An epileptic man with brain damage, his carer and neighbour have reacted with fury after the disabled man was deemed ‘fit for work’ by an “overzealous government” and vowed to “rip them to bits”.

Geoffrey Wilkins, 53, from Chelmsford suffers from epilepsy, brain damage, heart disease and depression. Yet despite his obvious medical conditions Mr Wilkins was found ‘fit for work’ by Atos and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in January 2014.

Mr Wilkins, who takes sixteen different medications to help control his poor health, said “it felt like someone has smashed me over the head with a sledgehammer” when his monthly benefits income was slashed from £700 a month to less than £300.

Carer Peter said his brother was forced to live on £293 a month in Disability Living Allowance payments, while waiting for £143 in temporary Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) payments.

His ESA was only paid into Geoffrey’s bank account after two days of calls to the DWP and is a temporary payment while he awaits the outcome of an appeal.

New changes to the benefit appeals system now means that ESA claimants wrongly found ‘fit for work’ will have to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance while contesting an ESA decision, even if they are too unwell to work.

Speaking to the Essex Chronicle, Peter said: “We want to take on the government and rip them to bits for what they’re doing to Geoff and thousands of others.

“It’s quite a lot of money we’ve lost. At the end of the day we are lucky if we have a meal.”

Peter said that his brother’s neighbour Christine “had to lend us £10 for food the other day.

“He is not fit to work. What employer will deem my brother fit to work?

“If he worked now as a groundsman and parked up his tractor, walked away, he would forget where it was.”

Geoffrey, who used to work as a groundsman and labourer, was told by FIVE doctors that he “will never work again”, after contracting carbon dioxide poisoning in 1995.

Dr Shazhad Ahmed said: “He would be a risk to himself and his colleagues with the medical condition he has.”

Neurologist Dr Peter Bradbury said that his patient “is yet another victim of the inability of Atos to cope with more sophisticated neurological problems”.

Mr Wilkins neighbour Christine said: “We will fight it to the very end.

“The man is clearly being denied his just dos by an over-zealous government who think they can make laws to suit themselves.

“As far as I am concerned that man needs nurturing, not punishing.”

The news comes after another man with epilepsy committed suicide after having his sickness benefit removed.

The government is currently look for a replacement for Atos after the private firm withdrew from £500 million a year contract, in the face of mounting criticism.

It is expected that the new contract will be delivered by more than one private contractor. Atos will continue to deliver the Work Capability Assessment up until early 2015, when a new provider(s) is announced.




  1. Let's hope the new provider knows how to do its job and DOES NOT take its instructions from Iain Duncan Smith. The ATOS fiasco should never have been allowed to happen. It is about time any medical assessments be conducted properly with Medical personnel who are medically qualified.

    • It will be the same 15 point system as Atos, there will be no difference what so ever, It was never about Illness, or Disability, they are not in the least interested in that. If you can lift one finger and place it on the table, you fail the test and are deemed fit for work. it is all about what you can do & not what you can't do…….Parasites all of them..From a 4 time Atos victim…..

      • And how it effects your normal day just tell me what is a normal day

    • All Atos staff and premises will be transferred to the new provider. No change.

  2. The chances are that the ATOS assessor is not qualified under the contract to carry out such an assessment. If you apply for a copy of ESA85 you will know. Any professional i.e. Nurse or Physiotherapist who carry out work they are not qualified for should be reported to their professional body for misconduct. This can also be applied to doctors if they mislead through their reports.

    • I asked my assessor if she was a qualified rheumatologist – still not certain she even knew how to spell it, let alone practise it.

  3. The big question is WHY have the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners NOT raised an OUTCRY about their clinical competence being challenged by people who are less qualified than themselves at deciding whether a person is fit for work. This is the biggest disgrace and failure to act to protect their patient could be interpreted as a form of neglect.

  4. If this poor man is a danger not only to himself but others around him, then ESA REGULATIONS 2008 employment support allowance, sections 29b and 35 apply to him and this being the case he should be placed directly into the support group without delay, the DWP and ATOSSERS know this to be a fact and are picking on this poor man because they see him as an easy target, please use the information provided to help him and many, many others in his situation.

  5. ATOS are not qualified they are only pen pushers. A person with epilepsy could have an epileptic seizure at any time and needs someone there to be able to see that they don't choke on their tongue and if heart condition and brain damage are other conditions he suffers from as well as depression that man is unfit for work. Never mind waiting for an appeal try the FPC (Family Practitioners Committee) to try and resolve this problem. There should one in their area unless they have been dispensed with. I worked in the FPC some years ago for complaints. If five Doctors say he is unfit for work, he is unfit! IDS is paying out £billions to ATOS and that money could be put to better use for this and others who have suffered through the Government's stupidity and greed. They are not and have never had medical training. There is the BMA (British Medical Association) they could write to or ask their own GP to write an official letter stating that this man is unfit for work and never will be. Atos and the Government are undermining Professional Doctors and Surgeons who studied for some years to be in the profession they are in today.

  6. It's not ATOS that are the problem, they were just doing exactly what the dwp paid them to do. It is the test that is loaded against claiments and the fact they are told (by the dwp whether they admit targets exist or not) they must fail so many people per day.

  7. Fight them all the way or go to a solicitor for advice and sue DWP and ATOS. or try Citizens Advice Bureau. (CAB)

  8. Atos are nothing more than a bunch of Psychopaths enjoying the power they have. Off with their heads.

  9. When they find someone new instead of Atos, same problem they get paid extra to say your fit for work so nothing going to any be better. Its just greed

  10. the money has run out…plain & simple & so we will turn on each other…unless we address where the money has gone. The money has not has been gathered & stored. That is why there is less money circulating. Billionaires simply store billions out of circulation. Those billions are supposed to be circulating so people can get food shelter warmth in winter etc. If more money was printed the rich would gather that up to become trillionaires & we would be just as poor…attack that problem..not the disabled….then this situation will diffuse instead of escalating into roits when there is not enough money for food.

  11. My nephew is brain damaged FROM A BAD CAR ACCIDENT and they have sent him on a painter,s course What is going on .

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