More than 150,000 people have raised serious concerns about fit-for-work tests administered by a private healthcare company on behalf of the Government.
Figures obtained exclusively by Sky News show the charity Citizens Advice has been inundated by huge numbers of complaints about assessments carried out by Atos.
It warns that genuinely disabled and seriously ill people are being stripped of benefits following inadequate tests.
Meanwhile, doctors are warning that the service is “unfit for purpose”.
Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, warned: “Atos is failing to do its job properly, failing to give taxpayers value for money and worst of all, failing thousands of sick and disabled people who bear the brunt of wrong assessments.”
It comes as a woman widowed just last week tells Sky News about how the decision that her husband was fit for work was not even overturned while he was dying from a rare and aggressive cancer.
Lyn Coupe’s case was raised in Parliament this week by her local MP Dennis Skinner.
The 81-year-old Labour politician famed for his passionate performances in Parliament implored David Cameron to “abolish this cruel heartless monster called Atos, get rid of it”.
The Prime Minister admitted that every MP had heard similar stories in their own constituencies.
Mrs Coupe, from Calow near Chesterfield, said she felt compelled to speak out even while organising her husband David’s funeral.
He was assessed as able to work late last year despite ulcerated legs, back pain that left him in agony, diabetes and heart problems.
Mrs Coupe said the couple were forced to sacrifice food and heating to deal with the cut in benefits.
“We didn’t have any heating on in the winter like other people would have had. We sat with coats on or blankets. I would go to bed at about 8am in the evening to try to get warm.”
Food was also sacrificed, and the couple never went out.
The Coupes tried to launch an appeal but were told they would have to wait at least 10 months because of a backlog of cases.
Once Mr Coupe was diagnosed with terminal cancer that would kill him within months, his wife contacted Atos again but still the appeal was not brought forward.
Via Sky News