'd ignored some of my printed info and tried to ignore my sister. I felt if i said a few times a day that would have translated to as all day which isn't true. I honestly got the vibe that by that point, she'd had a decision in mind truth be told. I hope that the bits after that go my way but something tells me i already know the answer.

I was honest as i could be about the rest but i have a feeling that i won't get anything. Today i'm so tired and i'm in pain again which isn't helping :-( No wonder so many people feel awful after these tests! Something needs to change and soon. It's us and our friends/family who suffer the most.
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby gross1 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:45 pm

Well of course ATOS say they don't make the decisions and that is true to some degree but we know that their medical reports carry a lot of weight and have been known to be 'rubber stamped' by the decision maker.

You have attended, explained the problems you have and had the assessment recorded.. you did all you could.. it's now just a matter of wait and see and hope for the best.. really hope things go smoothly for you..

I understand that this whole process wipes you out.. I suffered a terrible flare up following my last WCA and spent two days in bed.. these people have no idea of the impact it has on conditions like ours..

try to relax now as the WCA is over and you need some me time.. tc
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby leetankers » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:06 pm

I would like to add that Atos will have hundreds of thousands of satisfied clients that they have assessed and that we should all be grateful for the terrific job they do.What some people forget is that we only ever hear about the horror stories.In any job dealing with people there will always be mistakes.
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby denys » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:35 pm

I think that we all have our own opinions regarding ATOS, the welfare reforms, Government etc. this isnt really the place to start a heated debate about it. Bouncer was describing her experience and needed some support.

Some people have had positive experiences and other shave had horrendous ones, so there is no one answer, there will always be people in authority who act as though everyone is lying before they open their mouths and those who have sympathy for their clients and will listen to the problems they are facing.

If this descends into an argument the post will be locked :nono: :nono: :nono:
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby *Lisa* » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:17 pm

They were interested in your social media usage because if you can sit/use a computer for longer then 30mins then your fit for work :roll: same as if you can sit watching TV etc etc its another way of seeing if you can sit and concentrate for long periods.
As a Public Moderator & Admin of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia...Lisa
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby gross1 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:31 am

hi.. there will be no arguments from me, I simply disagreed with the comment that ATOS are doing a great job as in my experience many many people are being denied benefits or having horrible experiences.

I won't talk about that anymore now so there's no need to lock the post please. And apologies to bouncer for taking their post off topic. I hope your feeling a bit better today and I wish you all the best with your result, hope it's the right one.
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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:54 am



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Re: My assessment went, well...

Postby bouncer0304 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:36 pm

I didn't mean for any arguments to break out. This was my experience but i know others have been lucky which is great for them :-) Every business has good and bad people- who knows, i could have gotten her wrong but my gut is telling me to expect the worse. I've already seen the thread about what to do if it all goes wrong so i'm prepared for that. As i said i have support from two doctors who both think i'm unfit, especially with other tests i'm having at the moment. I'm a medics dissertations dream lol!
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