Skip to content

Devon’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offer

Access to Work grant

Access to Work (A2W) is a Department for Work and Pension (DWP) grant scheme that provides money to help people with a disability or long-term health condition stay in work to do their job. Because it is a grant it does not have to be paid back.

When a disabled person is in work, their employer should make ‘reasonable adjustments‘ so that the person is not at a disadvantage when doing their job. Access to Work will look at what reasonable adjustments should be made by the employer and see if they can help.

What does it provide?

  • Advice to disabled people, Deaf people (British Sign Language users), people with long-term health conditions and employers.
  • An assessment of a person’s needs in the workplace so they know what is available.
  • A grant towards the cost of any necessary support, for example, taxi fares, specialist equipment, communication support and/or a support worker.

The grant is worth up to a maximum of £62,900 per person each year. This is the most a person is entitled to for the year 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

What can it pay for?

  • Special equipment or adaptions, for example, specialist software, furniture.
  • Taxis to work if public transport cannot be used.
  • A support worker or job coach to help in the workplace.
  • A mental health support service.
  • Disability awareness training for colleagues.
  • A communicator at a job interview or in the workplace.
  • Moving equipment following a change of location or job.

Travel can include ‘in work’ if a person has to work at different sites or have a role that means they have to work with people in different places. Travel coaching may also be considered to help a person use public transport in the future.

The mental health support service can help a person to manage what makes their mental health worse, to put together a safety plan or to provide a support worker.

Access to Work is provided where a person’s need for support or adaptations as an employee are more than what their employer should legally provide – but there are also a lot of changes that can be made in the workplace that do not cost a lot of money. For example:

  • moving someone’s desk to a quieter area if they wear a hearing aid that picks up background noise
  • allowing a member of staff to work flexible hours and/or from home
  • providing a ‘quiet room’ so a person can take ‘time out’ if they need to

Who can claim the Access to Work grant?

You are eligible to claim the grant if you:

  • are over sixteen years old
  • normally live and work in England, Scotland or Wales
  • have a disability or a health condition that means you need additional support to do your job

You must also be in, or be about to start, paid employment. This means:

  • full or part-time paid work, which is permanent, casual or temporary
  • self-employment
  • you have a job interview
  • you are about to start a job or a work trial
  • work experience
  • an apprenticeship or supported internship

Things to remember

  • The employee has to make the application for the Access to Work grant (but your family or employer can help).
  • The Access to Work grant cannot be used for unpaid work/volunteering.
  • Access to Work will provide a workplace assessment report to help the employee and their employer find the right equipment, coaching/training.
  • The sooner a claim is made, the more likely a grant will be awarded.

For more information and to apply for a grant go to the government’s website at Acess to Work: get support if you have a disability or health condition.

You can also find Access to Work guidance in easy read format.