What is Access to Work?

The Access to Work Scheme is a UK Government initiative designed to help disabled people and those with health conditions to start or stay in work. The scheme provides financial support for a range of services and equipment to help individuals to overcome work-related obstacles.

The Access to Work Scheme is a resource for both employees and employers, and is designed to assist everyone in having the opportunity to succeed in the workplace, regardless of their health condition. 

Who Can Apply?

To qualify for the Access to Work Scheme, you must:

  • Have a disability or health condition that impacts your ability to perform your job.
  • Be in, or about to start, paid employment, including self-employment.
  • Live and work in England, Scotland, or Wales. Different services are available for those in Northern Ireland.

Access to work is not 'means tested' so you can apply for help nomatter how much you earn or have in savings. You can also apply if you are in receipt of most benefits, as long as you work more than 1 hour a week. 

+ Read more


What Support is Available?

There are various types of support available and the support you get will depend on your needs. It can include:

  • a grant to help pay for practical support with your work
  • support with managing your mental health at work
  • money to pay for communication support at job interviews
  • assistance with travel expenses if you cannot use public transport

Access to Work will not pay for reasonable adjustments. These are the changes your employer must legally make to support you to do your job. Access to Work will advise your employer if changes should be made as reasonable adjustments.

+ Read more


How to Apply?

You can check your eligability through the Gov.uk website and follow steps to apply here

Before you apply, it will help to be ready with details about your job, your disability and/or health condition(s), and how it affects your work.

After applying, you may be contacted for an assessment to determine the specific support you need. Once approved, you’ll receive guidance on how to implement the support, whether through purchasing equipment or arranging services.

What is your employers role?

Employers are expected to cooperate with assessments and provide necessary information. Employers will also be responsible for implementing recommended workplace adaptations.

In some cases, Employers will be asked to contribute to the cost of some types of support, based on the size of the business and the support required.

Additional Support and Information

You can still get Access to Work for mental health services by applying for support from Able Futures or Maximus. They will contact Access to Work on your behalf. You will not need to tell your employer.

If you’re not sure that you’re eligible, you can call the Access to Work helpline, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on Telephone: 0800 121 7479.

You can read more on the Gov.uk website here

Become a friend

Sign up to become a Friend of Mast Cell Action so we can keep you up to date on our progress and on how to get involved in our latest campaigns and initiatives. 

Become a friend


Mast Cell Action relies entirely on the generosity of people like you. Please make a donation now and together we can make a difference to those affected by MCAS.

Make a donation