What is the Access to Work scheme?
Access to Work is a government funded employment assistance programme that aims to help disabled people in beginning and maintaining a career. The Access to Work scheme provides both practical and financial support for you, if you are disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job.
Support from the Access to Work scheme will be offered based on your disability needs. This may include a grant to help cover specialist equipment, adaptations, support worker services or getting to and from work.
How do I get help from the Access to Work scheme?
First of all, talk to your employer about what ‘reasonable adjustments’ they could make to accommodate you. Your employer must make certain changes, also known as reasonable adjustments, to ensure you can carry out your job effectively and that you’re not significantly disadvantaged. These changes could include amending your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job properly.
If the help you require isn’t covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, then you may be able to apply for the Access to Work scheme. To apply for the scheme, you must currently be working a paid job or be about to start or return to one. Support will be offered based on your disability needs. This may include a grant to help cover specialist equipment, adaptations, support worker services or getting to and from work.
Am I eligible for the Access to Work scheme?
You can apply for Access to Work if you:
- Are a resident and working in Great Britain
- Have a disability or long-term health condition that means you need an aid, adaptation or financial or human support to do your job (long term is categorised as lasting for a minimum of 12 months)
- Have a mental health condition that means you need support in work
- Are aged 16 or over
You must also:
- Be doing paid work
- Be about to start work or become self-employed
- Have an interview for a job
- Be about to begin a work trial or start work experience under the Youth Contract arranged through Jobcentre Plus
Do you need a diagnosis for the Access to Work scheme?
To receive support from Access to Work you must have a disability or health condition that means you need an aid, adaptation or financial or human support to do a job. For example, special computer equipment or travel costs if you can’t use public transport.
If you are applying to Access to Work because you are living with a mental health condition; it must affect your ability to do a job. It must also mean you need support to:
- start a new job
- reduce absence from work
- stay in work
Want to find out more about the Access to Work Scheme?
Wyvern Business Systems provides support for disabled people applying to the Access to Work scheme, as well as providing businesses with the products, equipment and non-medical help necessary to make their workplace accessible. If you would like more information about Access to Work, or if you wish to apply, please contact Wyvern Business Systems.