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Access to Work delays

Unprecedented Access to Work delays are putting blind and partially sighted people’s jobs at risk.

The Access to Work scheme, run by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), provides practical and financial support to people with disabilities, including many blind and partially sighted people, to find and retain employment.

People with sight loss face additional barriers to getting a job and staying in employment. Access to Work provides crucial support, such as specialist equipment, support workers and awareness training for colleagues.

However, lengthy delays of around three months in the processing of applications and claims for Access to Work are commonplace, making the employment barriers people with sight loss experience worse.

During the current cost of living crisis, it is more important than ever that the DWP takes urgent action to tackle the delays.

What action are we calling on the DWP to take?

  1. Provide adequate resources to Access to Work so that support is put in place within four weeks of any application and claims are promptly processed.
  2. Remove the need for an Access to Work renewal process for customers when their support needs are not changing.
  3. Automatically extend Access to Work packages until renewals can be processed so individuals can retain support.
  4. Provide automatic software upgrades to software previously approved as part of an Access to Work grant.
  5. Provide a ‘cost of living’ update for the value of Access to Work grant payments.
  6. Fast track applicants who know what support they need.

Read our report to find out more

Have you received poor service from Access to Work? Make your voice heard

If you are blind or partially sighted and have experienced delays or inadequate support from Access to Work, we encourage you to complain.

We’ve created pre-written template letters which you can personalise and will be sent to the Access to Work Complaints Team.

Take action now to tackle Access to Work delays