Access to Work has been an extremely useful employment support initiative. Created by the UK government, it was established to bridge the gap between disabilities and the workplace.
It has helped individuals with disabilities or health conditions, offering practical and financial assistance that ensures that everyone gets a fair chance to enter and thrive in their chosen profession.
In this article, we’d like to dive into the recent changes in the AtW process. We’ll be discussing how things have improved, and how these new features will help you throughout your Access to Work experience!
Being Ready is Key
Before diving into the new features, it’s important to understand the registration requirements. Those intending to register should have at least two of the following documents at hand: a UK passport, a P60/payslip, or a credit card agreement. Having these documents ready will streamline the registration process, ensuring a smooth start to your AtW journey.
Dashboard: Your AtW Command Centre
Once registered, the main dashboard becomes your go-to for all things AtW. It provides an overview of past claims, a budget summary, a help box, and the all-important ‘make a claim’ option, among other features.
Making a Claim: A Step-by-Step Guide
When making a claim:
- Make sure to be careful when choosing options for your budget plan, taking into account VRS (Video Relay Services), support workers, equipment, etc.
- Upload electronic invoices and timesheets if necessary.
- Provide details of support workers (address, bank account, emails) for the first time. These details are saved for future claims, making the process more efficient!
- Submit a declaration, which will then be sent to your manager or HR for confirmation. Once confirmed, the claim is successfully submitted and will be marked as ‘confirmed’ in your claims history. If paid, it will be labelled ‘approved’.
Ways to Access Help
Should you need assistance, the help box offers two main options:
1. A video call with AtW support through a BSL interpreter. Do note that wait times can range from 20-50 minutes.
2. An email option for those who prefer written communication.
Notifications: Keeping Everyone in the Loop
The improved process is now automated, ensuring all users are kept informed. Whether it’s claims (for the AtW client and manager/HR) or the payment process (for interpreters), timely email notifications ensure transparency and efficiency.
Economic and Emotional Benefits
The new process is not only economically efficient – eliminating the need for printing and postal submissions – but also reduces potential hassle!. Users can now track payments, ensuring support workers aren’t left in the dark about their dues. This transparency reduces the stress of potential payment follow-ups and ensures a smoother relationship between clients and support workers.
Timely Electronic Payments
One of the standout features is the quick electronic payment system. Support workers can now feel valued and adequately compensated in a timely manner, eliminating the need to chase clients for payments.
In conclusion, the recent changes to the Access to Work process keep in mind continuous improvement, making sure the system is set to be user-friendly, efficient, and very much in line with the needs of its users.
Whether you’re a first-time user or have gone through the process many times, these enhancements will give you an overall better experience!