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 at this stage whether this also includes voluntary work.



To apply for help you must:

  • Have a disability or health condition* that is going to last for over 12 months
  • Be over 16 years old
  • Not be receiving Incapacity Benefit (unless permitted work)
  • Live and work in Great Britain

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.

Check your eligibility by using the on-line questionnaire. If you are eligible you will be able to print a letter that you can show to an employer when applying for a job.

To apply: Contact either your regional Access to Work Centre or your local Job Centre Plus who will ask you to complete an application form. Once they have your details an adviser will discuss your application to assess your needs and the level of support required.

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

  • Have been in the job less than 6 weeks
  • Are self employed
  • Are about to start work
  • Are working for an employer with less than 49 employees

For those employed for longer than 6 weeks a proportion of the costs will be paid depending on the size of the company with employer contributions for larger companies.

Funding is for three years after which a new application will need to be required.

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




















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