This written statement was made to a disability benefit tribunal (ESA).The author then posted it on the facebook page ‘The People vs the Government, DWP and Atos. I am posting it here because it sums up the experience of many of the people who I have accompanied through the ESA assessment and Tribunal processes, and states that experience far better than I could myself. It can take people months, if ever, to recover from the deterioration in their health caused by the stress and anxiety of this assessment process. The worry that a reassessment letter could come through the door at any time leads some to never be in a position to heal or attain stability. These are people in fragile health, unable to work or to satisfy the stringent conditions of the Jobcentre, terrified of losing all their income and becoming destitute and homeless whilst too ill to deal with any of this. If the government’s aim is to assist people back into work, this is a mighty strange way to go about it.
It has taken me personally to the darkest place I have ever been, especially in view that I had made some progress with both my physical and mental health problems. I believe that the only reason I have survived it is due to the 5 years of intense therapy which I sold my house to pay for. Nearly all others have not had that help, and I personally know three people who have killed themselves directly as a result of this process.
It has achieved exactly the opposite of the govt stated policy. It has caused through fear and stress a terrible degeneration in my physical and emotional state and made it almost impossible for me to function in ways that I was able to prior to this. I would wish that no human being should be subjected to treatment of this nature ever again. it is obscene. It has been 18 months of torture.”