May 2015 – Changes to Access to Work Fund
Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper has announced the following changes to the Access to Work scheme.
In 2015/16 the DWP will start a process of offering personal budgets for those with on-going awards for travel or support so as to give users more freedom over how they use their awards
Access to Work will provide awards up to a limit set at one and half times average salary (a limit of £40,800 per person per year at October 2015 when the limit will be introduced) which will be uprated annually in line with the level of average salaries
Anybody with an award higher than this level as of October 2015 will not be subject to that limit until April 2018 so as to help them and employers adjust to their new level of support
The DWP has recently established a specialist team to provide expert advice and support to disabled people who want to run their own successful businesses and, from October 2015, eligibility will be based around the universal credit rules so as to allow a reasonable period for businesses to establish themselves, whilst ensuring that taxpayers money goes to support legitimate and viable businesses
The DWP is exploring how referrals to the Access to Works Mental Health Support Service could be more straightforward and has also highlighted the mental health support provided by Access to Work by changing the pre-employment eligibility letter to reassure employers of the help available
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