Access to Work – An Introduction

Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more
disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support if you have a
disability or long term physical or mental health condition.
An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support to help you:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business

The grant is not for business start-up costs.

How much you get depends on your circumstances. The money doesn’t have to be paid back and
will not affect your other benefits.  Find more information at

Your employer may also be responsible for some of the costs of your claim. Access to Work can also
give practical advice and guidance to employers, to help them understand physical and mental ill
health and how they can support employees.

How can it help me?
Access to Work can help pay for support you may need because of your disability or long term
health condition, for example:

  • aid and equipment in your workplace
  • adapting equipment to make it easier for you to use
  • money towards any extra travel costs to and from work if you can’t use available public
    transport, or if you need help to adapt your vehicle

You may need to give us some proof of costs, eg for taxi fares.

If you have a mental health condition, you will be offered assistance to develop a support plan. This
may include steps to support you going in to, remaining in or returning to work and suggestions
for reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

You can apply for Access to Work if you:

  • are normally resident in, and working in Great Britain
  • have a disability or long term health condition that means you need an aid, adaptation or financial
    or human support to do your job (long term means lasting or likely to last for at least 12 months)
  • have a mental health condition and need support in work
  • are aged 16 or over

You must also:

  • already be doing paid work
  • be about to start work or become self-employed
  • have an interview for a job
  • be about to begin a work trial or start work experience under the Youth Contract arranged through
    Jobcentre Plus

You may also get it if you’re getting New Enterprise Allowance.

Your condition
To receive support from Access to Work you must have a disability or health condition that means you
need an aid, adaptation or financial or human support to do a job. For example, special computer
equipment or travel costs because you can’t use public transport.
Your mental health condition must affect your ability to do a job. It must also mean you need support to:

  • start a new job
  • reduce absence from work
  • stay in work

What you will receive
There is no set amount for an Access to Work grant. How much you get depends on
your specific case. The grant will only cover the support needed to let you stay in work
or self-employed.  The money can pay for things like:

  • changes to the equipment you use
  • special equipment
  • fares to work if you can’t 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 and you’re absent
    from work or finding it difficult to work
  • disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • someone to help you at a job interview
  • the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job

Maximum amount of grants:
The amount of the cap depends on when your grant was awarded or last reviewed:
Grant awarded or reviewed Amount of cap per year
1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 £42,100

How to claim
The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at
You can also apply by calling Jobcentre Plus on:

Telephone: 0345 268 8489
Textphone: 0345 608 8753

You will be asked what help and support you need when you apply. Access to Work will
also contact your employer for more information.

When you contact the Access to Work team, you may need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your workplace address, including your postcode
  • the name, email address and work phone number of a workplace contact,
    for example, your manager
  • your unique tax reference number (if you are self-employed)
  • the name of your New Enterprise Allowance mentor (if you have one)

If you need an alternative way of contacting Access to Work to discuss your needs, you
can use the contact details below to write to us:

Access to Work
Operational Support Unit
Harrow Jobcentre Plus
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 1JE


This data sheet gives general information only and is not a complete
and authoritative statement of the law.
For more information please visit –