An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition to help you start working, stay in work or move into self-employment or start a business

1. Overview


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.


2. Eligibility


Access to Work grants are only available if the employer is based in England, Scotland or Wales. There's a different system in Northern Ireland.


You must be 16 or over. You may be able to get a grant if:

  • you have an interview
  • you're about to start a job or work trial
  • you're in a paid job or self-employed (you can't get a grant for voluntary work)
  • you're getting New Enterprise Allowance
  • you're starting work experience

Your condition


Your disability or health condition must either:

  • affect your ability to do a job
  • mean you have to pay work-related costs, eg special computer equipment or travel costs because you can't use public transport

It must also be likely to last at least a year.


Mental health conditions


Your mental health condition must both:

  • affect your ability to do a job
  • mean you need support to start a new job, reduce absence from work or stay in work



You might not qualify if you get any of these benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Income Support
  • National Insurance Credits

You might still qualify for Access to Work if you earn less than £105 a week and either work:

  • as part of a treatment programme to get you off benefits
  • supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation who arranges work for disabled people

This is called 'supported permitted work'.


You change jobs

Tell Access to Work if you change jobs. You may be able to:

  • transfer equipment to a new job
  • get a different amount of grant

You have to make a new application to:

  • transfer support workers
  • get travel costs

3. What you'll get


There is no set amount for an Access to Work grant. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The money can pay for things like:

  • adaptations 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
  • a communicator at a job interview
  • the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job

Changes to Access to Work from 1 October 2015

Access to Work grants are capped at £40,800 per year:

  • for all new grants given from 1 October 2015
  • from 1 April 2018 for all grants given before 1 October 2015

4. How to claim

Follow these steps if you think you can get help from Access to Work.

  1. Contact Access to Work.

  2. Print the Access to Work eligibility letter and take it to your employer or to a job interview.

  3. When an adviser contacts you and your employer, tell them about the help and support you need.

Contact Access to Work

When you contact Access to Work 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, eg your manager
  • your unique tax reference number (if you're self-employed)
  • the name of your New Enterprise Allowance mentor (if you have one)

Access to Work

Telephone: 0345 268 8489

Textphone: 0345 608 8753

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm


Find out about call charges


British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service


To use this you must:

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm


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




You can ask for a decision about Access to Work to be reconsidered by a different Access to Work adviser. You can only do this once for each decision. You can't appeal how much you get.




You can complain if you aren't happy with how your case has been handled.

0345 268 8489

Coast to Capital

This site is operated by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. © Coast to Capital LEP 2013-22.

Information is provided on this website in good faith. However neither Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership nor any associated organisation or individual provide any warranty or accept any liability for information provided.



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