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Access to Work – It’s no bother really!

Making an Access to Work (AtW) claim can be a confusing process – clients often ask us “why do they need to know that?!” or “What more do they want?!”

Access to Work (AtW) with Deaf Umbrella

It may seem that AtW are firing questions at you for no apparent reason but be assured, they do need the information they are asking for in order to get you the right support and to create a budget that suits you.

When you find yourself a new job (success!) or when you are already in employment, but something has changed for example new working hours, moving department or a promotion, AtW will need to know some details about you, the job and your employer.


  • We offer to organise your budget with AtW on your behalf.

  • We can phone them, email them and do all the complicated talking.

So that we can legally do this, we ask you to sign a ‘third party consent form’. This is a form you sign to agree that Deaf Umbrella can speak to AtW to arrange your support. We will also ask you to provide us with some information and sign the relevant forms to agree the budget and begin your support.

Keeping your information confidential is our priority – we only share the information you give us with AtW so that they can create a budget suited to you.


Another way to set up an AtW claim is that you take full responsibility and organise your own budget. This involves:

  • you contacting AtW to set up a new claim

  • you providing them with all the information they ask you

  • answering any questions they may have

  • booking and paying for your own support out of the agreed budget

Deaf Umbrella understand that you may be wondering what is happening and what AtW use your information for. Below is a full explanation for this, hopefully it will help ease your mind and stop any confusion.

AtW will need the following personal information:

  • Your full name

  • Date of Birth

  • National Insurance (NI) number

  • Unique AtW reference number (if you already have one) – Deaf Umbrella will usually already know this if you have worked with us before

  • Full home address

  • Email

  • Text Number

AtW want this information so they know who you are, that you are allowed to work in the UK and so they can later confirm you are working or have a job interview.

AtW also need information about your employer and your job:

  • Job start date OR interview date

  • Name and address of employer

  • Employer contact name, email and telephone number

  • Job title

  • How many hours you work

  • Brief job description

  • Details of the support you need and for how long

AtW need this information so they can confirm that you work there. They also use this information to work out what support you need, when you need support and for how long.

AtW will also need answers to the following questions:

  • Are you able to communicate vocally?

  • Have you any other disability/condition that impacts on your day to day activities?

  • How does your disability/condition impact on your daily life, outside of work? For instance, how you manage everyday tasks, shopping or communicating with banks/utilities etc.

  • Are you currently in receipt of any other type of support? For example, therapist, carer or medical specialist.

  • Are you on medication and if so, does this have any negative side effects?

  • Do you have any BSL qualifications and if so to what level?

The answers to these questions again help AtW work out:

  • What support you need - BSL interpreter, notetaker, lipspeaker, etc

  • How often you will need this support - everyday, twice a week, once a month, etc

  • For how long you will need the support - all day, 5 hours, 3 hours, etc

Access to Work (AtW) with Deaf Umbrella


AtW needs to know your needs as a person and what help you may need with your job so that they can plan a budget and support to suit you. We want to make sure you get the support you need so that you can do your job well, achieve and succeed.

Lastly, an AtW Declaration will be sent to your home address. This must be signed to show you agree with the budget set and want to receive support. Deaf Umbrella needs a photocopy of this and the original form must be sent back to AtW.

Access to Work (AtW) by Deaf Umbrella

If you decide to make an AtW claim yourself and communicate with AtW on your own, Deaf Umbrella wants to work with you so that we can still provide you with the right support. We would still like to know the above information so that we know your needs and can tailor the support we provide to suit your needs.

If you choose to use Deaf Umbrella to communicate with AtW on your behalf, we will make this process easy and simple for you and our aim is to get you the best support and budget for your needs.

Hopefully this information has clarified questions and put a stop to any confusion you may have had about AtW claims. We look forward to working with you and providing bespoke support so you can be the best you can be.

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