Access to Work Guide
Access to Work is a government-funded grant scheme to help people with disabilities - and those with a physical or mental health condition - to start or stay in work. Scroll the page to find out if you eligible to apply, how to claim, and FAQs.
What is the Access to Work Grant Scheme?
Access to Work is a government-funded grant scheme to help people with disabilities - and those with a physical or mental health condition - to start or stay in work. The grant can help pay for specialist software - such as our very own Read&Write for Work or ClaroRead, adapted equipment, a support worker or travel expenses to and from work depending on the needs of the employee.
The level of funding depends on how long the employee has been in their job and the type of support required. Access to Work will normally pay 100% of the cost if the employee has been in the role for 6 weeks or less.
How can the Access to Work Grant Scheme help me?
Access to Work can help pay for support you may need because of a disability or long term health condition, for example:
- aid, software and equipment in your workplace
- adapting equipment to make it easier for you to use
- money towards any extra travel costs to and from work if you can’t use available public transport, or if you need help to adapt your vehicle
- an interpreter or other support at a job interview if you have difficulty communicating
- other practical help at work, such as a job coach or a note taker or lip speaker
If you have dyslexia, examples of the support offered may include:
- assistive technology software, such as Read&Write for Work or ClaroRead
- accredited training on the assistive technology
- specialist equipment, such as coloured overlays
- dyslexia coping strategies training
Is everyone eligible?
You can apply for Access to Work if you:
- are normally resident in, and working in, Great Britain
- have a disability or long term health condition that means you need an aid, adaptation or financial or human support to do your job (long term means lasting or likely to last for at least 12 months)
- have a mental health condition and need support in work
- are aged 16 or over
You must also:
- already be doing paid work
- be about to start work or become self-employed
- have an interview for a job
- be about to begin a work trial or start work experience under the Youth Contract arranged through Jobcentre Plus
About your condition
To receive support from Access to Work, your disability or health condition must affect your ability to do a job. The grant can help pay for specialist software - such as Read&Write for Work or ClaroRead, adapted equipment, a support worker or travel expenses to and from work depending on your individual needs.
Are there exceptions?
You might not get Access to Work if you get any of these benefits:
- Incapacity Benefit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Income Support
- National Insurance credits
However, you may get it for a limited time if you are doing certain types of ‘permitted work’ to help you move off benefits completely.
What support can Access to Work provide?
The grant will only cover the support needed to let you stay in work. It can pay for things like:
- changes to the equipment you use
- special equipment
- fares to work if you can’t use public transport
- a support worker or job coach to help you in your workplace
- a support service if you have a mental health condition and you’re absent from work or finding it difficult to work
- disability awareness training for your colleagues
- someone to help you at a job interview
- the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job
Can I bring my Access to Work provision from my old job to my new job?
If you change employers, you may be able to transfer equipment to your new employer. You cannot automatically transfer awards for support workers or travel. You would need to contact the Access to Work team to discuss your new arrangements.
How can I claim an Access to Work grant?
The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at www.gov.uk/access-to-work
You can also apply by calling Jobcentre Plus on:
- Telephone: 0800 121 7479
- Textphone: 0800 121 7579
If you need an alternative way of contacting Access to Work to discuss your needs, you can write to:
Access to Work
Operational Support Unit
Harrow Jobcentre Plus
Mail Handling Site A
What will I need to make a claim?
When you contact the Access to Work team, you may need:
- your National Insurance number
- your workplace address, including the postcode
- the name, email address and work phone number of a workplace contact, for example your manager
- the name of your New Enterprise Allowance mentor (if you have one)