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ATOS LIES. ICO now involved.

wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
edited August 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi Everyone,
                    On the advice of Will I contacted ICO who told me how to make a "Subject Access Request" to ATOS (IAS) requesting all documentation they hold about me. That isn't just PIP paperwork we're normally entitled to but everything with my name or information about me on it. They had 40 days to comply but have failed to do so. No surprise there. Not only did they ignore my request but at first they attempted to forward the request to DWP claiming that DWP do all documentation therefore they should deal with it. WRONG ! Anyone has the right under the Data Protection Act to request their own personal data from any company who must comply within a certain timescale. All emails including the original request have now been forwarded to ICO that's the  Information Commissioners Office for them to investigate. After the call I made to them this morning I suddenly thought. What if the information they hold is false? So I rang back to ask. Bearing in mind no documents can be withheld or altered in any way I can challenge any information that is incorrect. For example my assessor wrote a blatant lie on my report to which my husband was witness. ATOS have refused to accept him as a witness to this but it sounds like ICO will. False Medical statements with proof attached that they are lies will also be looked at by ICO. I will keep you posted and would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Replies

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @wildlife

    Well done!  Keep us posted.

    I know that Atos expect to receive complaints about their lies which they try to fob off onto DWP.  At the end of my assessment my assessor said to me that if I had any 'queries' after leaving the Atos premises then I must contact the DWP - because once the assessor had sent her report to DWP then I would 'no longer exist' as far as Atos were concerned!  Which is nonsense as Atos keep copies of their paperwork on interviewees.

    I didn't make a complaint to Atos because it was already stressful enough going through the appeal process.  Though I referred to the Atos lies in my MR request.  DWP had repeated Atos's lies in their first award letter but left them out in their MR award letter!

    I'm sure that tribunals are sympathetic because Atos are so notorious for telling lies.

    I applaud those who do complain to Atos.

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @Matilda, Well their lies might just be coming back to bite them in the btm. There are actual laws being broken here that ATOS need to adhere to the same as everyone else. As they are a French Company they may come under their own country's regs. but all countries have these laws about what information companies can hold on people. I emailed them back twice after my initial request trying to convince them they were in the wrong to send the request to DWP. Now they have replied to my actual complaint made in February with even more lies they're just digging a bigger hole for themselves. Will be interesting to see what happens..   
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    @wildlife

    Let's hope that Atos do their get their comeuppance.

    There is an interesting article, dated 13 May 2017, on disabledgo.com.  The first part is quoted below. Apparently, MPs' enquiry into assessment companies had to be abandoned because of the calling of the General Election earlier this year.  Let's hope that they begin another enquiry - and soon.

    QUOTE:
       
    Election forces MPs to abandon PIP inquiry, but evidence backs up dishonesty claims

    Statements submitted to MPs have provided further evidence of widespread dishonesty among healthcare professionals who carry out disability benefit assessments, but their inquiry has had to be abandoned because of the prime minister’s decision to call a general election.

    Despite its inquiry into the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process having to be scrapped, the Commons work and pensions select committee has published written evidence it has received from PIP claimants and disability organisations.

    The committee held an urgent evidence session about the assessment process in March, a hearing partly triggered by a Disability News Service (DNS) investigation, before seeking further written evidence.

    DNS had provided the committee with substantial evidence of widespread dishonesty among PIP assessors in the reports they prepare for government decision-makers.

    UNQUOTE
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @Matilda, Thanks for that. I didn't know what was happening about any gov. investigations. I tend to work more at grass roots level. There is so much more wrong with the process apart from the lies. All the unnecessary evidence gathering needs looking at. There's another discussion on here by @spart10187 about DWP asking for evidence of help needed at home for her son as they won't believe her being his Mother and his carer. DWP have been told to believe people. So we end up with ATOS lying and being believed and close family or claimants themselves not being believed. If that's not corrupt I don't know what is! 
          My next job is to go through my paperwork and prepare for a phone call from a case worker at ICO to discuss taking this investigation forward. As regards the water bottle lie all they will need is a signed letter from my husband to say what actually happened. Regardless of what ATOS send when they do comply with the Subject Access Request I already have incorrect info. written by them with corresponding evidence to prove it isn't true so it appears ICO can also use that to bring a case against them under the Data Protection Act. Which is there to protect everyone and ensure that all personal data held is correct.  
  • davetdavet Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    whilst there was a number of blatant outright lies in my atos assessment, I have also taken exception to what they also leave out, my report stated that I bent over and picked my bag up from the floor, however it did not include the fact that at the time I was actually sat down in a chair, I also attempted at the start of the assessment to discuss my problems with spacial awareness and loss of balance, the assessor simply said we will come back to that, which we never did and whilst attempting to complete one of the exercises, ie cross my weal leg loosely over my other, I lost my balance and had I not been close to a table I would have fallen to the floor, even the assessor said to me be careful we dont want you falling over, yet this was not mentioned in my report, I have asked the dwp by letter to explain these instances to me, but have never recieved a reply from them
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @davet These could be described as incomplete or incorrect statements and therefore the assessor is being deceitful and dishonest in the same way as when an actual lie is written. It all amounts to the same thing and I can promise anyone who has been subjected to this disgusting level of dishonesty I will do my utmost to get this recognized. Thank-you for your post and let's hope that one day soon someone in authority does something to change what is going on. The sooner the better..
  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected

     @wildlife I have spent many an hour this evening looking for the Contract between the DWP and the Assessment Provider(s).  I have managed to find one between Atos and DWP which sets out the General Quality Requirements of the assessment (amongst other things).  Get in touch if you would like a copy. www.ourvoices.org.uk

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @ourvoices Yes please. I am presently thinking about being told by a DWP Decision Maker that as they have no medical knowledge whatsoever they have to take the word of the assessor regarding anything medical. Yet their job spec. states they should use the medical evidence themselves when making decisions. This is why all suggested scores are just copied onto decision letters with reasons also very similarly worded to those of the assessor. Would be good if you could highlight this to the MP's concerned as it has such a big impact as claimants are desperately trying to tell DWP the assessors are wrong and DWP just say well that's all the information we can go on. This results in medical evidence being ignored by both companies when at least one of them would see the truth for themselves if they did their jobs properly.  
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @ Wildlife
    Well done. I am so glad that you are pursuing this to the bitter end, but sorry that you have to do it. As you know I also complained about my Husband's assessment, although that was to CHDA as in his case it was for ESA, and not PIP. I followed up with letter of complaint to DWP about the fact that they had not done their jb properly, and broken just about every rule in their " Customer Charter"...yep believe it or not they DO have one. we have had two letters back, both total Bull, and neither of them actually addressing the points we made in the letter. I cannot go to ICE though as they have not pointed me in that direction so to speak, and in order for ICE to look at anything I think that is a requirement. I can write to the head office of DWP though if not satisfied. I have plenty of time to do that, and I will do.
    I need to try to rest up a bit first as all hell been going on here this week. I had a mini stroke ( Apparantly), and now joy of joys a water infection, been in bed this afternoon for a few hours. And I have some horrible tablets to take which I need to get used to.
    Keep on fighting Wildlife, and let us know how you get on, here and in our FB support group x
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Will do @justice So sorry to hear about your mini stroke. I had a suspected one when we lived in France in 2008. I was in hospital for 4 days with Tachycardia but nothing was found on scans and when I got back to England my GP wouldn't accept I'd had one partly because I haven't had any more since. I've also had my fair share of UTI's but have been much better since giving up sugar. 
           As regards complaints, people are still being advised to do this and it's worth it to make the point that you're not happy with the assessment but for any other reason it just results in a letter denying everything. Just a continuation of the rubbish they put on all other documentation. ATOS sent 6 pages of A4 and the only thing they accepted was the lack of editing i.e. spelling mistakes on my report. They couldn't deny this as it's in black and white. I wrote to DWP complaints on 20th June and had no reply. So I'll keep going till someone does something to make my assessor accountable for what she did to me. Hope you feel better soon..
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    A quick update. Today I received this. It's the result of my Subject Access Request to ATOS. Surprise surprise DWP answered but the documentation is from both of them. I rang ICO to let them know my request for ALL documents about me to be sent to my address had been complied with and today I have been through all of it. It has given me a lot more understanding of things that went wrong with my claim but also how the present system is working. I will start a new post with my findings.
              I now have a reference number from ICO and an agreement with them to  make a note of all the incorrect data and forward the information to them. I really don't know how this will develop or whether ICO will agree to do anything about ATOS/DWP holding written statements about me that are far from the truth. However if they just accept that I never took the plastic label off a water bottle whilst holding it between my knees and that my husband was a witness to this never happening then all the grit and determination I've sometimes found so difficult to maintain will all be worthwhile.
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @Wildlife, it does look as though you are making some headway with this, don't give up :-). Maddening though isn't it that you HAVE to do all this, it is like a full time job which I am sure you could well do without.
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @ourvoices I would like a copy of that please
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    I enjoyed going through it as it includes screen shots of all the messages that go backwards and forwards, messages from DM's to ATOS asking them to look at certain evidence which they continued to ignore. Notes made when I've phoned and action taken. I'm described as "A Complex Case", a DM remarked about a piece of evidence: "It is outside my skill set" which amused me. I don't really know what to do with all the knowledge I picked up from being able to see lots of stuff we don't normally get to look at. In a way I was surprised with the amount of paperwork involved in one PIP claim. But it's not being done efficiently. There are too many people dealing with each claim, ok they have notes of what has been done but it's not the same. I got the impression that DWP were trying hard to listen to claimants but because they completely rely on ATOS or CAPITA for the points, the most important part of a claim, even if they see strong evidence which  they must know applies to a different descriptor their hands are tied and they have to go with what the assessor tells them. I am very confused by this as their job spec.that @ourvoices posted states that they can and should look at ALL the evidence along with the assessment report and make their own decision. It's very annoying when you know how something is supposed to work and it's not being done affecting so many people. How come I can see this and all the powers that be can't. I will certainly be telling ICE about this as part of my ongoing complaint. 
               There's a lot more to say but will leave it there for now.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    edited October 2017
    Good Morning everyone, Exciting news today, I rang ICO and my case is next for investigation to start sometime next week. There is a 2/3 month waiting list at present from when you apply for a case to be opened and you have to have been through the process of asking the organization concerned to change the false statements/lies first by way of a complaints process so if you decide to use the law to get your Data changed it's not a quick process. But it IS a lot quicker than the time IAS are taking to investigate your complaint and then going to ICE. I've done both so can keep you informed of timescales.
        I had a word with the advisor about what comes under the Data Protection Act and anything with a Factual basis like if the assessor wrote that your upper body strength was normal on examination and you have medical evidence that it is far from normal that will be looked at and will have to be changed if proven to be incorrect. (This applies to me). But just saying you were tired and the assessor wrote that you didn't look tired will not. But that's OK by me as most of the lies written about us have medical evidence to prove they're wrong. I will keep you updated as I go along..
             You can find out more about your rights here: https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/what_to_do.aspx 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    Thanks @Matilda, Am looking forward to working with people who have no agendas as you so rightly put it. In particular I'm wanting the case worker to decide that it is unreasonable for a water bottle to be opened by peeling off the plastic label round the middle. I've even sent them a picture of a bottle with the said label removed and lying by it's side. My MP and ICE also have the same photo. I'm really hoping this is when the fight back begins and that it will encourage other people to use the law to stop the lies. I saw a different GP at my surgery today and told him what happened to me and about the evidence that wasn't accepted. After rolling his eyes towards the ceiling he said for me to see him nearer the time of my review and he will put together a letter. So after many months I'm doing OK....  
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Pleased to hear that you are feeling happier, @wildlife.

    I feel as though I'm living in a parallel universe with PIP - I've fallen down a hole and found myself in Wonderland.

    If the Government can't organise PIP, how can they hope to organise Brexit?
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @Matilda Not quite sure what you mean by Wonderland. It's more like living in the dark ages the way we're being treated. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @wildlife

    Unreal, bizarre world, as in 'Alice in Wonderland' - though hers was less frightening of course.  
  • keirakeira Member Posts: 136 Courageous
    Hi @wildlife

    Can you advise how you made your subject access request to ATOS please and also how to prevent them just sending it on to the DWP?

    Thank you
  • maid08maid08 Member, Member - under moderation Posts: 307 Pioneering
    just to pip in i have sent five requests to capita who reply its dwp each time that holds info  today they have another email requesting my info held with a copy from dwp stating capita must supply  so yet more rubbish and time wasted but hy ho  i got time to waste 
  • maid08maid08 Member, Member - under moderation Posts: 307 Pioneering
    dwp did send me a form asking what i wanted so ticked it all so lorry full exspected
  • keirakeira Member Posts: 136 Courageous
    keira said:
    Hi @wildlife

    Can you advise how you made your subject access request to ATOS please and also how to prevent them just sending it on to the DWP?

    Thank you

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