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The Benefits of Using an Agency to Claim Access to Work.

For those with debilitating physical or mental health conditions, the neurodiverse and chronic illness, Access to Work can be a complete game-changer...

This is Me Supported Employment Agency is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to work, no matter their situation. For those with debilitating physical or mental health conditions, the neurodiverse and chronic illness, Access to Work can be a complete game-changer, but as with all government benefits, it’s full of bureaucracy, lengthy processes, and lots and lots of paperwork, which can be off-putting from the very start.


Applying for any kind of benefit is time-consuming, but when you have a health condition it can take so much time and energy that it almost becomes not worth the effort, especially if the decision doesn’t go your way. Filling out the forms correctly and knowing which documents are needed can be extremely stressful and the thought of it can make many give up.


Fortunately, that’s where we come in. We know how difficult it can be, so we aim to take all of the stress and worries away from you and leave you with very little to do. We facilitate the whole process, take care of all the documents, talk with the advisors, match you with a suitable support worker and check-in with you throughout, ensuring you’re kept up to date at every stage. We do the work, so you don’t have to.


Why do we do it?

The agency has currently been in business for 3 years and Director Michelle had been working as a support worker for a couple of years before that. She saw the benefits of Access to Work and wanted to find a way to help as many people as possible and This is Me was born. The whole team understand the barriers people with health conditions face and go above and beyond to help break them down.


What are the benefits of using an agency?

The Initial Application: The very first thing we do is sit down and have a conversation with a new client and find out what health condition they have and how it affects them. We have extensive knowledge and experience of many different conditions which puts us in the perfect place to help the client achieve the best possible outcome. From there we then:

  • Send in the initial application.

  • Attend the Workplace Assessment with the client and if needed, make relevant suggestions, along with recording the details.

  • Liaise with the Access to Work advisor and prepare and send all relevant documents.

  • Negotiate with the advisor if the received award falls short of expectations.


During the award: Most clients find that they get awarded Access to Work for between one and three years and the team is there every step of the way. During that time we:

  • Match the client with a suitable support worker and make sure the relationship between the two is compatible. If not, we help resolve any issues or find a new support worker.

  • Facilitate the payments for the support workers.

  • Help the client purchase any equipment awarded from Access to Work and complete the relevant documentation.

  • If the client’s circumstances change, make the application to Access to Work.

  • Facilitate the renewal process when the award is coming to an end.


What are the benefits that This is Me offer?

This is Me does all of the above and more! We regularly stay in touch with both clients and support workers to make sure they have everything they need. We signpost clients to relevant services we think may be of benefit and offer access to a mental health and wellbeing app that gives the advice to support your health and wellbeing, access to a confidential helpline and the option of formal counselling sessions if needed.


We also have regular training sessions on topics like accessibility, neurodiversity and the best way to use your social media. These are available to all staff, clients and support workers along with the private Facebook group, where we’re working hard to build a supportive, inclusive and safe space for everyone.


Michelle and the team understand that, just as individual health conditions can differ for each person, so can the support required. We personalise the support to each client dependent on their needs; there is no one size fits all approach at This is Me. We want each client to fulfil their potential and reach goals that they may have previously thought impossible, and we do everything we can to make it happen.


How do I get in touch?

You can give us a call or send us an e-mail using the contact information below – or connect with us on any of our social media pages, we’d love to hear from you!

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone:  01207 423296

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