The Government’s ‘Access to Work’ scheme funds support and adjustments in the workplace for people with health and disability needs if their employer cannot provide the required reasonable adjustments.
Access to Work grants can provide resources such as mobility aids to allow the employee with a health condition to get to and from work, as well as ergonomic equipment in the office, among other things.
Access to Work also offers support for employees with mental health conditions.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for an Access to Work grant, an employee needs to be in some form of paid work and be able to prove that a grant would allow them to do parts of their job which currently prove difficult, including travelling to and from their place of work. Employees should first talk to their employer about reasonable adjustments before applying to Access to Work.
Employees already receiving Employment and Support Allowance will have to fulfil extra criteria to be able to access the grant in addition to their existing benefits.
The Access to Work grant does not cover adaptations or adjustments that an employer is legally obliged to make under the Equality Act 2010.
How does the Access to Work grant get paid?
The employee or the employer can purchase the equipment or pay for the services they require, up to the grant amount agreed in advance and the Government will reimburse them. The equipment purchased with Access to Work funds will remain with the employee when they move jobs.
How do I apply for Access to Work grants?
Applications for the Access to Work grant can be done over the phone or online. The application requires provision of workplace address and postcode as well as employer contact details.
It will also involve an explanation of how the health condition affects the work itself or the commute to work and how the grant could help in these situations. An occupational health report or doctors letter will help with this.
Applications online can be done through the .gov website here.
Phone applications can be done weekdays 9am-5pm: 0800 121 7479. For people who cannot hear or speak on the phone, this number can be preceded by 18001 to reach the Relay UK service.
After application, an adviser will get in touch to discuss the grant amount and may contact the employer to arrange a workplace assessment and to discuss how adaptations can be best made.
Renewal of the grant can be done up to 12 weeks before the grant end date. This can be done online and over the phone.
The person receiving the Access to Work grant should also report any change of circumstances, such as address, a change in their condition, to their job role or of employer. This is done over the phone.
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