ATW have started to email some people new ATW claim forms (DP222JP). They are starting by sending them to people who are renewing their ATW, making a new application, or who ask to use it for accessibility requirements.
These forms are better in some ways, but there may be a problem if you are self-employed.
You can see images of the new claim form at the end of this post.
What is better?
The form is a PDF. You can type your information into the boxes and then save it, so that you don’t have to write the same information over and over again.
You could save one copy with just your personal and work details, and if you have regular interpreters, save another copy for each of your regular interpreters with that interpreter’s details.
This means that at the end of each month filling in the claim form should be quicker, because you only have to type in the information that changes every month, e.g. the “Claim details”.
What is the problem if you are self-employed?
On page 3 there is a section called “Confirmation of support received”.
If you are self-employed you must ask your support worker (interpreter) or the interpreting agency to sign this. It says “I certify that the person named in the Customer details section of this form has received the number of hours support shown in the Claim details section, and that this support is as agreed with Access to Work.”
The problem is that this is asking the support worker or agency to agree to different two things.
1) That they have provided you with the support you are claiming for. They can agree this.
2) That “this support is as agreed with Access to Work”. If interpreters and agencies have not seen your ATW Award letter then they do not know if this is true, and so they cannot sign this. But if they do not sign this then your claim will not be accepted by ATW.
What can you do for now?
Carry on using the old ATW claim form. But check with the ATW Adviser first, because the new claim forms are written to work with new award letters.
Show interpreters or agencies your ATW Award letter (f you want to), so that they can sign this.
The interpreter / agency could cross out the second part of the sentence, and write an explanation of why they have crossed it out, before signing. There is still a risk that if they do this ATW will not pay the claim.
DeafATW and NUBSLI have contacted ATW to explain why this is a problem, and ask them to change the form.
What is new?
On page 5 where you sign the form there is now the “Customer Declaration”. This used to be signed and returned once, when you got a new award, but now it is part of every claim form.
Why is the form longer?
It is longer to make it easier to read, especially for people with visual impairments and who are using screen readers. This is an improvement, but it is a shame that you now have to print five pages for every claim.
Please let DeafATW know what works well with the new claim form, what does not work, and if there are things that are not clear. You can also tell DeafATW by commenting on this blog. DeafATW will feed this back to ATW.