Sometimes it can feel really hard to sort things out with AtW. Especially if it feels like AtW won't listen to you.
This is a true story (I have changed some of the details to keep it anonymous) of someone who didn't give up, and got what they need in the end.
Hannah is a BSL user who works with hearing children. She applied to AtW and said she needed 22 hours CSW support.
At first, AtW said that the CSW would be doing Hannah’s job for her, so AtW would not support her. Hannah asked the AtW adviser how the CSW would be doing her job instead of her, but the adviser never answered that question.
The adviser wouldn't change the decision, so Hannah asked AtW to reconsider the decision. The reconsideration decision said that they agreed with the adviser's decision, and would not change it.
So Hannah made a complaint to AtW, because they had not explained how the CSW would be doing her job, but they did not reply for 4 months. She chased them 5 times, but they still didn't investigate her complaint. So she wrote to her MP. Her MP chased AtW, and they said they would investigate her complaint that week. They still didn't. So Hannah complained to the PHSO.
The PHSO agreed with Hannah that AtW had got it wrong. They asked AtW to go back and make the decision again.
This time, the AtW adviser decided that Hannah only needed 10 hours’ support a week, even though she had said 22 hours was what she needed to be able to do her job.
Hannah asked the AtW adviser to explain how they decided 10 hours would be enough. The adviser did not not explain this, but asked Hannah for more information.
Hannah gave the adviser the information they asked for, and also asked the adviser to explained how they had reached the view that this support would meet her minimum needs. The adviser didn't answer the question, and said that Hannah needed to explain why she needed 22 hours.
Hannah wrote back and asked the adviser again to explained how they had reached the view that this support would meet her minimum needs. The adviser again replied, and didn't answer the question. This carried on for two months, Hannah just writing back and asking them the same question, and explaining that the adviser did need to answer the question about how they had made their decision.
Hannah really felt like giving up, but she didn't.
Then after 2 months, the AtW adviser wrote to Hannah and said they agreed to give her the 22 hours she had asked for. Success at last.
The important thing Hannah did was not to give up, or get cross, even when she was very frustrated and fed up. AtW had not explained why they thought 10 hours was enough, so Hannah made sure she kept repeating that question. Because AtW could not explain their decision, they agreed to her request.
So if you feel like giving up, remember this story. It may take time, and patience, but you can get there in the end.