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Access to Work

If you’re disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, you can talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace or apply for Access to Work if you need extra help.

What should happen before you apply?

Your employer must make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job. You should talk to your employer about reasonable adjustments before you apply for Access to Work.

If the help you need at work is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.

How does it work?

An Access to Work adviser will contact you to discuss what help you could get. An adviser may also contact your employer to discuss how Access to Work can support you - they will not contact your employer until they’ve spoken to you.

Depending on your condition, an assessor may visit your workplace to assess your needs. You may get an offer of support, which could include a grant. If it does, you’ll be told how much you’ll get and for how long. You or your employer will buy the items or services you need, Access to Work will pay the money back, up to the amount of the grant you’ve been offered and with any contributions deducted, such as employer or NHS contributions.

What is the eligibility criteria?

To get help from Access to Work you must:

  • Have a disability or health condition (physical or mental) that makes it hard for you to do parts of your job or get to and from work.
  • Be 16 or over 
  • Live in England, Scotland or Wales

You also need to have a paid job, or be about to start or return to one. A paid job could include:

  • Self-employment
  • An apprenticeship
  • A work trial or work experience
  • An internship

You cannot get a grant for voluntary work. Your job must be based in England, Scotland or Wales.

What if I get other benefits?

Certain benefits may affect whether you can get an Access to Work grant. If you get universal credit, Jobseeker's allowance or income support you can still get help from Access to Work if you work more than one hour a week.

If you get employment and support allowance you can only get help from Access to Work if you’re doing ‘permitted work’. It’s permitted work if all of the following apply:

  • You earn up to £125.50 a week 
  • You work less than 16 hours a week
  • It’s been agreed with your work coach

What will I get?

You’ll be offered support based on your needs. This may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace, or getting to and from work. The grant can help pay for items or services you need, including:

  • Adaptations to the equipment you use.
  • Special equipment or software.
  • British Sign Language interpreters and video relay service support, lip speakers or note takers.
  • Adaptations to your vehicle so you can get to work.
  • Taxi fares to work or a support worker if you cannot 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.
  • Disability awareness training for your colleagues.
  • The cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job.

Access to Work can also help assess whether your needs can be met through reasonable adjustments by your employer.

You will not get an Access to Work grant to pay for:

  • Changes your employer has to make (reasonable adjustments).
  • Items that would normally be needed to do the job whether a person is disabled or not.
  • Support that your employer used to provide but has stopped.

How do I apply?

You can apply for Access to Work online. You’ll need to provide:

  • Your workplace address.
  • The name, email address and work phone number of a workplace contact - this should be someone who can authorise payment for the items and services in your support offer.

You’ll also need to explain:

  • How your condition affects you at work.
  • What help you’re already getting.
  • What else could help you.

Who to contact

0800 121 7479
0800 121 7579 Textphone

Local Offer

Local Offer Ages
16-18 (Transitions into Adulthood)
18-25 (Young Adults)
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