The Company That Dare Not Show Its Face: How Maximus Plan To Hide Their Involvement In The Work Capability Assessment

chda-maximus

The logo likely to be used on the paperwork for the Work Capability Assessment

Maximus – the US based firm brought in to replace Atos to carry out benefit assessments – will hide their corporate identity behind a hastily erected front company in an attempt to avoid damage to their brand The Guardian revealed yesterday.

According to the paper, the company will not use its logo on letters sent to claimants facing the notorious Work Capability Assessment, instead using a neutral name such as “The Centre for Health and Disability Assessment”.  In fact this company has been up and running since June 2014, suspiciously several months before it was announced that Maximus would be taking over the contract from Atos.  The Guardian should probably have known this, because they are currently running an advertisement for a Social Media Manager for the new company on the recruitment part of their website.

The company was established by senior Maximus directors Leslie Wolf and William Smith and is based in the their offices in East Sussex..  Already they are using this fake ID to recruit Functional Assessors and other staff to work on the new contract with the DWP as they desperately attempt to find enough healthcare professionals who are nasty enough to take on the role.

The suffering caused by the Work Capability Assessment is well documented with an ever growing list of tragic deaths linked to the process.  Despite this Maximus claim that the press coverage of Atos and their shambolic handling of the assessments has been “unjustifiably negative” and that in future people should blame the government if they don’t like what Maximus does.   This incidentally was exactly the same line Atos used when they whined about people complaining about them.  The idea that it is perfectly possible to hold governments responsible for the shitty things they do, and equally condemn the vile shitbags who profit from them, never seems to have occurred to this mercenary bunch of vultures.

It looks like Maximus are also using the same medical recruitment firm that Atos used to hire staff.  Any healthcare professional considering working for these bastards should remember the words of a former Atos disability analyst:

“The job was making me sick …. It’s against my principles to treat people with long term illnesses in such a disgusting way, so I had to give it up.

“People go into those interviews and talk openly to you because you are a nurse and they trust you.

“Then your skills are used against them, to take away their benefits and destroy their lives.

“I can’t be a part of that.”

Join the Day of Action Against Maximus called by Disabled People Against Cuts on March 2nd.

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121 responses to “The Company That Dare Not Show Its Face: How Maximus Plan To Hide Their Involvement In The Work Capability Assessment

  1. The politicians also need to sort out Disability Hate Crime instead of giving it. The politicians are so racist. Do politicians have any morals !!!! No, just contradiction policies. DWP Disability Hate Crime is rife & is a policy of the DWP. The Disability Hate Crime Policy. People are still so ignorant about disability. A 10th Class Citizen in a 3rd world rich country the UK.

    HUMAN RIGHTS & EQUALITY FOR THE DISABLED

    [What has that got to do with the DWP] Quiet now DWP don`t get out your pram throwing toys like a WCA with Maximus. Disability was there thousands of years before the DWP.

    • “YOU CAN PLACE AS MUCH TINSEL AS YOU WANT ROUND AN EXTERMINATION CAMP BUT THE OUTCOME WILL ALWAYS BE THE SAME”

      “THE DEATH AND SUICIDE RATE WILL AGAIN ROCKET BEYOND WHAT IT IS ALREADY”

      “COLLECTIVELY WE ALL SHOULD SAY, FUCK OFF MAXIMUS”

      • ……………………….ALWAYS REMEMBER;

        MAXIMUS REQUIRE YOUR GIVEN CONSENT FOR ANY MEDICAL APPRAISAL TO GO AHEAD.
        WHEN ASKED TO GIVE CONSENT, JUST SAY NO………………………

        NEVER SIGN ANYTHING, THE DWP REQUIRE YOUR SIGNATURE.

        NEVER GO TO A MEDICAL ASSESSMENT, LET THEM COME TO YOU.

        MAKE A RECORDING OF THE WHOLE ASSESSMENT, VISUAL AND AUDIO, IT WILL COME IN HANDY WHEN YOU TAKE THEM TO COURT.

    • …………………………….same staff, same ATOS tick box software, same goal, personal profits, same outcome………..

      “DWP UNDERTAKES PEER REVIEW OF 60 WELFARE RELATED DEATHS”

      ………..CROSS THE SIXTY OUT AND JUST INSERT “AT MAXIMUS’s DISCRETION”

    • MAXIMUS WERE PAID £5OO MILLION FOR A SHORT CONTRACT.

      THIS MEANS THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO SAVE THE DWP AT LEAST THIS AMOUNT BEFORE THEY MAKE A PROFIT.

      TRANSPOSE THIS FIGURE ACROSS THE AMOUNT OF DEATHS THAT ATOS ACHIEVED USING THE SAME STAFF AND SOFTWARE AND IT SHOULD GIVE A GOOD INDICATION OF HOW MANY DEATHS SHOULD BE ACHIEVABLE UNDER MAXIMUS.

      GIVEN THAT THERE ARE NEARLY HALF A MILLION PIP CLAIMANTS LEFT IN LIMBO, THE FINAL DEATH TOLL CAN NOT BE SUITABLY ACCESSED, BUT I WOULD EXPECT IF THE DWP WERE TO ISSUE “CEMETERY BONDS”, THEY WOULD OUTSTRIP OSBORNES GRANNY BRIBES,

    • READ MORE UNUM LEGAL NEWS

      Unum Terminates Depression Claim, Just in Time for Christmas
      More Denied Disability Lawsuits against Unum
      Nurse Says Unum Ordered Her Back to Work, but She Might Kill Someone!

      Unum had refused to acknowledge fibromyalgia as a disability for many years, and it continues to do so, although policyholders suffering from this physical condition are often paid short-term benefits. (In its white paper, Unum states that fibromyalgia is not a physical disease. Psychological conditions are not covered after a certain length of time, which is typically one year. Could Unum have denied Krol because vascular dementia is difficult to diagnose and physical symptoms are often not apparent at early onset?

      • millaband likes to tilt his head when talking

        Then what are we ………………………………..supposed to do about this evil company……………………………………………………….there is nothing…………………….we can do to stop them…………………………,,,,,,, come election time what will you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Maximus Vs IDS [round 1]
    IDS Vs Maximus [round 1]

    • From: GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended)

      30 May 2013

      Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
      i recently read this harrowing tale of how you treat your disabled
      staff;

      DWP failed employee with Asperger’s
      Printable version | E-mail this to a colleague | Add to Folder

      06/03/2013

      The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been ordered to pay
      a woman with Asperger’s syndrome a total of £70,000 after an
      employment tribunal found it to be guilty of disability
      discrimination.

  3. Maximus Kills Disabled People – “Oh No It don`t” A Maximus spokesperson said “It`s IDS & The DWP That Kills Disabled People.”

    • Ah, the old “we just make the cyanide crystals” excuse. That always works.

    • “COWBOYS RULE O.K.”

      “British Columbia must show public Maximus’s health contract”
      By Stanley Tromp
      Published June 19, 2010 05:46 pm

      After years of legal battles, the BRITISH COLUMBIA government was forced yesterday to reveal the full text of its controversial contract with Maximus BC Health Inc. for the delivery of MSP and PharmaCare services. It also must disclose to the public any fines imposed on Maximus regarding its performance level.

      Adjudicator Celia Francis of the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office rejected all claims that opening up the records would result in financial harm to the B.C. government. The government and Maximus have 30 days to appeal the rulings to BC Supreme Court.

      http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2010/06/19/MaximusHeath/

      • “APART FROM THESE FEW MISDEMEANOURS, WHAT HAS MAXIMUS DONE WRONG?”

        Last year, US government auditors found that all but $2 million of $41.4 million claimed by the state of Wisconsin – on advice from Maximus – had been “improperly claimed” under Medicaid, the US healthcare insurance programme for those on low incomes. Maximus was reportedly paid a fee based on how much additional revenue the state collected.

        Maximus also drew heavy criticism last year for its performance in delivering a privatized child support enforcement service in Davidson County, Tennessee, with one parent telling a reporter: “Politicians on a local level do not want to suffer the heat from an underperforming juvenile court system, and Maximus is more than happy to collect their millions, underperform and not give a crap about child-support collections.”

        Two years ago, Maximus – which is based in Virginia – was fined $50,000 under disability discrimination laws for refusing to promote a female employee because she had had a stroke.

        In 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported how scores of medical workers in a programme for substance-abusing health professionals had tested positive for drugs or alcohol, but were allowed to continue working because a subcontractor working for Maximus was using the wrong standard to measure them against.

        In the same year, Maximus and one of its subcontractors agreed to pay compensation of $2.5 million over the botched update of a criminal justice service IT system in the state of Connecticut.

        And in 2007, Maximus agreed to pay $30.5 million compensation after allegations that it defrauded the US government by helping the Child and Family Services Agency for Washington, DC, to submit false claims to the Medicaid programme.

        But concerns about Maximus’s performance across the US date back more than 20 years.

        When the Mississippi department of human services debated re-privatising child support collection last year, one state senator recalled Maximus’s poor performance in collecting overdue child support between 1995 and 2000, telling a senate debate: “I remember the disaster that Maximus was.”

        In 2000, Maximus was forced to pay back $500,000 in improper or questionable expenses claimed as part of a welfare-to-work programme it was delivering.

        And in the same year, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found Maximus had violated federal law by paying lower wages to women than men placed in the same jobs in a Milwaukee warehouse.

        ………………a DWP spokesperson declined to comment

        • Two years ago, Maximus – which is based in Virginia – was fined $50,000 under disability discrimination laws for refusing to promote a female employee because she had had a stroke.

          ………………………but now we have Sue Marsh to make up for that slight error of judgement

  4. US corporate playbook tricks. Atos were amateurs by comparison. With Maximus and its myriad of cover operations the abolition of social security will proceed in earnest.

  5. Because Maximus has Atos people they have set up over 20 money laundering websites to escape to if things are getting a bit dodgy. Start a company, name registered in 3 hours. Set up a website in 20 minutes. These are the tactics Atos used & Maximus are doing the same, because it`s the same people running it. ID Fraud.

  6. “””Anyone who has followed the unhappy saga of Atos and the work capability assessment, through what has been one of the most troubled government outsourcing contracts in history”””

    From the Guardian article of thread story.

  7. keep up the fight it sounds like they are worried. .

  8. “do you regularly watch a soap on television?”

    A clever Maximus Health Care Professional medical question.

    What a is a soap Maximus?

    • Is that a medical soap? Another Maximus causality !!!!!

    • Yes another trick question that one is. The thought process being: if you can concentrate mentally on a soap on TV then you can sit at a desk and concentrate on a desk job. If there were any chances that there were any decent desk jobs available that is, which there isn’t

      • Health Care Professional (HCP)

        yes, its a trick question😉 … it also means that you can sit down for long periods of time too – i.e a desk job… the correct/best answer is to say that you can’t stand up or sit down for significant periods. Also, if you can you a TV remote control you can operate a keyboard… even if you are in a semi-vegetative state!

        • Health Care Professional (HCP)

          * Also, if you can you can operate a TV remote control

        • Health Care Professional (HCP)

          One guy was tricked by this when he admitted to liking Star Trek😀 … just as like a casual remark… just making friendly conversation…😉 … but one thing leads to another…😉

          • Health Care Professional (HCP)

            … and he FAILED his WCA – FIT TO WORK!😀

            • Health Care Professional (HCP)

              … or PASSED depending on which way you look at it…😀

              • Health Care Professional (HCP)

                … and don’t dare turning up looking clean and tidy if you have “depression”…😀

                • If you turn up at a WCA at all, they make you fit for work because you were fit enough to leave the house and make your way to the ATOS/Maximus benefit denial assessment.

                • overburdenddonkey

                  nah! the UtT call that unreasonable speculation that suits the sec of states desires and that the wca is for illustrative purposes only…the dwp want to see a job as being pressing a button once…among other things that are considered….it is the symptoms not diagnosis and repeatability of tasks covered in the regs and in the exceptional circumstances regs….and how the descriptors are furnished by the claimant….there is no reason why a gp couldn’t consider those factors, when they sign medical cert and tick not fit for work box…..the wca is designed to put people off pursuing e and sa claim…

                • overburdenddonkey

                  ps the UtT call it speculative extrapolations by the dwp…

    • “CLIENT DECLINED”
      ……………..RATHER THAN WRITING THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS UNABLE TO DO A TASK THAT WAS ASKED OF THEM BY THE ATOS EXAMINER, IT WAS REPORTED, “CLIENT DECLINED”…………………………….

      WHICH WAS THEN TRANSLATED BY THE DWP DECISION MAKER AND THE TRIBUNAL JUDGES TO MEAN YOU HAD REFUSED.

      ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

      ON MY ATOS REPORT, RATHER THAN SAY I COULD NOT MANAGE TO DO A TASK, IT WAS REPORTED “CLIENT DECLINED”……………..
      NOT ONCE, SEVENTY FIVE TIMES !!!

      HERE IS THE PROOF FROM A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION RESPONSE TO THE DWP;

      The explanation does not appear in guidance, but in order to provide an explanation “decline” is
      a word used by our computer system (“LiMA”). It does not differentiate between ‘will not’ and
      ‘cannot’ perform a movement, but highlights the fact that it is not a movement a customer
      followed through on the day of the examination. It is intended as a descriptor to highlight to the
      Decision Maker at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the customer’s ability on the
      day of the assessment.

      Yours sincerely

      DWP Business Management Team

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/147255/response/360590/attach/html/2/FOI407%20Bellows%20Response.pdf.html

      • ………………………..YET ON A LATER FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST TO THE DWP THEY RELEASED A SCREENSHOT OF THE LIMA SOFTWARE THAT SHOWS QUITE CLEARLY THE OPTION FOR THE EXAMINER TO TICK THAT YOU WERE INCAPABLE…………………

        THE DWP, ATOS AND THE TRIBUNAL JUDGES AND DOCTORS ARE NOTHING BUT CROOKS IN OFFICE………………

  9. Another key point in that article: Maximus are seeking to reduce the proportion of doctors conducting the assessments, instead using occupational therapists. I wonder which conditions will end up shortchanged by that? I’m guessing it’ll be the world of mental health – against which the WCA has already been ruled discriminatory, let’s not forget, a ruling that the DWP didn’t even bother re-appealing once it was confirmed. (If anyone knows what’s happening with that, by the way, please say!)

    Atos can at least hide behind the excuse that they didn’t know what they were getting into. Maximus have no such fig leaf. They know. And they’re demonstrating just how evil they are, just how fucked we all are, and just how little anyone with the power to do anything about it gives a shit.

  10. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…

  11. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    More evidence from Johnny Void that the difference between Atos and Maximus is simply that the company has changed. The job remains exactly the same. The only difference is that, regarding their reputation, Maximus are bigger corporate cowards. They’re deliberately hiding their involvement, in order to avoid rightly getting the blame for what they do. They really want people to blame the DWP, or indeed, anyone else but them. Their advice that people should blame the DWP instead of themselves for administering the WCA is frankly ridiculous. No-one forced Maximus to bid for the contract, so it is not as if any of their directors or chairmen has been forced into something they find morally repugnant. They are willing accomplices to the government’s policy of forcing the poor and sick off benefit. They therefore deserve an equal share of the blame.

  12. Reblogged this on Lindas Blog and commented:
    DWS……… up to their dirty tricks again. No wonder the gov is trying to silence the internet……. When secrets are out they loose their power……. SPREAD THE WORD……….. POWER TO THE PEOPLE

  13. Another Fine Mess

    advertisement for a Social Media Manager for the new company

    That will be just a temporary job. : )

  14. Reblogged this on Wake Up Before It's Too Late and commented:
    As per usual, purveyors of corrupt government policies shirk responsibility & play pass the parcel – and by hiding behind another name, many disabled claimants will probably feel something’s changed…wrongly.

  15. Sue Marsh will make things better.

  16. “ACTING AS CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE DWP, BILL GUNNYEON USED HIS INFLUENCE TO ALLOW MAXIMUS TO BE CHOSEN AS THE NEW WCA PROVIDER”

    GUNNYEON HAS NOW MOVED TO MAXIMUS, THE GOVERNMENT ARE TRYING TO PLAY DOWN THE ISSUE BUT WE CAN RESURRECT THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST…………

    • Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has written to the Secretary of State for Scotland and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, demanding an immediate halt to the roll-out of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in Scotland.

      PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for sick and disabled people, but the roll-out is not expected to be completed until at least October 2017.

      The Scottish Government will be devising their own variation on PIP, as part of greater devolution of welfare powers in the wake of the fiercely contended independence referendum.

      http://www.welfareweekly.com/charity-demands-halt-disability-benefit-roll-scotland/

  17. Oh look, we all said this would happen and that IDS and the Daily Heil would use Sue as a puppet and use her “maximus miracle cure” against all the sick and disabled.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2917434/Judas-Left-s-rage-benefits-activist-joins-75k-m-Anti-cuts-firebrand-s-job-disability-tests-firm.html

  18. “ALL THE COINCIDENCES THAT MAKE UP A CONSPIRACY”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Simon Burns (Minister of State (Health), Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)

    We are not aware of any meetings between officials and UNUM. However, Dame Carol Black, expert adviser on health and work to the Department, met them on three occasions in January 2012 to discuss the positive relationship between work and health.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Commenting, Professor Michael O’Donnell, Chief Medical Officer at Unum said:
    “Dame Carol Black’s ‘fit note’ will be a major step forward in addressing attitudes towards sickness and the sooner we can introduce it, the better. Changing the mindset and therefore attitudes is the critical first step in bringing about a real and effective change in approach by all parties.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Source:Occupational Health Date:01-07-2005 Type:news

    Dr Bill Gunnyeon stood down in May after three years as head of the faculty to became chief medical adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions, where he will play a key role in plans to get millions of people off incapacity benefit and back into work. The role and importance of work in the lives of people and the interaction between health and work now has a profile and a focus that it has never had before, and our specialty encompasses a unique set of skills and experience that can make a significant contribution to this agenda,” Gunnyeon added.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Dame Carol Black

    Chief medical adviser warns that funding requests will be challenged

    A tax break for companies that fund interventions to get absent employees back to work will be considered by the Government, but much work needs to be done to analyse its implications.

    This was the message from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to insurers, healthcare professionals and employer representatives at the Association of British Insurers this morning.

    “Any conference I have been to, it [removing tax disincentives to fund healthcare] is one of the things that employers have consistently raised and I understand that,” said Dr Bill Gunnyeon, chief medical adviser at the DWP. “But I’m not making any promises.”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference
    5-6 march 2013
    Venue; NEC Birmingham

    Speakers include;

    Dame Carol Black

    Bill Gunnyeon CBE

    Professor Sir Mansel Aylward

    SUPPORTED BY ATOS HEALTHCARE
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Silver Jubilee Business Dinner 4TH DEC 2003

    Aboard Royal Yacht BRITTANNIA, Edinburgh
    GUESTS INCLUDE;

    BILL GUNNYEON
    MANSEL AYLWARD
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Unum has been lobbying, sitting on expert groups and hosting meetings at party conferences of all colours ever since. And lo and behold, in May this year, Unum’s then medical officer Prof Michael O’Donnell jumped ship to become chief medical officer at Atos. He barely had time to catch his breath before giving evidence to the Commons committee looking at the welfare reform bill.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Association of British Insurers in partnership with UNUM and AXA PPP Healthcare.

    BUILDING A RESILIENT WORKFORCE

    Dialogue panel includes;

    Dame Carol Black
    James McGarry CEO UNUM
    Bill Gunnyeon CBE (DWP)
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    TAEN CONFERENCE, Sponsored by UNUM, London 29th oct 2008.

    Among the morning speakers were; Dr Bill GUNNYEON (DWP)……

    Professor Michael ODONNELL, UNUM Chief Medical Officer…
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Losing the benefit crutch
    Source:Occupational Health Date:01-09-2005 Type:commentary and analysis

    But, as Dr Bill Gunnyeon, former president of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, pointed out in May, occupational medicine will need to broaden its horizons to address not only the health needs of people at work, but those of the working age population as a whole. Anything that helps people who have been ill to get back into work would be broadly welcomed by OH professionals, argues Dr Barbara Kneale, occupational health and safety advisor at car manufacturer Peugeot Citron in Coventry.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    London 2012.
    The 6th International Forum on Disability Management was chaired by two of the worlds leaders on the “good work is good for you” movement,Professors Dame Carol Black and Sir Mansel Aylward.The UK movement is going gang busters. Dr Bill Gunnyeon, Chief Medical Adviser and Director for Health and Wellbeing at the DWP,described how their surveys of GPs attitudes has shown a remarkable turnaround, with most GPs now agreeing work is beneficial for health, and around two thirds agreeing that GPs have a role in getting people back to work.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Bill Gunnyeon said:

    “I am delighted to be joining the Department and very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead. I will be seeking to build on the outstanding work of Professor Aylward, who has made such a valuable contribution to the Department’s achievements and whom I feel privileged to be succeeding.”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The Government’s response to the Black review into the health of working age people was published in November 2008. This event aims to provide a brief update on the progress made over the past year with the programme of work outlined in that response. In addition we will have a presentation from Gordon Waddell and Mansel Aylward to mark the publication of a new edition of their book ‘Models of Sickness and Disability’. First published in 2002 this has been revised in the light of recent evidence.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    The provisional agenda:

    17.00 Arrival, refreshments

    17.30 Welcome and introduction Bill Gunnyeon

    17.40 Response to Black – an update Bill Gunnyeon and team

    18.20 ‘Models of sickness and disability’– what’s new? Gordon Waddell/ Sir Mansel Aylward

    18.50 Reflections Dame Carol Black
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    ………….”GUNNYEON AND THE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY”

    • “A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST TO THE DWP THAT WAS NEVER ANSWERED”

      From: GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended)

      15 April 2013

      Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
      You recently quoted the following paragraph in a FOI response;

      The assisted text phrases that may be used to construct the medical
      history were drawn from
      many sources including the Incapacity Benefit Handbook, medical
      text books, examples of high
      quality Personal Capability Assessment report and discussions with
      experienced approved
      Healthcare Professionals (HCP). They have been quality assured by
      panels of experienced
      HCPs and deemed appropriate for constructing good quality relevant
      clinical and functional
      histories and were agreed in consultation with the DWP Health and
      Benefits Division (formerly
      Corporate Medical Group).

      COULD YOU STATE, CATEGORICALLY, THAN UNUM CORPORATION HAD NO
      INFLUENCE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF LIMA BASES BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL
      SOFTWARE USED IN ESA EXAMINATIONS?

      DID MEMBERS OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY HAVE INPUT INTO THE
      CONSTRUCTION OF THE LIMA SOFTWARE THAT IS USED DURING AN ESA
      EXAMINATION?

      DID MANSEL AYLWARD HAVE LINKS TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SOFTWARE.
      IF SO PLEASE STATE, AND DESCRIBE HIS INPUT?

      Yours faithfully,GEOFFREY REYNOLDS

      • How about getting paid for lobbying your own department?

        The work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith‘s longest-serving adviser is being paid by a thinktank Centre for Social Justice that he set up and which lobbies their department. His policy special adviser, Philippa Stroud, is being paid an income by the CSJ to be co-chair of its board of advisers. The arrangement was cleared by both her department and the Cabinet Office,

        • The Guardian, Wednesday 12 September 2012 21.00 BST

          This week the sixth International Forum on Disability Management, IFDM 2012, takes place at Imperial College London. It is sponsored by some of the world’s largest medical insurance companies, Unum among them, and speakers include DWP chief medical adviser Dr Bill Gunyeon and Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, formerly DWP chief medical adviser and director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University, which was sponsored by Unum from its inception in 2003 until 2009.

          Unum’s website states that during this sponsorship period “a series of papers was published, identifying the range of factors that determine why some people become long-term absentees”. The Cardiff papers advocated a “biopsychosocial model” of disability which Unum says “informed its approach to medical underwriting”. It is the same approach upon which the current Atos work capability assessment (WCA) is based. Concomitantly, the company were advising the UK government on welfare reform.

          • Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

            A previous Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Work and Pensions, Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope, is listed in the House of Lords Register of Interests (Session 2006-2007) as the Chairman of the Unum Customer Advisory Panel for which he received payment from Unum and additional payments for other work for Unum.

            • Chris Grayling: The work capability assessment was developed in 2008 with the assistance of technical working groups. As you may be aware, the Government consult widely with stakeholders and sources of public and private sector expertise, to ensure that its policies are evidence-based. Two Unum employees, a doctor and an occupational therapist, were invited to join the technical working group that carried out the review of the personal capability assessment. As with all members of the technical working group they were appointed as recognised experts in benefit assessment and in supporting return to work for people with disability.

              • “HOW THE DWP TELL LIES ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS”

                Dear Mr Reynolds
                Freedom of Information Act – Request for Information

                Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which we received on 24/12/2012.

                You asked:
                1. Have executives of U N U M corporation sat on mental or physical, technical working
                groups on behalf of any British government?
                2. Have executives or staff, from either U N U M, or A T O S, acted in steering any
                favourable decisions for contracts for themselves?
                3. Have A T O S, who funded the Biopsychosocial Research department at Cardiff
                University, now distanced themselves from this department?
                4. Does the department above, still do classes and accreditation for A T O S HCP
                personnel?
                5. Could this cosy relationship be defined as a “Conflict of interest” that is clearly apparent,
                blatant and reprehensible, given the magnitude of the effects of their policies inflicted on
                the disabled?

                In reply to Qs 1, 2, 3 & 4 DWP does not hold any information on these subjects, as they are not
                connected to the DWP Medical Services Contract.

                In response to Q 5 the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act is about the supply of recorded
                information held by the Department rather than explaining things or confirming whether your
                assumptions are correct or not, therefore this question is not, under FoI a valid request.

                Yours sincerely

                DWP Business Management Team
                Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)

                • GEOFF REYNOLDS

                  Extracts from the Report of the Physical Function and Mental Health Technical Working Groups.
                  Commissioned by DWP sept 2006.

                  There is still work to be done,to test the proposed new assignment in a live environment. This will be done by asking ATOS MEDICAL SERVICES DOCTORS to complete a PCA on incapacity benefit claimants.

                  Among the experts cited at being present at the meeting;

                  Sue Godby-UNUM PROVIDENT
                  Dr Angela Graham-ATOS ORIGIN
                  Dr Paul Stidolph-DWP
                  Ann Spaight-Chair of DISABILITY ALLOWANCE ADVISORY BOARD
                  Dr Peter Dewis-UNUM PROVIDENT

  19. “Unum Believes It Trumps Doctors – Lawsuit Filed”

    Lawyers & Settlements.com – 2nd Jan 2015

    Clinton, NY: Mary will be following an Unum, or Unum Provident denied disability lawsuit recently filed. Unum had “threatened” to terminate her benefits for several months and she too might have her day in court with the behemoth insurance company.

    A New York man – who worked for an insurance company – filed a lawsuit against Unum last October, claiming he was wrongfully terminated from his short-term disability benefits and then denied long-term disability benefits. Steven Krol was diagnosed with a cognitive impairment that included vascular dementia, a condition that left him disabled. But Unum didn’t see it that way. Krol first applied for short-term benefits and Unum made payments from Oct. 26, 2012 through Sept. 20, 2013.

    Did Unum believe that Krol would miraculously recover from vascular dementia? It just takes a quick search online to discover that this condition is not reversible. According to WebMD, “No available treatments can repair the damage of vascular dementia once it’s happened.”

    Read More:
    http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/first_unum/interview-unum-lawsuit-insurance-26-20356.html#.VL4_i4dyaM8

  20. Chaos for Wandsworth’s disabled as Freedom Passes suddenly cancelled

    Wandsworth Guardian: – 16th Jan 2015

    Potentially thousands of disabled people across Wandsworth have been left without travel after their Freedom Passes were suddenly cancelled.

    Freedom Passes are due for renewal later this year but those who have not yet sent off their letters had their passes cancelled this month, without warning.

    The Wandsworth Guardian understands disabled people have gone to travel as they normally do, with in-date passes, only to be told they have been cancelled.

    Disabled residents have reported chaos trying to get through to the council’s concessionary travel team because of the number of people ringing in.

    Read More:
    http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/11724038.UPDATE__Chaos_for_Wandsworth_s_disabled_as_Freedom_Passes_suddenly_cancelled/

  21. Disabled Hampshire man refused benefits assessment

    BBC – 20 January 2015 Last updated at 12:05

    A man who had part of his leg amputated was turned away from an interview for disability benefit because he was in a wheelchair.

    Michael Sparks, from Beaulieu, Hampshire, arrived at the Bournemouth assessment centre but was told he could not use the lift to the first floor.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said clients needed to inform staff in advance of access issues.

    Mr Sparks has now been given an appointment for a home assessment.

    He said he had waited 40 weeks for the appointment after applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – the benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance – despite being told there was a 26-week wait.

    After several calls to Atos, which carries out assessments for the DWP, he was given an appointment at Tamarisk House in Bournemouth but when he arrived, he was told he could not use the lift in case there was a fire.

    Read More:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30893163

  22. Atos Vs Maximus – Who can defraud the DWP out of the most Money with no work being done. £1,000 a Sanction.

    • “nice to see an improvement”

      Retail crime in UK at 10-year high, industry report says;

      Crime cost the UK retail industry £603m in the 2013-14 financial year, 18% higher than the previous 12 months, according to new research.

      The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said shoplifting, cyber-crime and fraud is now at its highest since its current recording system began in 2004.

      Theft by organised criminal gangs had become a huge issue, the BRC said.

      The value of goods, money or services stolen from stores is now worth an average of £241 per incident.

      ………………..before the DWP make a statement, i would like to do it for them………..

      “THERE IS NO LINK TO THIS YEARS 18% RISE IN RETAIL CRIME AND BENEFIT CUTS”
      NO LINK TO THE EXPLOSION IN FOOD BANK USAGE
      NO LINKS TO INCREASED SUICIDES AND DEATHS
      NO LINKS TO CHILD POVERTY
      NO LINKS TO SOCIAL EXCLUSION
      NO LINKS TO MENTAL AND DISABILITY HEALTH SERVICES
      NO LINKS TO CHILD POVERTY
      NO LINKS TO HOMELESSNESS
      NO LINKS TO HOME REPOSSESSIONS
      NO LINKS TO TENANTS FAILING TO PAY RENTS
      NO LINKS TO LIBRARY CLOSURES
      NO LINKS TO AMBULANCE CALL OUT TIMES
      NO LINKS TO A&E WAITING TIMES
      NO LINKS TO GP SURGERY APPOINTMENT TIMES
      NO LINKS TO ETC ETC ETC…………………….

      ……………….THE DWP SHOULD SEND THEIR SPOKESPERSON TO MAXIMUS, THEY MUST LIVE IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE…………………..

      • Veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher has accused the Conservatives of introducing welfare reforms designed to prevent the poor from ‘breeding’.

        Writing on his blog, Mr Meacher says:

        “Occasionally the mask slips and the truth becomes clear. We had already been told that the Tories planned to limit child benefit to the first two children because it would save money. Then IDS (Iain Duncan Smith) let the cat out of the bag: he said it would promote “behavioural change”. This element in the Tory DNA – that the poor are over-dependent on benefits and should have their breeding excesses curtailed – has quite a history.

        http://www.welfareweekly.com/tories-trying-prevent-poor-breeding-says-labour-mp/

      • Tesco forced to security tag ENERGY DRINKS as shoplifting soars in stores

        The £1.46 cans of Monster Ripper are now tagged, something usually only done to high-value electronics or clothes, in the supermarkets after a spate of thefts

        Stores are slapping security tags on energy drinks as shoplifting soars.

        Tesco has tagged £1.46 cans of Monster Ripper, popular with youngsters, after a spate of thefts.

        The devices are usually attached to high-value ­electronics or clothes.

        But poverty caused by Tory austerity has seen them added to joints of meat and even razors, pregnancy testing kits and condoms.

        The tagged drinks are among the cheapest items yet.

        One retail source said: “Tagging is going through the roof to keep pace with thefts. Some supermarkets have them on sandwiches and Pot Noodles.”

        • Value Mushy Peas

          One retail source said: “Tagging is going through the roof to keep pace with thefts. Some supermarkets have them on value mushy peas and out-of-date cuppa soup”😀

  23. JV, you need to give the below a good read :

    https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/is-this-how-jobcentres-operate-beyond-belief-barely-covers-it/

    I think there are serious grounds here for a case of Harrassment/Fraud to be brought against a lot of people. They did get Performance Pay….

  24. Disabled people lose jobs after Access to Work changes

    If you tamper with the support disabled people rely on to work, being in the office with a personal assistant soon becomes being trapped at home, staring at the kitchen walls

    The Guardian, Tuesday 20 January 2015 13.00 GMT

    You’d be forgiven for having missed the current mess of Access to Work – the fund delivered through Jobcentre Plus that pays for practical support, from computer software to support workers, for disabled people at work. Last year, it seems that the government started quietly cutting the amount of support available, resulting in payment delays and fewer hours of help. But as the changes were never publicly announced, even the people using the scheme are in the dark. The Department for Work and Pensions only just agreed to publish the guidance that shows who is eligible for support – and that was after campaigners threatened legal action.

    Access to Work (AtW) is the shiny coin in the coalition’s bigger disability and employment parcel. According to latest DWP figures more than a quarter of a million more people with disabilities were in mainstream work in 2014 compared with the year before.

    Read More:
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/20/disabled-people-lose-jobs-access-to-work

  25. Here’s a Radio 4 programme about benefit sanctions, if anyone’s interested

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04yk7h6

  26. “THIS ONE PARAGRAPH SUMS UP WHY THE UK GOVERNMENT ARE UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR GROSS, SYSTEMATIC ABUSE”

    The DWP has a fetish for setting standards that can’t be met. Jobseekers sanctioned for missing an appointment they didn’t know they had; ESA applicants with degenerative conditions told they are “fit for work”; and now disabled workers, expected to be another stat in the employment figures while having their support cut, changed, and delayed. This is the same short-term rationale that is leading to the closure of the Independent Living Fund and cuts to Personal Independence Payments – and one measure can’t be separated from the other.

  27. How can HM Courts & Tribunals Service uphold DWP/JCP sanctions when the evidence of sanctions to defraud claimants, harassment and maladministration are a matter of public record and the everyday experience of most claimants.

    JCP has essential succumb to criminality doubt JCP work roaches can be rehabilitated as accountable and respectable civil servants.

    The level of contempt and hatred for claimants’ is astonishing, a contempt and hatred that degrades human beings to the level of Untermenschen.

    • Mr Reckless, it depends on the Judge and howthe evidence is presented. Hopefully someone wil gather enough cast-iron evidence in which case a judge [even one who supports this s&*^] will be forced to decide against the Gov.

      The greatest fear a Judge has is being shown to have made a decision blatently ignore a rule of law. Big egg on face.

      Ha, There is one Judge who is not long for being on the Rolls. It can happen if you collude with employers.

  28. ………………….and another pack of lies;

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 23 December
    2014. You stated:

    “….can you please tell me what each and every JCP targets are and who set
    them”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    DWP ANSWER
    The Department for Work and Pensions aims to transform people’s lives by
    helping them find and remain in work and to ensure work pays.

    The Department no longer has a target regime. Instead, the effectiveness of
    Jobcentres is monitored by a range of performance mechanisms which
    includes Cabinet Office’s Structural Reform Plan and the internal Performance
    Environment. Jobcentre Plus staff performance is measured in a variety of
    ways including how quickly they help get people off benefits and into work.

  29. A Humble Peasant

    I won’t ever mention this again, but I have previously expressed some reservations about the NHS and GPs but I state now that I was wrong. My GP provided excellent treatment and very sound advice indeed, and I owe my GP a immense gratitude for all that was done to help me. Thank you. Thank God for the NHS.

    • overburdenddonkey

      a h p
      yes there are some diamonds in the nhs…that’s good news…🙂

    • Absolutely! There are countless hard working and responsible people in the NHS, and I also thank and salute them.

      … but it isn’t god we should be thanking for the NHS.

  30. Benefits claimant judged as unfit to work due to mental health problems are more likely to have their benefits stopped by sanctions than those suffering from other conditions, according to new data released today.

    Policy advisers for the Methodist Church obtained the data using Freedom of Information Requests to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

    It shows that people who receive the sickness and disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), because of a long-term mental health problem, are being sanctioned at a rate of more than 100 per day.

    In March 2014 – the last month for which data is available – approximately 4,500 people with mental health problems who in receipt of ESA because of mental health problems were sanctioned.

    Paul Morrison, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church, warned that the true number could be “a great deal higher than the 100 a day”.

    “Not included in these figures are people who receive ESA due to a physical illness, but who have a higher risk of mental health difficulties”, said Mr Morrison

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/100-sickness-benefit-claimants-mental-health-problems-sanctioned-every-day/

  31. More than half of children living in poverty in Scotland are growing up in households where at least one person is in employment.

    Speaking in a debate in the Scottish Parliament later today, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham will argue that it is unacceptable that work is no longer the straight forward route out of poverty. And will reiterate the Scottish Government’s pledge to tackle inequality and build a fairer Scotland.

    The Cabinet Secretary is speaking as research published today shows that the proportion of those in in-work poverty is gradually increasing and that for many, moving into work doesn’t necessarily mean moving out of poverty.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/majority-scottish-children-poverty-come-working-households/

  32. Reports that food bank use in Scotland reached record levels in December have been described as showing an “appalling lack of concern” at Westminster for the impact of its actions.

    The BBC has reported that 10,489 people visited one of the Trussell Trust’s 48 food banks in Scotland in December, a 13% increase on the 9,263 people the previous year and the highest figure yet recorded by the charity.

    One third of those who visited the food banks were children.

    Despite the alarming rise in food bank use in Scotland following the introduction of Westminster’s welfare cuts, UK ministers continue to refuse to appear in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee to discuss the effect of their decisions

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/record-scottish-food-bank-use-shows-appalling-lack-concern-says-snp/

    • Awwww….poor wee Nichola disnae get tae show aff her new hairstyle on British TV, whit a shame, sounds like anti- Scottish RACISM to me. ( even though we are all the same Race – White )

  33. THE UK Government is facing mounting calls to suspend the roll-out of Universal Credit in Scotland until legislation transferring new powers to Holyrood is complete.

    Representatives of 40 bodies, including the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Trades Union Council and The Poverty Alliance have signed a letter to UK work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith claiming that proceeding with the new system for welfare payments could lead to chaos once further powers in the area are transferred.

    The letter, also signed by 16 housing associations, states: “We know from the Smith Agreement that the bill for further powers that is currently being drafted will include significant new welfare powers. The detail of how these powers will interact with the Universal Credit system will be complex and require careful consideration and planning.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/growing-calls-for-uk-to-suspend-universal-credit-rollout.116241960

    • Apologies for being cynical but looks like the 16 housing associations and the third sector/civic Scotland are protecting their own interests and income flows.

      Mass evictions engineered by sanctions and UC will cost HAs and councils millions, the client base of the poverty parasites will be decimated and could take the parasites down with them.

  34. The Scottish Government and those Councils and housing associations should commit to a moratorium on evictions caused by welfare reform and sanctions if they want to be taken seriously on social justice.

  35. You ranting morons are completely missing the point. Maximus set up this subsidiary UK Private Limited Company so that when they get sued for causing death by negligence, or receive massive fines for incompetence, the subsidiary company can just go bust and leave the parent company with no losses at all…… and of course the victims with no compensation.

  36. Thing is Things Got Worse under the Tories

    We Need Social Justice Not Slavery

  37. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith also welcomed the news, and said the government’s welfare reforms had played an “instrumental” part in getting more people into work.We have reached an important milestone in this country’s jobs-led recovery.We know that British people want to work hard and get on, but all too often in the past the welfare state hindered rather than helped – thwarting ambition and killing off hope.We put an end to that and now the number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits is the lowest for a generation, and there are record numbers of people in work.Thanks to our long-term economic plan, businesses are feeling confident about the future. Jobs are being created and salaries are rising, meaning that increasing numbers of people are feeling the security and hope for the future that comes with a regular wage.– IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, WORK AND PENSIONS SECRETARY

  38. Posted on 20/01/2015 by http://www.refuted.org.uk

    DWP publishes official list of it’s unpaid Workfare schemes.

    Below is an official DWP list of it’s workfare schemes, that involve people claiming benefits being provided to employers as free labour, including what is referred to as ‘internships’.

    The DWP’s first response to it’s own FOI Act disclosure made today, copy below, after this post was published, was to delete a webpage cited in it’s disclosure letter and hence deny public access to the documents and information therein, forgetting that search engines keep archives/caches of web pages and documents deleted. [ DWP deleted webpage and document therein ]

    Here is the full list:

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https://wwwrefuteddotorgdotuk.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/backtoworkschemes.pdf

    http://refuted.org.uk/2015/01/20/dwpworkfareschemes/

  39. This company Maximus were donee for screwing Medicare of 20 Million dollars so what next

  40. I knew there was something wrong . . I have been on incapacity benefit for 26 years . . . and then . . . a doctor I have never seen or heard of . . decided I no longer have brain damage and im no longer blind in my left eye . . now I have NO INCOME . . NO BENEFIT . . I OWE THE COUNCIL . . IM £1000 IN DEBT . . MY BANK WONT HELP ME . . I REALY habe no idea how im going to cope . .

  41. Pingback: Join the Day Of Action Against Maximus, March 2nd | Rantings From a Virtual Soapbox

  42. Pingback: The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get Worse, Less People To Be Placed In Support Group Say DWP | the void

  43. Maximus assessors are blatantly fabricating medical assessment reports with false findings, not reporting what was truly found and inserting some made up bullshit figures that were never measured. oh yes if you can raise you hands above your head your fit for work, or your not fit for work at the moment but maybe in the future even though you have a degenerative disease, omg man its only gonna get worse so if i cant work now in my current state how the hell am i gonna be able to work IN THE FUTURE? IDIOTS THEORY!!! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IDIOTS (GOVERNMENT)EMPLOY BRAINLESS PEOPLE (MAXIMUS) TO DO SIMPLE ASSESSMENTS! MONTY PYTHONS MR GUMBY SPRINGS TO MIND. HOW CAN YOU SO CALLED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS EMPLOYED BY MAXIMUS NOT HAVE A CONSCIENCE. HOPE YOU ALL BURN IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. And again this Baster’s our health in business hands and who take care about that . how you like to have department of health in someones business hands and anpower tham to decide your life. Comm on maan and its not only one department for now!

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