What is Access to Work?
If you have a disability or a physical or mental health condition, then you may need extra help to start a new job, or to stay in work.
Employers have a legal responsibility to support you in work, by considering reasonable adjustments to the job, the recruitment process or by providing extra equipment. If you need extra support, you should always start by talking to your employer to see how they can help you. In addition to support from your employer, you may also be able to get help from Access to Work.
Access to Work is a government scheme that can pay for extra support to help you start or stay in work. The support that you are offered will be based on your needs, and could include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace. It may be able to pay for additional support on top of any reasonable adjustments you’ve agreed with your employer.
It is available if you have a health condition (either mental or physical), or a disability that affects you at work. An Access to Work grant does not need to be paid back and could pay for a range of different support that you may need, including:
- support workers to help you
- specialist equipment to make working easier
- help with the cost of travel to work and back
- mental health support
If your health condition requires you to work from home sometimes, Access to Work could also help with adjustments needed at home to help you stay in work.
To be eligible for Access to Work you must:
- have a disability or health condition (physical or mental) that makes it difficult 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 can check your eligibility for Access to Work on the gov.uk website.
You also need to have a paid job, or be about to start or return to one. A paid job could include:
- an apprenticeship
- an internship
Access to Work could also pay for you to take part in work experience or a work trial.
You should talk to your employer about how Access to Work could help you. But if you prefer, an Access to Work adviser can work directly with your employer to suggest practical changes that could support you in the workplace.