In March 2015 the Access to Work (AtW) payments scheme was capped for induvidials at 1.5 times the National Average Salary. This left Deaf and Disabled people without the full support they wanted as the cap was too restrictive. However, the cap did bring down the cost for the more expensive support services.
DWP have announced that from 1st April 2018 the cap is being raised from:
– 1.5 x the National Average Salary (£43,100)
– 2 x the National Average Salary (£57,200).
It’s a positive move.
The cap increase is right as the living wage and cost of living for workers is going up constantly, making the previous lower cap unfair on all concerned.
The lack of funding meant that support workers and interpreters were being paid less. As a result many were dropping out of the profession and the clients were having to either try to retain their jobs with less support or the same level of support but with less experienced support workers. In all cases putting thier performance, development and even thier jobs at risk
This development, we hope, will serve to improve the lives of everyone involved.
This increase is a great move but hasn’t addressed the generic assessment and evaluation procedures that the ATW grant system uses. This system leaves those in need without the funding they deserve, but those polished at presenting to the poorly trained assessors get over compensated.
Hopefully that will be next to be examined.
There is also no mention of budget changes. Without a greater pot of money to draw from savings might be found in other places, such as reducing the number of people getting AtW funding. The statement does talk about greater use, promotion of, and trialing of more assistive technologies to reduce costs.
It all about the excution though, and the DWP still has a lot of work to do in that area.