What happens when your support period ends.

A This Is Me logo clock on the wall of the office with a lamp sitting underneath it. The time shows 10:35.

Access to Work is a fantastic benefit which has made a difference to the lives of many of our clients, but unfortunately, it does not last forever. Most get awarded the support for a set period, usually between one to three years, and it can be reviewed during this time. However, just because the initial support period is coming to an end, it does not mean you are going to be left without any help.

As we are the point of contact for our clients, Access to Work will always get in touch with us 12 weeks before the support ceases. This is to ensure that we have time to get in touch with the client initially and ascertain if they require the support to continue. If they do, then the renewal application is processed.

It is important for us to communicate with the client to establish if the support received has been beneficial. If it has and they want to renew then great! However, some clients do feel that they do not need the support any longer (either from Access to Work or from us) and are ready to take the next step on their own.

If the client does want to proceed with us, we can then process the renewal. If they choose to do it themselves, we can advise them on the best way forward and assure them that we are always available to help where we can.

To process a renewal, we make an application through the government website, who then confirm that they have received it. From there the process can go two ways.

1. Automatic Renewal – Some applications are renewed automatically, with the client informed via email and then through the post. The new support dates usually follow on from the end of the previous dates.

2. Advisor Allocation – Some applications are allocated to an advisor, and in this instance, the process becomes the same as the initial application. We need to go through the same process as previously and complete the ‘Support Worker Record of Tasks’. This is where we discuss barriers the client faces and where they need support due to their health condition. It can be more time consuming but often results in the client being awarded the support for a longer period of time than previously.

Whatever the outcome, we always keep the client updated with the process and keep them informed. Communication is key and can make a huge difference to the client when they know we have it all in hand. Whatever the client decides, we make sure that we are there to support every step of the way.

If you ever have any questions about support or its ending, please don't hesitate to get in touch - we would love to help!