Access to Work Programme: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th January 2021.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Access to Work fast-track assessment process is available to all disabled workers to enable them to work during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Access to Work continues to provide support for disabled people to move into and retain employment. To enable support to be put in place at the earliest opportunity, Access to Work has adapted the way holistic assessments are undertaken and enabled disabled people to choose how their assessments are carried out, including virtually or face-to-face. This has very often enabled a quicker service to be provided.

The assessment providers have reported that the virtual assessments can be arranged and delivered more rapidly than the face to face assessments and that the freed up time enables them to spend more time in consultation with the customer.

Access to Work prioritises applications from disabled people who have a job to start within 4 weeks of their application. Recognising the impact Covid has had on disabled people, Access to Work has expanded the prioritisation to include those in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group and keyworkers.

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