158,300 disabled people wrongly judged fit for work by Atos

Thousands of disabled people have been wrongly judged fit for work by Atos since August 2010.

Thousands of disabled people have been wrongly judged fit for work by Atos since August 2010, a freedom of information request (FOI) has revealed.

Atos judged 158,300 disabled people fit to work between August 2010 and June 2013 – only for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to reverse the decisions.

The figures come on top of an estimated 100,000 claimants who had their Atos assessments overturned after appeals.

Anyone claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) now has to undergo a Work Capability Assessment (WCA). French firm Atos healthcare provides a recommendation of the claimant’s eligibility for ESA.


1. Data is rounded to nearest 10.

2. Figures include initial and repeat assessments for ESA new claims and exclude clerical decisions, clerical cases, and Incapacity Benefits Reassessment cases.

3. FFW= Fit for Work, WRAG = Work Related Activity Group, SG = Support Group.

Commenting on the figures, Labour’s shadow work and pensions minister Kate Green said disabled people were being “badly let down by Atos which is why Labour has called on the government to sack them with immediate effect”.

“But it is also clear that problems with the Work Capability Assessment go much deeper. We need fundamental reform of the assessment process so that disabled people have confidence that the system is fair and to ensure they receive the help they need to enter work when they can,” she added.

It is being reported today that the government is on the brink of terminating Atos’s contract with the DWP to provide ‘fitness for work’ tests.

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