Benefit-slashing bunglers hound man suffering from Parkinson’s disease
Oct 16 2011 Mark Aitken, Sunday Mail
A PRIVATE firm hired to slash benefits have been slammed for declaring a Parkinson’s sufferer fit to work.
French-owned Atos Healthcare are being paid £100million a year by the Tories to reassess people claiming disability and sickness benefit.
But thousands of bungled rulings by the firm are costing taxpayers £50million.
Now the firm have been accused of wasting public cash by “hounding” a Parkinson’s sufferer. Tom Greatrex, Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, revealed how one constituent had his benefits cut after being declared fit to work despite having the disease.
The unnamed man won an appeal but was forced to undergo another examination.
He won his second appeal but, six months later, he has been ordered by the Department for Work and Pensions to face yet another assessment.
Greatrex said: “My constituent’s case sums up everything that is wrong with Atos.
“To hound a person suffering from Parkinson’s is a shameful waste of taxpayers time and money. My constituent isn’t fit to work. Parkinson’s is an incurable progressive disease, so his condition won’t improve.
“This has twice been the view of the Tory-led Government’s own appeals panel. If everybody else can see this, why can’t Atos?”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “Decisions are not made on the condition. There are many people with Parkinson’s who do work.”
An Atos spokesman said: “We approach assessments on a caseby-case basis, as each customer’s circumstance is unique.”