What is the Access to Work grant?

The Access to Work grant is money to help you do your job if you have a disability or a health condition.

It can pay for practical support to help you start work, stay in work, or to move into self-employment if you are starting a business.

There is no set amount for an Access to Work grant. The amount of money you get depends on your situation.

The money can pay for things like:

  • special equipment
  • taxi journeys to work if you can’t use public transport
  • a support worker or job coach to help you at work
  • disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • a communicator at job interviews.

The money you get from Access to Work doesn’t have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

Who can get the Access to Work grant

Access to Work grants are given to people who have one of the following:

  • a disability
  • a physical health condition
  • a mental health condition.

To be considered for the grant:

  • your disability or health condition must affect your ability to work
  • you must be aged 16 or over
  • you must live in England, Scotland or Wales (Great Britain).

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 1 hour a week.

If you get Employment and Support Allowance you can get help from Access to Work if:

  • you earn up to £140 a week
  • you work less than 16 hours a week
  • it has been agreed with your work coach.

This is called doing 'permitted work'.

You can apply for an Access to Work grant online at the GOV.uk website.

How to apply for the Access to Work grant

For your application you will need:

  • your workplace address and postcode
  • the name of person from your workplace who can authorise your Access to Work payments
  • your workplace contact’s email address or phone number
  • your unique tax reference number (if you’re self-employed)

For the application you will need to explain how your condition affects you at work or getting to work, what help you’re already getting and what else could help you.

You can also apply by phoning the Access to Work helpline on 0800 121 7479.

Once you’ve applied an Access to Work adviser will contact you to discuss what help you could get.

Someone may also contact your employer to discuss how Access to Work can support you. 

An assessor may visit your workplace to meet you and see what your needs are at work.

How long Access to Work support lasts

Access to Work support can last for up to 3 years.

Access to Work will normally do a review every year to see if you need more support. As long as you need the support, you should continue to get it.

Useful resources

You can find more information on the Access to Work website.

We've created some useful factsheets and precedent letters (which are designed to address complex legal situations) to help you know your rights and when to get advice about a problem.

You can access these on our Information and advice resources page.

If you need advice on completing a letter, please contact the Learning Disability Helpline.

How to get the support you need

Contact the Learning Disability Helpline, our advice and support line, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.

Or why not take a look at our online community? This is a place for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability to share experiences, advice and support.

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