Disability Adviser

Question:  I was recently referred to my local Disability Advisor at the Job Centre who talked me through what the Access to Work scheme offers (formerly called the PACT scheme). And was told that I should have got in touch  with her before I was made redundant (due to my RSI)  as she would have worked with my employer to ensure  that everything that could be done was being done to  help me do my work (it wasn’t).

This could include contributing towards equipment or getting occupational health people in to do workstation assessments.   Have any of you used this scheme and has it been as helpful as it sounds?\

Answer 1: I work (or did) as a Personnel Officer. Our organization have got them in (not for me – but that’s another story) but for a couple of staff with bad backs.  They organized chairs and assessed the workstations. Had good feedback from those staff. Apparently the organization has to pay about the first A3300 of any equipment needed but then the DA organizes the remainder – so not to costly on the firm.

I am about to be medically retired (will find out for definite on Thursday next week) but it’s my choice; but I will get a pension from them immediately (after 3 months paid notice). But then it is a large organization I work for.

Answer 2: I’ve used PACT, yes. And they certainly can play that role. They didn’t in my case but that was because they tried to help me too much, got my University to pay the whole cost of hardware + software (at that time, PACT normally paid it all), and then the University reneged.

(This was York University.)PACT didn’t seem to be able to do anything about that; the University didn’t actually say it was reneging  until too late… but I now know I should have called them in again far earlier to tell them the **** University was messing around. So, yes, my advice would be to call in PACT.Bear in mind that the help you get will vary with the Adviser and the region, but, yes.

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