A Student Case Study: The UK Access to Work Grant Application ProcessJun 17, 2022
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about the Access to Work Grant (ATW). This UK-program grant comes under the Government Department of Pensions. It is specifically designed to offer assistance if you have a ‘disability’ or ‘health condition’ that hinders your effectiveness at work. This grant can be used towards helping you develop skills (including Executive Function skills) that will directly benefit your ability to experience greater success in your work.
To read my original blog post about the Access to Work Program, Click HERE.
Programs like this are wonderful because they recognize that making these types of provisions for individuals to do their jobs better helps everyone in their workplace and in their community.
I’m thrilled to share that I now have had two students who have received grant coverage for their enrollment in the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills Program.
One of my former students had already paid for the AIA-FS program. Then she applied for the ATW grant, was awarded the grant, and her payment was fully reimbursed.
And recently, one of my brand-new students set her intentions towards enrolling in a future AIA-FS program, applied early for the ATW grant, and was awarded a grant in time to enroll for the June AIA-FS. I am thrilled for her. She showed such foresight, planning and follow-through!
For those of you who live in the UK, I wanted to share the steps of this student’s recent successful application process with the hope that you too could benefit from this program.
Here is the step-by-step process she followed:
Step 1: She submitted an online application through Access to Work Grant (ATW).
This student applied on 7th December 2021 and was told the lead time was 12 weeks; however, her application wasn't processed until 5th May 2022. She suggests allowing for a longer processing period than the 12-week time frame.
Step 2: She was contacted by a Case Manager.
According to the ATW process, once the application is processed, if a candidate is potentially eligible, they are allocated a Case Manager and contacted about the online application they submitted.
Initially, this student was contacted by email to notify her about her Case Manager. She then received a telephone call where she discussed the information she had supplied in her initial application.
Step 3: She had 2 weeks to provide additional information to support her application.
This particular student is a sole trader/ self-employed person trading/working for just over a year and she needed to provide the following information:
- Personal Self-employed Business Plan
- 3 quotes for comparable coaching options (as she wanted to use the grant to pay for AIA). This had to show the number of sessions and cost per session.
- Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR)
Step 4: Her Case Manager recommended the program and submitted the application for funding approval. (The Case Manager told her that an answer is usually received within a week’s time.)
Her Case Manager was “very happy” to recommend the AIA-FS program and to submit the application for funding approval. This student was asked about the financial investment of the AIA-FS program, and what amount she would be willing/able to contribute towards the cost.
She received approval within 3 working/business days!
Step 5: After she received notification of her application approval, an offer letter was sent in the post which outlined the award and how to claim it, along with two forms to complete, and a request for a copy of the invoice for the AIA-FS program.
The student filled out the following forms:
- Claim form (DP222JP)--which she needed to fully complete to claim her Support Worker expenses (to claim the money for the AIA-FS program)
- Bank Account details form (DP228JP)
Step 6: Because the student is self-employed, she was then asked to have each claim form countersigned by her support worker before she sent it to the required address. For those who are not self-employed, the claim form must be signed by the relevant person at their workplace. This student also had to attach original invoices or payslips with time-sheets along with her claim form; otherwise, her claim would not be processed.
Step 7: Finally, she needed to book and pay for the course first, and then she submitted the claim forms for financial reimbursement. Once ATW received her claim form, it was processed within 3-5 working/business days.
According to this student’s experience, her reimbursement was directly deposited into the bank account she specified.
This student offered the following tips to consider in the application process:
- Round up the AIA-FS Program cost in GBP. She applied the exchange rate on the day she submitted the costs, and ended up having to pay more towards the AIA-FS program because the exchange rate had changed. However, if you don't need to claim the full cost of the program for the grant, that will not be a problem.
- The Case Workers are very helpful. Her Case Worker was very prompt in answering any of her questions via email.
- Set a reminder for 12 weeks from your application submission. And if you haven't heard back, telephone them to follow it up. They should be able to give you an updated lead time.
Have any additional questions?
You can contact the Access to Work helpline on:
Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0800 121 7579
Relay UK: 18001 then 0800 121 7479 https://www.relayuk.bt.com
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Calls to 0800 numbers are free from personal mobiles and landlines.
I cannot guarantee that everyone who applies will be awarded a grant. This case study is one student's experience with the grant program. However, if you live in the UK, and you want to be a part of my ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills Program, I’d strongly suggest you explore this as an option for you.
There’s really nothing that can hold you back if you really want to pursue a better life and future for yourself.
To read more about the overall details for the ATW grant and if you may be eligible, check out my first blog post HERE.