The access to Work Grant aims to support you if you need any aids or equipment to help you:
- Start work
- Return to work
- Remain in work
and you have a disability.
The grant scheme is a universal benefit, so is not subject to a means test or contribution conditions and is available to people working in an employed or self-employed capacity.
Under the Discrimination Ordinance, an employer is required to make reasonable adjustments unless it imposes a 'disproportionate burden' (financial or other) on them.
Further detail on what constitutes a reasonable adjustment and a 'disproportionate burden' can be found on the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service website in the section Chapter 3: Duty to make reasonable adjustments.
You can apply for a grant to assist with aids or equipment to the value of £5,000 per person.
A person can make more than one application in a year, but a cap of £5,000 per year is applied.
Grants are for one off costs only and do not cover maintenance or ongoing subscriptions costs.
- You must be of school leaving age.
- You need to be in work or have evidence that you have secured an offer of employment.
- You must be able to evidence that you have requested assistance from your employer and that they have confirmed they are unable to offer assistance (in full or part) because the request imposes a disproportionate burden on them. This could be evidenced via a letter or email.
- You will be asked to describe how the aids or equipment will assist you in your role. You may have supporting documents from a medical professional, such as an occupational health assessment which provides this detail.
- Social Security will use any information that they already hold if this will support your request.
- You must be able to evidence that you have requested assistance from your employer and that they have confirmed they are unable to offer assistance (in full or part) because the request imposes a disproportionate burden on them (financial or other).
- You must confirm that your employer is willing for you to use the aids or equipment requested within the workplace.
Frequently asked questions
I am self-employed, can I still apply?
- The grant is available to self-employed people.
I am self-employed, what evidence would you need to show that I have a job
- If you are self-employed, we would be able to confirm from our records that this is the case.
- If you are looking to commence self-employment, we would need you provide an expected start date and proof that you have work in place, which could include agreements from the customer of work or schedules of work.
Is there a minimum number of hours that I need to be working?
- No, there is no minimum number of hours that you need to be working. Regardless as to the number of hours that you are working, your employer is obliged to make reasonable adjustments unless it imposes a 'disproportionate burden' (financial or other) on them. Further detail on what constitutes a reasonable adjustment and a 'disproportionate burden' can be found on the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service website in the section Chapter 3: Duty to make reasonable adjustments.
I think I would benefit from an aid or equipment, what do I do?
- In the first instance you should speak to your employer. Under the Discrimination Ordinance, your employer is required to make reasonable adjustments unless it imposes a 'disproportionate burden' (financial or other) on them.
You can find more information on the discrimination ordinance and an employer's obligations on the Employment and Equal Opportunities Service website.
I don't know what aids or equipment I need, who can help me?
- In the first instance you should speak to your employer about the parts of your job that you are finding difficult. If they have access to an Occupational Health provider, they may refer you for an assessment.
- Alternatively, your treating practitioner (or another third-party provider) may be able to offer a recommendation.
- If required, the Access to Work team can arrange an occupational health assessment on your behalf. You will not have to pay for this assessment. The Access to Work team will ask you some questions to confirm that this is necessary and that you have explored the above options first.
What do I do if I have issues with the aid or equipment?
- We will only be able to assist with the initial purchase of the aid or equipment. If there are any issues you will need to communicate with the supplier to resolve this.
- We will not be able to assist with repairs or replacements of any aids or equipment.
How often can I apply?
- If your needs or job role has changed, and you require new or additional aids or equipment you can apply. There is no limit to the number of applications that you make per annum, but there is a cap of £5,000.
What aids or equipment can I claim for?
- Some examples of items that can be claimed for are:
- gel wrist guards
- mouse mats
- document holders
- ergonomic mice
- ergonomic keyboards
- screen/monitor filters
- coloured overlays for documents
- screen magnifier
This list is not comprehensive, and it is worth contacting us if you are unsure about the aid or equipment you need.
What am I not able to claim for?
- You will not be able to claim assistance for any substantial modifications or alterations to your place of work.
- You are not able to claim assistance for travel costs - e.g. to and from work.
- You will not receive assistance with any recurring costs or subscription fees for a specific piece of software.
How old do I have to be to apply?
You must be at least 16 years of age to apply.
Are there types of work that are not eligible?
We can support people working in any industry, but we are not able to support if your employment is a work placement or trial that is not guaranteed to turn into employment.
Can I get assistance if I am working from home?
As long as the equipment you need is explicitly for the work you are going to be doing, you are able to claim for equipment or aids if you are working from home.
If my request is granted, how do I get the aids or equipment?
- You will be responsible for sourcing the aid or equipment that you require. If your application is approved, you will receive a payment to cover to the cost of the aid or equipment.
- You may be requested to present evidence that you have purchased the aid or equipment and will be liable to repay the sum received if you are found not to have done so.
What happens if my request is declined?
- If your request is declined and you disagree with the decision, you can ask for the decision to be independently reviewed.
- This may not result in the decision changing but it does mean that an independent officer will consider your request.