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Access to Work

Access to Work is a Government initiative that provides advice and practical support to the disabled who are employed, self employed or unemployed and about to start a job or work scheme.

Jobs can be part-time or full-time or temporary or permanent.

The scheme has recently been extended to include disabled people on traineeships, supported internships, work trials and work academies.

It is unclear whether this includes voluntary work.

To apply for help you must:

  • Have a disability or health condition* that will affect your ability to do the job.
  • Be over 16 years old
  • Not be receiving Incapacity Benefit (unless permitted work)
  • Live and work in England, Wales and Scotland.

The scheme provides grants to help pay for the extra employment cost of working with a disability. This can include funding for:

  • Special aids or equipment to use in the workplace such as specialist software or computer access equipment including speech recognition software
  • Support worker to provide one to one support in the workplace such as a British Sign Language Interpreter or personal reader for dyslexics, blind or visually impaired
  • Travel to work if public transport cannot be used due to health or disability and help with adaptations to vehicles
  • Travel in work to pay for the extra cost of travel while at work
  • Communication support at job interviews for an interpreter or other one to one support for someone who has difficulties in communicating with others
  • Adaptations to existing (but not new) buildings

The grant will not cover any items considered as standard equipment in the workplace.

To apply: Contact Access to Work. Print the Access to Work eligibility letter and take it to your employer or job interview.  

You will then need to get in touch with your nearest contact centre.

An adviser will assess your needs and the level of support required.

The Access to Work grant will pay for 100% of the approved costs if you:

  • Are about to start paid employment
  • Have been in the job less than 6 weeks

For those employed for longer than 6 weeks the employer may have to pay a proportion of the costs. How much depends on the size of the company.

The Access to Work grant is capped at £40,800 a year for all new applications from 1st October 2015.

Existing claimants will be capped from 1st April 2018.

Funding can be transferred to a new employer if you change your job.

Disabled job seekers who want to set up their own business through the New Enterprise Allowance are also able to apply for Access to Work funding.

Access to Work Guide - Easy Read from the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE).

Employers' Guide to Access to Work - from the Department of Work and Pensions - free download

*Disability or health condition - as defined by the Equality Act (2010)

Now check out the other pages......

Disability and Employment - Information and Advice

Business Grants for the Disabled

Disabled Employment Programmes

Additional Help


Additional Needs

Grants for Disabled Children

Additional Help for Additional Needs

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