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.
Since 1 of October 2015, Access to Work will give a maximum of £41,400 support a year. This maximum amount is changed every April.
If you already had Access to Work support before 1st of October 2015, your support will not have a limit until 1st of April 2018 (as long as your needs stay the same).
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
We've compiled some useful answers to come of your frequently asked questions around the Access to Work grant.
Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.
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 Great Britain.
You might not be able to apply for Access to Work support if you get any of these benefits:
- Incapacity Benefit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Income Support
- National Insurance Credits.
If you do get these benefits, you might still be able to get Access to Work support if you earn less than £105 a week and you work for:
- a programme to get you off benefits, OR
- a local council or voluntary organisation who arranges work for disabled people.
This is called ‘supported permitted work’.
How can I apply for the Access to Work grant?
You can apply by contacting Access to Work. You can contact them Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm:
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 0345 268 8489 (Calls will be charged)
- Textphone: 0345 608 8753
You can also apply online via the website.
When you contact Access to Work you may need:
- your National Insurance number
- the address of where you work, including your postcode
- the name, email address and work phone number of someone you work with (for example, your manager)
- your unique tax reference number (only if you’re self-employed)
- the name of your New Enterprise Allowance mentor (only if you have one).
How long will my Access to Work support last?
Access to Work support can last for up to three 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.
How can I challenge a decision?
You can ask for a decision to be reconsidered by a different Access to Work Adviser. To arrange this, use the contact details at the top of your award letter, or you can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've created the following factsheets to help you with the benefits application, Care Act assessment and follow-up process.
- Delays in receiving benefits (PDF, 52 KB) - this factsheet explains the options that may be available to you whilst you're waiting for your first payment.
- Mandatory reconsiderations (PDF, 48 KB) - this factsheet explains what to do if you wish to challenge a benefit decision.
- Reasonable adjustments (PDF, 425 KB) - this factsheet explains what changes should be made by the Job Centre and DWP for people with a learning disability who are looking to claim benefits.
- Personal Independence Payments (PDF, 61 KB) - this factsheet explains who the benefit is for and how to apply.
- PIP - Support with filling in form (PDF, 113 KB) - this factsheet guides you through the process for completing the PIP2 form to apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
- ESA - Information on the Work Capability Assessment (PDF, 62 KB) - this factsheet explains how the assessment for employment and support allowance works, and how you should prepare.
- Precedent letter: Request needs assessment (Word, 36 KB) - this letter is for you to use to request a needs assessment under the Care Act. Please read about assessments and eligibility before completing this letter.
- What happens next (PDF, 367 KB) - this factsheet sets out what should happen after your Care Act assessment.
- Precedent letter: After assessment requesting care plan (Word, 44 KB) - this letter is for you to use when there is a delay in developing your family member's care plan.
- Reviews and new assessments (PDF, 219 KB) - this factsheet is for people who already receive care and support through a package of social care and what they can expect from the review and assessment process.
- Direct payments (PDF, 72 KB) - this factsheet explains how people with a learning disability and their families can receive direct payments to arrange their social care support themselves.
- What is independent advocacy? (PDF, 89 KB) - this factsheet explains how advocacy works and when a person with a learning disability should have an advocate under the Care Act.
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.