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Access to work - support worker

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Lizzygb
Lizzygb Community member Posts: 12 Courageous
edited April 2021 in Work and employment
I need to apply for Access to Work to pay for a support worker/PA - does anyone have any experience of this? How they assess you, what they deem necessary, What/when/how they pay, can I find my own PA (I already have one for personal care). Please help, causing a lot of stress!
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  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Elizabeth Siân Gwilliam

    Firstly, have you applied for Access to Work previously or is this your first time? 

    I would suggest considering everything you might need to help you in your job, and not just the support worker. Such as technological adjustments, transport and working hours adjustments if any of these apply to you. You can find information here from Scope which includes the sorts of things you can get from Access to Work

    Regarding the support workers, if you and your employer agree that getting one would help you, you should convey this to the Access to Work team when you apply and then when you have your assessment. Ultimately, your ATW assessor will have the final say on what support you receive but in my experience they are welcoming to your suggestions and ideas, after all you know best what will help you.

    I've never had a support worker myself but I know many people who have, and judging from what they've been through ATW will ask for 3 different quotes from providers of support workers, and will then choose one to go with, they'll normally decide based on cost. ATW Solutions are a popular support worker provider that I've known people to use, and they promise to match whatever the lowest quote is that you receive elsewhere.

    I'm not sure if Access to Work will allow an individual you know to be your support worker, or if it has to be somebody from a licenced provider, so that's something you'll need to query.
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  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Community member Posts: 3,127 Connected
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    You may want to read the staff guide for ATW on the gov website as this gives you a real insight into how they will look at your claim. 
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    MarkN88 said:
    You may want to read the staff guide for ATW on the gov website as this gives you a real insight into how they will look at your claim. 
    Great suggestion! You can find that guide here @Elizabeth Siân Gwilliam
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  • ricksmum
    ricksmum Community member Posts: 2 Listener
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    Hello there, is this is to help with employment and your role? I have a support worker for my role as a lecturer. Much of my work is screen based and I have a vision problem. I listed all the ways a sw could help under each of the headings for my job description. You are the expert, tell them what you need. Mentally go through your work week and think about what you do, and how support could help. It's really important to think about all the workarounds you e probably developed to cope. I hope that helps?
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,506 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for sharing @ricksmum :) Do you find your support worker helpful? 
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  • ricksmum
    ricksmum Community member Posts: 2 Listener
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  • Lizzygb
    Lizzygb Community member Posts: 12 Courageous
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    Thanks for your help everyone.
    I've got to a bit of a brick wall with it... The access to work advisor said I need to find 3 quotes and get back to her with the quotes and also the info about how a SW would help in my job.
    The problem is - I have tried every avenue and possible Google search wording to find 'agencies' to provide a support worker for employment and all I can find is info about help in the home, or job adverts advertising for carers.
    No one seems to understand what I need.
    Another problem is my current PA who helps at home, with personal care, helps me look after my children etc, is currently the one who comes to work (I employ her with direct payments but have been told this is not meant to be used for work help) and for instance helps with going to the toilet and making lunch at work. These are things that the access to work doesn't cover, as it's not employment related. And as the help I need in work isn't all in one go, or at a specific time, I can't just have someone else coming in for 10 mins to help with something here, 30 mins there, 15 mins here etc. 
    So what I need, is for my current PA to be the person who also helps me with my role, as she is there anyway incase I need the toilet/food. That's what I can't seem to solve. 

    I need 3 quotes from providers I cannot find, to pay for someone that I already employ for other times of the day......! I don't even know if I can  choose' my own support worker (the one I have for personal care now) as she already knows my workplace and the specific help I need.

    .. Head against brick wall.

    The advisor was quite short with me and couldn't understand why I couldn't find the quotes. I kept saying to her that I have tried on several occasions and dont know where to look. She also thought I was just trying to get a secretary through access to work (as apparently that's what a PA is).... I despair.
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Lizzyb

    Have you tried contacting ATW Solutions? I know they are a company who provide support workers for Access to Work, and they'll often match the lowest quotes you can find elsewhere. They'd also be able to help you with finding other companies to get quotes from.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there 

    I really don't know the answer but maybe you can look at it in other ways as you already have the person in place I presume it's the funding their pay that is the issue rather than finding a support worker 

    Atw may not be the solution I would speak to cab see if they have any advice 
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