The Access to Work scheme is a Jobcentre Plus programme which aims to provide advice and can pay for practical support to overcome the effects of an impairment or long term health condition at work, so that disabled people can participate in mainstream employment. Applicants must be in – or be about to enter – paid employment. 35,000 people were helped in 2014
Support is decided on a case by case basis. It could include funding for accessibility issues, for support workers or equipment, or for specialist training. It is available to all disabled people, both to those with physical impairments and to those with mental health conditions or learning disabilities. The average annual award is £3,800. From October 2015, the relatively small number of new, large awards (these are usually for BSL services) have been capped at £40,800 per annum; from April 2018, all awards will be subject to this cap.
Further details of how the Access To Work scheme operates is available at your local Jobcentre Plus office.
Scope has published a guide to the Access to Work scheme.