UPDATE: DWP to stop using new interpretation of “additionality”.
Stop Changes recently raised the issue of additionality with the DWP as we were made aware of a new interpretation of guidance which had led to applications being refused.
The DWPs Disability Employment Strategy Policy Adviser, Stuart Edwards contacted us today with the following information:
· Recently, some, predominantly Deaf, Access to Work customers have experienced reductions to their awards following more consistent interpretation of existing guidance around the additional cost relating to the disability need within the work place.
· DWP will amend guidance to set out more clearly how the policy intent of ensuring equality of access between disabled and non-disabled people in the work place applies in these circumstances.
· Any customers who wish to challenge a decision where this has been applied, including those who may have already received a reconsideration, may have their claim looked at afresh based on the long-standing interpretation of the guidance.
Stuart Edwards went on to say, “we should identify and work through all the affected cases in the next week or do, but encourage those who have had an application turned down on the “extra costs” basis to get in touch with us”. Once again, we would like to thank Stuart Edwards for contacting us and sharing this information.
We would urge anyone affected by this to get in touch with Access to Work and ask for a reconsideration or, if already reconsidered, that the claim is looked at again in light of this information.
Please get in touch with us at StopChanges (firstname.lastname@example.org) or alternatively contact DeafAtW if you need any support with this.
StopChanges will be asking how this new information received will be clarified in guidance as in the recent Equality Impact Analysis, Additionality, is stated as one of the core principles of Access to Work.