Hundreds of disabled employees are to benefit from a £15,000 rise in Access to Work grants to assist them at work, following new measures introduced in Parliament today (20 March 2018).
From April 2018, people will be able to claim up to £57,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace – approximately £15,000 more than the current cap of £42,100.
Access to Work provides financial support to ensure someone’s disability or health condition doesn’t hold them back at work, and can cover workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.
Increasing the amount people can receive annually will ensure that more disabled people, particularly from the deaf community, are able to benefit from the grant and achieve their career aspirations.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:
We believe that disabled people should have every opportunity to thrive in the workplace, and the tailored support of Access to Work caters to every individual’s unique needs.
By extending this grant we’re ensuring that many more disabled people can reach their career potential, which is a key part of our commitment to getting one million more disabled people in work by 2027.
The UK Council on Deafness said:
We are pleased to see that the Department for Work and Pensions has decided to significantly raise the Access to Work cap.
This will help deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) to access the communication support so vital to enabling them to thrive and succeed in the workplace.
Access to Work is part of a range of support available to ensure that disabled people can enter, and thrive in, the workplace. This includes supported work experience placements, the government’s Disability Confident scheme and personalised support package. These are all part of the government’s ambitious plan to see a million more disabled people in work by 2027.
The new cap will take effect from 1 April 2018.
As we continually seek to improve Access to Work, we will introduce the following measures:
- discretion in exceptional cases of multiple disability, to consider award limits averaged over a longer period – for example, where a customer’s ongoing need for a support worker may be below the cap but when coupled with a periodic need for say a wheelchair, would exceed the cap in that year
- introduction of managed personal budgets to enable greater choice and control for customers in the way grants are spent
- taking applications 12 weeks ahead of a job start date rather than the current 6 weeks to allow more time for support to be agreed and put in place
- continuing to invest in our digital improvements such as developing the facility to submit invoices online
- allowing more flexibility in how people can use Access to Work to support short periods of work experience where there is a likelihood of a paid job in the near future
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