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, your employer will have to contribute towards the cost of support. The amount that they are required to contribute depends on the size of the organisation.
When cost sharing applies, Access to Work will refund up to 80% of the approved costs between a threshold and £10,000. The employer will have to contribute 100% of costs up to the threshold level and 20% of the costs between the threshold and £10,000.
The amount of the threshold is determined by the number of employees in the company.
|Number of employees||Amount of threshold|
|0 to 49 employees||nil|
|50 to 249 employees||£500|
|Over 250 employees||£1,000|
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 0800 121 7479
or apply online at www.gov.uk/access-to-work
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.