Hello all, happy Saturday.

I just recieved my form to fill in to keep my paultry benefits prior to my inevitable visit to be humiliated at Atos healthcare.

I thought it was pretty standard stuff untill I reached the question asking me to tell them how often I soil myself…What the … My reply was ‘I refuse to answer this question as it is invasive and unnecessary’.

You are all invited to witness the fact that if this is held against my application that I will fight through every court in the land untill my final breathe. How utterly disgusting???

Paul x.

Hi Geordie

I couldn’t agree with you more.

However if you don’t fill in the section they will just score it as “no problem”. The only way you will be able to challenge this is to go to an appeal and state exactly what your incontinence issue is. It’s a catch 22.
If you don’t describe your incontinence issues you won’t score points for them. I know it is an intrusion but if you have soiling problems you are only disadvantaging yourself by not mentioning them. If you don’t have continence issues it’s a moot point because not answering gives the correct outcome anyway.

I know you feel violated but getting the benefit only matters to you – ATOS couldn’t care less – if you need to toilet talk DO IT. There is no place for pride.


I appreciate your comment but you seem to be missing the point. I will not answer that question and will make a stand as I said in my initial post, there comes a time when you need to make a stand otherwise the same old will be the same old.

I am not making empty soundbites, if taking it on the chin works for you then that is your choice but I am not prepared to.



ATOS will be happy with your response,no doubt.

Paul You will score 0 points on that question, whatever your feelings are. If you are unable to work, and continence issues are one of the factors toward that then you really need to tell them. It is the only way to get points for that area regarding issues. The points go towards eligibility for that benefit. Would you feel comfortable your GP answering that question and responding on your behalf. I am presuming of course that you may answer to the positive and that a GP may be aware of this. I know when I wanted to confirm my eligibility for a benefit, I had to prove my eligibility. The answer is necessary as it could be the difference on whether a person is able to work or not. If you are confident that you may score enough points on other areas, then you may be prepared to accept zero points for the continence question. I understand your concerns Neil

Hi Paul,

I started my last post by saying that I agreed with you. Actually on reflection I don’t.

A DLA application is about assessing the level of care that you require. If you have soiling problems it has all sorts of care implications. Getting cleaned up and changed, laundering clothes etc. It is not an invasion of privacy to document this. I am sure that lots of disabled people want to be front and centre about it because it is the reality of their lives.

I will stand and be counted and say that I sometimes (probably more often than sometimes) have accidents in the toilet department. To refuse to talk about them would be silly. How would ATOS know that I have needs if I don’t tell them.

It’s not about me taking it on the chin it’s about my life and the level of care that I require.


Wow. If you all feel that the question i reffered to is necessary then good luck to you all. I personally would prefer to fight for the rights and principles I believe in. You can keep on telling me I will get 0 points but that is the point!!! Evil prospers when good men do nothing, if you feel the need to roll over and have your tummy tickled until you conform then good luck to you.

I am more than happy to fight this on my own, in fact I think I would prefer to. Bring it on and keep missing the point:…

Geordie Good for you I really admire you for tackling this with the Attosers Sue x

are contenance issues not something which determine what level of care you require or am i missing something? can anyone know what is required when they don’t know the problems!!

Hi Geordie,

I’m sorry, but I really can’t see that you’re doing yourself any favours here. Why are you setting yourself up for a confrontation you can’t possibly win?

Have you got lots and lots of money (for all the court battles you’re determined to fight)? Do you really enjoy stress? Because we all know stress is great for MS, don’t we? NOT!

Unless you think you will qualify for the benefit solely on the other descriptors alone, why would you refuse to answer something that strengthens your claim?

Or, if you don’t happen to be affected by that particular problem, what’s so embarrassing about answering never/not affected?

Of course, you don’t have to answer any question - that is your right. But you can’t have it both ways - expecting to claim money in respect of a problem you refuse to discuss.

I think of it as similar to my critical illness claim, when I was first diagnosed. They wanted ALL my confidential medical records - even those that had nothing to do with MS - so would have included mental health, what contraception I was using - the lot!

I could have refused to give permission, on grounds of it being intrusive. They, in turn, could have refused to pay the insurance money. So exactly who would have gained, and who’d have lost, out of my “courageous” refusal to provide the evidence? And what would have been the point of submitting my claim?



I can appreciate not wanting to write on a form about continence issues - it’s something that normally happens behind a locked door (assuming we made it on time!), so the idea of having a stranger know about it isn’t particularly appealing. Sadly though, for the powers that be to be able to make an accurate assessment about our level of entitlement to a disability benefit, they need to know how our disability affects us.

I’m not really sure what way there is around this, so out of interest, how would you do the assessment instead if you were in control?


Yes it is a v difficult area to discuss, but as others have said, surely you would discuss this area with people such as district nurses and GP?

If you are fortunate enough not to have these issues then move on and if you do suffer from these issues then it may help you with gaining the “paultry benefits” as you mentioned.

You go for it, but wouldn’t your energies may be better spent elsewhere?

The MS society and others campaigned successfully for a reduction in DLA/PIP walking guidelines from 50m to 20m , what hope do you have on your own? Will be interested to hear how you go on…but we all know you will have no success.

Good luck anyway.


I’ve re-read over this thread, and I have to confess I don’t quite understand what it is that you’re wanting to take a stand against. I’d really like to be able to understand, and it seems like we’re all not getting what exactly your principles are. Are you able to explain it more clearly?

Thanks, Dan

I’m getting Paul’s principles fine. He doesn’t feel he should have to answer questions about toiletting/soiling issues.

My attitude is that’s fine - just don’t be disappointed not to get the money then. I don’t see how you can expect to have things taken into account, yet at the same time, believe they’re too private to disclose. Only matters that are disclosed can have a bearing on the outcome of the claim, obviously. So you can choose not to answer any of it, if you don’t want to, but that would mean you’ve not put forward a case for why you’re seeking benefits.

If some people would rather have their privacy than the money, that is their prerogative. It’s not compulsory to claim anything, after all. But I admit I don’t fully understand why somebody would begin a claim, but then sabotage it by refusing to answer some of the questions. If you want the maximum help you’re entitled to, you can’t afford to get picky about which problems you will and won’t admit to.

As others have pointed out, continence issues have a dramatic impact on whether someone could realistically be expected to work. So if someone declines to discuss it, the only conclusion that can be reached is “No problems there, then”. Consideration can’t be given to problems that have never been mentioned.

It seems really self-defeating, to me, to refuse to answer things that would probably help the claim.


personally I miss the good old days when the word ‘Continent’ only meant a land mass to me

Hi, okay, here`s my two pennarth to add to all the rest.

I need help getting in and out of bed, getting on and off my commode, getting showerd, dried, dressed.

All these things are very personal, just as much as having bladder and bowel accidents.

It all goes to prove just how much care i do need.

Your opinions are just that…your`s.

Good luck with your claim.


ATOS rely on people like Geordie, to refuse to answer questions, that they deliberately make invasive and deeply personal, as to invoke such a response. No answer equals no points equals result for ATOS !!

If Atos were medically trained real life Doctors they would already have knowledge of such questions…,If a persons GP were allowed to submit medical evidence then again such questions would not need to be asked…besides the pretend doctors at Atos don,t give a flying f about how anyone answers anything…or how anyone feels…Recently two friends have been through the degrading non medicals… Friend one.,anklosing spondylitis,diviculitis,[ causing bowel problems ] multiple osteoarftritis,depression…failed no points…appealed …won…Friend two, leukemia,spinal damage.asthma,depression…failed no points…appealed…won… Atos and other depts rely on fear and stress…And of course when you are unwell they know that any energy you may have is severely compromised…When a person has to cope every single second of every single day with their health conditions how dare some jumped up moron decide about your future…How dare they try to trivialise your health and what you say…YOU live with it NOT them…They cannot begin to know the first thing,and to end when a person is ill/disabled…All there is at the end of the day is pride and spirit…And taking into account that we might pour our hearts out to Atos even though they arent even going to take notice and for that reason we should keep our pride and spirit intact…

Atos or atossers as the lady rightly called them, had me in for an interview in January. I thought the guy was a doctor. My interview was in reference to a long standing back and leg problem following two surgeries last year which left me in constant pain, on bad days immobile and on good dys pain and a limp. My worries came about when he looked at my application form and confirmed I had had two episodes of cauda equina, then proceeded to ask had I had surgery? Had he been a doctor he would have known that it is a syndrome which can only be sorted by emergency surgery ASAP. If he was a doctor, even more worrying that he didn’t know. He asked me what I did all day due to my back pain, and asked me if I sat watching tv all day! Cheeky %€$#¥ ! Like has already been said, it’s degrading at every given point, to have to sit with some undesirable folk who are clearly swinging the lead, knowing each day is a battle to try and get through it and then to be asked basically do I sit on my backside every dy and do nothing…with three young children, husband and dog to look after chance would be a fine thing! Now I have the added problems caused by my new symptoms, highly likely to be ms, where I have to say, I have spent most of the last week and a half resting. And I know I may have the misfortune in dealing with this idiot again. I may pre empt him thought next time and just hit him as soon as I walk through the door. It’s about time they stopped penalizing people who genuinely need atos on their side and getting rid of those that don’t…red tape and bureaucracy!

I’ve thought about this post quite a bit over the last couple of days and followed with interest what everyone as to say.

My ambivalence comes mainly from disagreeing with someone who wants to challenge ATOS and the government. I would normally support whole-heartedly anyone who wanted to take a stand. Alas I fear that this is tilting at windmills.

I remember many years ago filling in a DLA form and being asked how long I spent on the toilet. At the time my knee jerk reaction was “mind your own effing business” Now, I am more practical and have to admit that what goes on in the bathroom is a relevant and important part of my condition.

I want people to disagree with the government –

Disagree that claimants who have made NI contributions for decades only get contribution based disability benefit for 12 months

Disagree that claimants who have a protracted stay in hospital will loose their motability car

Disagree that PIP will require 20M not 50M for higher rate mobility

Disagree that ATOS is unfeeling and incompetent

Disagree ………(add your own )

But don’t waste energy disagreeing with a question, that for many, is an important illustration of what MS has done to our bodies.