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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.

You can't get a grant for 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
  • Live and work in England, Wales and Scotland.

If you are in receipt of certain benefits such as Incapacity Benefit and Employment Support Allowance you may not qualify for the Award.

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: Applications may be made online. Alternatively, you can contact Access to Work Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Telephone: 0800 121 7479 

Textphone:  0800 121 7579 

When you phone remember to have the following details:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your workplace address, including postcode
  • Details of your workplace contact (name, email address and work number)
  • Your unique tax reference number - if you are self employed

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 currently capped at £41,400 a year.

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

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