New Access to Work rules force PAs to seek minicab licences

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New Access to Work rules force PAs to seek minicab licences

New government guidance will make it even harder for disabled people to use the Access to Work scheme to find and keep work, according to a new report compiled by ECDP.

23/08/2011

ECDP composed their report after being contacted by disabled people concerned by the new restrictions on Access to Work (AtW) funding. You can download the report from the following link: www.ecdp.org.uk

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has restricted access to ATW, despite coalition claims that its controversial welfare reforms are aimed at supporting disabled people off benefits and into work.

New DWP guidance, introduced on 1 August, will mean that disabled people who are driven to and from work by their personal assistant (PA) will no longer be able to claim AtW funding for that travel, if they are being driven in their PA’s car. Disabled people will have to insure the PA to drive their own car, if they have one, or a company car. Taxis could be used, as alternative, but will reduce the level of choice and control. Some AtW advisers are suggesting that disabled people’s PA’s apply for a minicab licence from their local authority. This advice appears to clash with new Department for Transport (DfT) guidance on private hire vehicle licensing, which strongly suggests that PAs do not need to obtain a licence. The DfT guidance is available at: http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications

According to one contributor to ECDP’s report the estimated extra cost in AtW payments could be at least £300 a week, for taxis, or thousands of pounds a year if a PA tries to register as a minicab driver.

Sources include: Disability News Week www.disabilitynewsservice.com