Cat from the MS community: Is there anything during the Access to Work application process that an MSer should be aware of?
Ian Milton, Access to Work at the Department of Work and Pensions: Yes, the award for an Access to Work grant is generally for three years, but it could be less, dependent on the circumstances or type of award that you receive. But during that period, and Access to Work will generally carry out awards on a yearly basis, just to make sure that nothing’s changed with your circumstances, your support needs are still being met, and generally just keep in touch to make sure everything’s going absolutely fine. On top of that, there’s the payments process. So with the payments, the grant is actually funded in arrears, so your employer would need to pay out for the support initially, or for yourself if you are receiving travel to work from Access to Work, you’d need to pay out for those costs initially and then claim it back via an Access to Work claim form, with copies of receipts. And then Access to Work will issue that payment to you in order to make sure that you receive the appropriate grant funding.
Cat: And is there any support for somebody on the Access to Work scheme, say they want more contact than they’re getting, for them to speak to somebody?
Ian Milton: Yeah, absolutely. At any time during the award, or even if your award’s finished, or you aren’t receiving support and you just want some advice from Access to Work, that’s absolutely possible. You can contact us using the phone number on the gov.uk pages and then an Access to Work adviser will give you a call back to explain it with you. If not, we have got the video relay service or email options, once the details have been passed to an Access to Work adviser in order to assist.