Things have been changing quite a bit since the start of the autism framework project in December 2021. The neurodiversity project has its own DWP department, independent of the jobcentre. In Lincolnshire it is being developed from lived experience.
- The project is open to those on Universal credit, Employment & support allowance, Job seekers allowance and people not on the system.
- They aim to avoid pressure and can decide what adjustments should be made for an individual at the jobcentre.
- They can help with the pathway to recognition/diagnosis. There seem to be quite a few options and a neurodiversity advisor can help to start the referral process for diagnosis. They can then help in understanding the process and filling in the forms.
- Capability assessment is carried out by a DWP partner.
- Accommodations should be made to the contract with the jobcentre on the say-so of the neurodiversity advisor. The contract may be different for someone recognised as neurodiverse. The number of job applications required could be as low as 2 per week or even none if on an education course.
What does it mean?
So there is now more support for getting recognition. Pursuing it would take time and effort and you will not know how much recognition you are going to get until you have a formal diagnosis. Then you will want to see how much the diagnosis helps at the jobcentre. It seems that they could still demand more of you than you can handle.
Here is a discussion about Jobcentre plus disability employment advisors from the National autistic society online community. It gives you some idea how things are working out in practice in a few cases around the UK. Click icon to browse.
If you are wondering why life with autism is so difficult this scientific study says that autistic brains have more dense local synaptic connections and fewer long range connections than the typical brain. This results in overstimulation in local areas of the brain, so autistic brains have more ineffective activity and excessive sensory sensitivity.
Also, if dealing with the jobcentre seems difficult or daunting, this introduction to assertiveness skills for people on the autistic spectrum may be helpful.
The DWP is the government Department for work & pensions.