Access to Work – Update for Coronavirus Outbreak

Update Information for claiming Access to Work during the coronavirus outbreak for people in paid work

Access to Work logo with text Making Work Possible

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you can still get help from Access to Work if you have a disability or a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job and you need to work from home.

You cannot claim help from Access to Work if you are no longer working. If you already have an Access to Work award, you can start using it again when you start working.

If your support needs change – what you need to do

If you have started to work from home, but your support needs are the same, you do not need to report this.

If the support you need changes, for example because you have started to work from home, you need to tell Access to Work.

You need to report any changes to your circumstances during and after the coronavirus outbreak as they may affect the amount of your award.

To report a change phone 0800 121 7479

Following your report

An Access to Work adviser will discuss working from home with you and your employer to understand what support is needed.

If they cannot identify the support you need, they will put you in touch with a workplace assessor. They will work with you and your employer to recommend how to overcome the barriers you face.

If you need extra support

If you need extra support but have reached, or have nearly reached, the maximum amount of your award, speak to your Access to Work adviser.

You can continue to get a grant of up to £60,700 a year. If you have not yet spent all the award, your adviser can work with you to agree how to spend the rest of the money.

Support workers or Job Coaches

You can continue to use your existing support worker or job coach while working from home.

If you need to cancel a support worker or job coach at short notice and are charged a fee, you may be able to claim that money.

Travel costs

Access to Work can only pay towards travel costs needed because of your disability or health condition.

If you are no longer travelling to work, you should not claim for any travel support. You can start receiving support towards travel when you start travelling to work again.

You do not need to get evidence to support your claim for travel expenses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Claiming for costs

You now have 9 months to claim for costs. This has increased from 6 months because of coronavirus.

If you cannot get your employer or your support worker/job coach to sign your claim for costs, you can ask them to send you an email instead. The email should confirm that the costs you are claiming are correct. You will need to print the email and post it to Access to Work with your claim.

If you cannot leave home or ask someone else to post your claim for costs, contact your Access to Work adviser and ask if you can send your claim by email. They will tell you what you need to do.

If you have a question about your payments phone the helpline number which is 0800 121 7479.


Access to Work will contact you 12 weeks before your support is due to end. If you would like your support to continue, you will need to apply to renew it.

If your award includes costs for a support worker or job coach and your circumstances have not changed, the award will be extended for 6 months because of coronavirus. You will still need to apply to renew your award.

Assessments for new applications

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is taking new applications for Access to Work grants.

DWP is prioritising making grants for new claims from critical workers and people due to start work within 4 weeks.

After you apply for Access to Work, an adviser will contact you to discuss what help you could get. You may need an assessment of your workplace to assess your needs.

If you need to have an assessment, it will be carried out by telephone during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you know what support you need, you do not need to have an assessment.

An Access to Work adviser will discuss the award with you and develop a tailored package of support.

For further information please look at this fact sheet provided by DWP.

For more detailed information on any aspect of disability and employment, please go to our Information Hub page. Alternatively, you can contact the project team either via our on-line form or call us on 01392 241124.

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