Access to Work

Access to Work


How it works

If you’re disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, you can:

  • talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace
  • apply for Access to Work if you need extra help

Access to Work can help you in the workplace by providing support needed to meet your needs. The maximum that can be funded is £60,700 per year from April 2020. The scheme can also provide support for people taking part in an apprenticeship. This support can include:

  • special aids, equipment or adaptations you need at work
  • a support worker to help you learn and do your job
  • help with travel if you have difficulties using public transport
  • a communicator at job interviews
  • mental health support including a dedicated service for apprentices.

You may need to provide medical evidence if you are applying for help with travel to work. The British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of GPs (RCGP) advises doctors not to charge for completing this form.



For Access to Work purposes, self-employment is:

  • operating a business either on your own account or in partnership, or working for an employer on a self-employed basis
  • operating a franchised business on a self-employed basis
  • possessing a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number

You can apply for Access to Work support if you are over retirement age (and now do not have to pay National Insurance) but you will need to have accounts for established businesses or a business plan of a standard acceptable to a bank or other financial institution, for example for new businesses.

In the case of self-employed applicants such as entertainers who do not necessarily see themselves as being a business, then a UTR and CV would be appropriate. This will help your adviser in determining whether the business is, or is likely to become, a viable business and therefore eligible for Access to Work support.

Access to Work cannot pay for the costs of setting up a business or cover costs while the business is being formed, this includes, but is not limited to:

  • standard items of equipment
  • support for fact-finding
  • attending courses, seminars or similar events



The Government issues guidance about Access to Work. These are regularly updated and the latest versions are:

You'll also find guidance for the arts sector, including easy-read, on our knowlege pages. BSL video information is available

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issues guidance to its staff about Access to Work claims. We are expecting this to be updated soon.


Supported Permitted Work

DWP has ended the 52 week limit on receiving support from Access to Work while on supported permitted work