What is Access to Work & how can it help?
If you have a disability or health condition that makes it hard for you to do some of the tasks in your job (or a job you will be starting) and need help that is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from an Access to Work grant. This applies to any paid job, including part-time work, internships and temporary work, but not for voluntary work.
This grant can pay for:
- special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you in your job
- help getting to and from work
Examples of what may be funded included specialist software, a support worker, adapted equipment, support via Access to Work’s dedicated Mental Health Support Service, taxi journeys if you cannot use public transport.
If you are still studying and need communication help for a job interview before graduation, you should be able to access this service.
There is no set amount for an Access to Work grant – how much you may get depends on your specific circumstances.
Access to Work will pay 100 per cent of approved costs subject to a cap, ( £59,200 until 31st March 2020) if you have been in the job for less than 6 weeks. If you have been in your job for six weeks or more when you first apply for help, Access to Work will pay up to 80% of the approved costs between a threshold (see below) and £10,000:
- 0 – 49 employees – No threshold i.e. Access to Work will pay it all
- 50 – 249 employees – employer will have to pay first £500
- Over 250 employees – employer will have to pay first £1,000
Access to Work would typically still cover any costs over £10,000.
How to apply
You can apply for Access to Work by going to https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply or contacting Job Centre Plus on 0800 121 7479. You will need:
- workplace address and postcode
- name and contact details of a workplace contact to authorise payments (if you are unsure who this is, speak to the company)
- to explain how your condition affects you at work or getting to work
- what help you’re already getting
- what else could help you.
Once you have applied, an Access to Work adviser will contact you to discuss what help you can get. They may also need to contact or visit your employer. Please note it may take a few weeks for the whole process to be completed. If your application is delayed for any reason consider speaking to your Access to Work adviser to arrange a temporary alternative.
Talking to employers
If you are applying for jobs and feel that Access to Work is something that will help, consider mentioning this grant to potential employers if and when you discuss your disability with them.
Once you have received funding
Access to Work funding is ongoing and is reviewed every 3 years or if your condition changes.