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From January 2021 to January 2022 annual CPIH* is 4.9%. This means many support workers (interpreters, speech to text, lipspeakers), etc. are having to put up their fees.
(1) This may mean that you need to increase your ATW award. (If you have a capped award you can't increase it).
(2) If you have enough budget, you may just need to increase the amount you can pay support workers each hour.
(3) Or you may need to ask to increase your award and hourly rate.
If you have this problem then you need to get three new quotes, showing the new rates, and make a 'change of circumstances' request, sending the three quotes as evidence of the increase in fees.
Let DeafATW know if this works for you, or you have problem with this.
*CPIH = Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ Housing costs
DeafATW, NUBSLI and RNID (and maybe other organisations) have all written to the DWP about the delay to renewals (see original post below).
ATW has said that to solve this problem and deal with renewals more quickly they have introduced a new ‘light touch’ renewal process.
DeafATW has now had feedback from some deaf people that, although they were told they would have to wait 12 to 16 weeks for their renewal, their award has in fact been agreed very quickly.
From feedback it looks like this new ‘light touch’ process means people’s awards are being approved as they are now. This is really good if it helps ATW approve renewals faster, but there may be some problems.
(1) If your award is capped, make sure that you check your award is renewed at the maximum for this year (£62,900 before 31/3/22, or the new maximum if your award is renewed from 1/4/22).
(2) If you need to increase your budget or hourly rate, e.g., because interpreter fees are going up in line with inflation, you may need to make a change of circumstances request. (More information in this update).
Please let DeafATW know what happens with your renewal application, and if you have any problems.
If you want to be kept up to date with information about this issue, please sign up for updates from DeafATW.
Original post 3/9/22:
DeafATW is being contacted by people who are having problems with renewing their ATW award. This problem seemed to start about November 2021.
People have been told different things, but the email DeafATW saw says that “current wait times to be allocated to an adviser is around 16 weeks from date of application but any award will be back-dated so there will be no gap in support.”
There are two problems with this:
1) Most interpreters (and other support workers) can’t afford to work without being paid for many weeks or months. Interpreters may also be unwilling to take the risk of doing this work and not being paid in the end if something goes wrong.
2) When you ask interpreters (etc.) to work, the contract is between you and the interpreters, not ATW and the interpreters.
This means that if you ask interpreters to carry on working after your award, and ATW does not renew your award, or reduces it, you will be personally responsible for paying the interpreters for their work with you. (If your award is agreed, then you won’t have to pay anything, but you can’t know for sure that it will be agreed, even if it is likely to be.).
Updates have been moved to this Blog, so that you can search by categories.