Government Help: Access to Work

Additional online info:

Access To Work (ATW) is a government scheme run by Jobcentre Plus that covers the financial cost of providing disability solutions that would otherwise not be considered a “reasonable adjustment”.  Access to Work can help with extra costs which would not be reasonable for an employer or prospective employer to pay.

Note: the applicant/existing employee must initially contact Access To Work. 


What is the criteria for eligibility?

You may be able to receive ATW support if your disability or health condition has an adverse effect on your ability to carry out your job and you are:

  • In a paid job
  • Unemployed and about to start a job
  • Unemployed and about to start a Jobcentre plus arranged Work Trial
  • Self-employed

What is the process from start to finish?

Contact ATW:

The first thing you need to do is contact the ATW Operational Support Unit that covers the area where you live.  You will be asked a few questions to see if you are eligible for the programme.  If you are eligible, an application form (ATW1) will be completed over the phone and sent to you. You will need to check the information and return the signed application (ATW1) to the Operational Support Unit.


On receipt of the returned application the Operational Support Unit will allocate an Access to Work Adviser to your case.  The ATW will contact you by telephone to assess your individual needs and discuss your circumstances.  The Adviser will also need to talk to your employer.

If, following this conversation, it is decided a more technical assessment is required the Adviser will arrange for a contracted external assessor to visit your place of work.

Report & Recommendations of your needs:

After the assessment has taken place a confidential report will be sent to the ATW adviser suggesting suitable adjustments, equipment or support you may need and providing details of costs and suppliers.

You will then be sent two copies of this report, one for yourself and one for your employer.  The adviser will contact you to discuss recommendations.  After this discussion an approval letter detailing the agreed funding will be sent to both you and your employer.


The final stage of the scheme will be your employer purchasing the agreed solution and then claiming the agreed grant back from ATW on a claim form which will be sent with the approval letter.  If you are self-employed, the process works exactly the same with you acting as the employer.

How much will ATW provide towards the cost of my disability solution?

The amount of help you may receive from ATW will vary depending on how long you have been employed, what support you need and whether you are self-employed.

ATW can pay up to 100 per cent of the approved costs if you are:

  • Unemployed and starting a new job
  • Self-employed
  • Working for an employer and have been in the job for less than six weeks

Whatever your employment status, ATW will also pay up to 100% of the approved costs of help with:

  • Support workers
  • Fares to work
  • Communicator support at interview

ATW pays a proportion of the costs of support if all of the following apply to you:

  • You’re working for an employer
  • You’ve been in the job for six weeks or more
  • You need special equipment

The level of cost sharing is as follows:

  • New employees = 100% of identified costs but must apply within 6 weeks of commencing work.
  • Current employees = the University required to pay the first £1,000, then 20 per cent of costs up to £10,000. 

For making an enquiry, please contact: 

Jobcentre Plus
Access to Work Operational Support Unit
Anniesland JCP
Baird Street
Glasgow G90 8AN

Telephone: 0141 950 5327
Textphone: 0845 6025850
Fax: 0141 950 5265


Online Access to Work videos:

Source: ATW Operational Team and

Guidance reviewed: 3 July 2013 (E&D Officer)