Access to Work to continue as normal
We have been contacted about a government website link being shared that states: “The Access to Work scheme will be suspended”. https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/covid-19-and-benefits
Marsha De Cordova MP has raised this with the Minister and it was confirmed that Access to Work is continuing as normal. Please note that the link being shared is the Northern Ireland (NI) government website and does not relate to the UK.
The Department for Communities in NI has now clarified that:‘Only face to face appointments that relate to Access to Work have been temporarily suspended in line with other similar Department duties. Payments to participants on the programme will continue to be processed by staff and contingencies have been put in place to ensure this continues. The programme works with a number of key stakeholders who provide support to Access to Work participants and as such, this may change the level of support available to all participants in the future due to the current COVID-19 situation. The department is working with key stakeholders and will monitor the situation and ensure communications are updated during this challenging period.’
Many thanks to John McDonnell MP, Debbie Abrahams MP and John Pring (Disability News Service) for their help in clarifying this.