This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'eligibility requirements for AtW customers who are self-employed or employed by their own limited company'.

 
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
e-mail: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.  
gov.uk
Annex A 
Our Ref:   4495
 
DATE: 30 Octo
 
ber 2014
 
 

 
 
 
Dear Mr Townsend-Handscombe, 
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 08 October 2014. Please 
accept my apologies for the delay in responding. You asked:  
 
Currently a number of AtW customers who are self-employed or work for their own limited 
companies have had their AtW support stopped.  Reasons stated include not earning the 
national minimum wage, or not paying Class 2 or 4 NI contributions. 
 
Having looked at AtW Guidance v 24 (20-25, 34-42, 570, 577, and 614) it is not clear on what 
basis these decisions are being made. 
 
I’ve summarised a previous related FoI request re this matter below: 
 
FoI question:  Please provide copies of all policies and other relevant documentation that are 
used by Access to Work (ATW) staff in relation to eligibility rules in relation to Deaf customers 
who are self-employed or directors in a limited company.  (Made 27/5/14 through 
whatdotheyknow.com) 
 
AtW answer: There are no specific eligibility rules for deaf people. Access to Work Advisers 
use the following guidance.  (The reply gives the full text from Guidance under the following 
headings - Eligibility conditions for Access to Work?  What is employment?  What is self–
employment?) 
 
This FoI request asks related but different questions.  Can I ask for all written information at 
AtW / DWP re the following questions.  If there is no written information, please confirm that, 
and in your reply address the questions raised. 
 
1) 

Other than ‘The Guidance’ what policy and/or guidance documents set out the eligibility 
criteria or gateway criteria for ATW support for people who are self employed, or employed by 
their own limited company, and specifically that deals with minimum income requirements and 
NI contributions where income is below the threshold for NI contributions?  
 
2) 

What information leaflets/guidance notes/standard information (published or sent to 
customers) exist that explain eligibility rules to customers and are, in particular those who are 

employed by their own limited company or self employed, to assist customers in understanding 
how to become and remain eligible for ATW support? 
 
3) 

If AtW customers are found not to meet eligibility requirements, but were not informed of 
the eligibility requirements when being assessed and/or reviewed and/or when their AtW 
support was awarded, what procedures or guidance exist to enable customers to be able to 
make changes to become eligible (including retrospectively) so as not to lose or have a break 
in their support? 
 

1.  There is no additional written guidance/policy specifically dealing with minimum income 
requirements and NI contributions where income is below the threshold for NI 
contributions. 
2.  The AtW eligibility criteria are published on gov.uk and are communicated to customers 
during their application process with their AtW Adviser.  The eligibility criteria are also 
published on many leaflets in the public domain including some produced by customer 
representative groups.  However, none of these are aimed specifically at customers 
employed by their own limited company or self employed. 
3.  Eligibility questions are asked at the outset of every application and printed questions 
are used where customers are unable to use the telephone. All AtW applications are 
looked at on an individual basis.  Decisions on whether support can be awarded or 
whether it can be backdated are dependent on a case by case basis.  There is no 
specific guidance on this area of decision making.   
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number 
above.   
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team 
 
 
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of this letter.  
 
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