An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability which affects the way you perform at work, this includes dyslexia and dyspraxia. To be eligible for the grant, you must be over 16 and either about to start work, in a paid job or self-employed.
Access to Work will pay 100% of all approved costs if:
- you have started a new job and make a claim during the first six weeks
- you are self-employed or run a small business
- you work in a company with less than 10 staff members
- you require a support worker/training
However, if you have been in your job for 6 weeks or more, the employer will have to contribute towards the cost of support. The amount that the employer is required to contribute depends on the size of the organisation:
10 to 49 staff – the employer will have to pay the first £300 and 20% of the costs up to £10,000.
50 to 249 staff – the employer will have to pay the first £500 and 20% of the costs up to £10,000.
250 or more staff – the employer will have to pay the first £1,000 and 20% of the costs up to £10,000.
If you think you need help, contact your local Access to Work centre. You must contact Access to Work, not your employer.
For London, call 0208 426 3110 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or contact your local Jobcentre and ask to talk to an access to work adviser for advice and an application form.
You will be asked two initial screening questions as to whether you have a disability and whether this affects you at work. The answer to both of these should be ‘yes’ if your application is to be considered. You will then need to print the Access to Work eligibility letter to let your employer or know that you are likely to be entitled to help from the Access to Work scheme.
To determine the most appropriate support (reasonable adjustments), a workplace assessment will be arranged with a workplace consultant. The assessor will visit your workplace and this gives you the opportunity to discuss the help and support you need. There is no cost for the workplace assessment. If you do not have a diagnostic assessment report, this may need to be arranged first. Access to Work may accept a good quality screening test for self-employed and some lower skilled jobs.
The assessor will write a report which will include three quotes for each support option. In most cases, as the employer has to pay towards the support, it is important to involve your manager from the start. It can also be useful to ask the assessor to meet with your IT department to ensure software recommendations are compatible with the corporate systems.
You do not have to use the companies that the report recommends. It is possible to choose your own and Access to Work will usually allow the switch if it is a reputable provider.
Please contact Sara Kramer for further information.