Access to Work (AtW) is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support for people who have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition.

The Eligibility Criteria for Employees

To get an Access to Work grant you must:

  • have a disability, health condition or mental health condition that affects your ability to work
  • be 16 or over
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales – there’s a different system in Northern Ireland
  • have a paid job
  • be self-employed
  • have a job interview
  • be about to start a job or work trial
  • be about to start work experience

You can’t get a grant for voluntary work.

The employer has to be in England, Scotland or Wales.

Your Condition

Your disability or health condition must either:

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

It must also either:

  • be likely to last at least a year
  • have lasted at least a year already

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

or are

  • supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation who arranges work for disabled people. This is called ‘supported permitted work’.

Changing 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