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a feature article by Mrs S... - disabled veteran - 29 June 2012
Two years of detailed research has drawn to a natural conclusion with the exposure of two memorandums by Unum Provident Insurance, to the Work & Pensions Select Committee, dated 2002 and 2006.
Whilst government rhetoric continues to suggest concern for people remaining on disability benefit for years, and the 'opportunities' available for the long-term sick and disabled population once removed from long-term benefit and directed into work, detailed evidence from the President of the Appeal Tribunals, the Work and Pensions Select Committee and the national frontline welfare charities, such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux and Macmillan Cancer Care, have been consistently ignored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The ongoing DWP medical tyranny, masquerading as welfare reforms, are a cost cutting initiative planned and agreed by successive governments since 1992. These reforms are totally unrelated to the welfare of the disabled British people, as the UK moves ever closer to the American style of welfare to be funded by private insurance.
Unum Provident Insurance, now known as Unum Insurance following yet another name change, have a notorious past reputation in the USA. They were identified as "an outlaw company" in 2005 and, by 2007, they were identified as the 2nd worst insurance company in the entire United States. This then begs the obvious question as to why successive UK governments have been in consultation with this discredited corporate giant since 1994?
Unum Insurance funded $230million to remove past evidence of wrong doing from the Internet.
The evidence exposed within this detailed research is cause for serious concern. The promotion of a government adviser to ministerial office, with apparent unlimited authority to destroy the UK welfare service whilst leaving claimants living in fear, should be challenged when the Minister is unelected and has no parliamentary experience.
The only government priority is a welfare cost reduction, with no concern whatsoever for the stress and distress caused using an assessment system that's identified as being totally "unfit for purpose" by the national frontline charities. Atos Healthcare are contracted to conduct 'medical assessments' on anyone in receipt of disability benefits. However, the assessment is nothing more than a compromised 'tick box' basic occupational health test using the entirely inadequate Lima software. Unum Insurance claim to have no relationship with Atos Healthcare, yet the same descriptors used to refuse claimants insurance payouts by Unum are used by Atos Healthcare when assessing disabled people in the UK. The appeal tribunals service is close to collapse, with claimants waiting up to 12 months for access to an appeal tribunal. When the applicant challenges the results of the Atos assessment, that obliges the claimant to search for work when ill, the government decision that all disability benefits will then be stopped until after the appeal decision is shameful and callous, and is a crude attempt to force sick and disabled people to find work, regardless of health or clearly identified physical need.
This threat is issued by an unelected financier and government adviser, masquerading as a government Minister, as a form of intimidation aimed at the most vulnerable in society. This is to guarantee a reduction in the numbers of appeals against the DWP 'medical assessment' decisions that generate a 40% success rate when the claimant has representation. (70% success rate in Scotland) How much more evidence is needed before this dangerous 'medical assessment' system, costing £100million per year, is confirmed as being totally compromised and unacceptable? Yet, the DWP contract with Atos Origin Medical Services, commonly known as Atos Healthcare, has been extended for another three years..... When will the government actually be challenged and invited to explain why all detailed and damning official reports relating to welfare reforms are summarily ignored by the DWP, with the only exception being the annual report by Professor Malcolm Harrington?
The identified medical tyranny of this totally compromised medical assessment system, as conducted by Atos Healthcare and designed by Unum Insurance, will now be supported by enforced abject poverty for some of the most vulnerable people in the UK. This will dramatically increase the fear and anxiety of all chronically sick and permanently disabled people who are at the mercy of the State when forced to depend on welfare payments.
Why is this cruelty permitted in 21st Century UK when the British Medical Association, representing the nation's GP's, have just voted to remove these bogus Atos 'medical assessments' that cause so much harm?
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmworpen/401/3021203/htm (Dec 02)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmworpen/616/616we37.htm (Mar 06)
Mrs S..., Disabled veteran WRAF, Retired healthcare professional
Updated 29th June 2012