Government expands Access to Work scheme to help disabled workers work from home

The Government’s Access to Work scheme has been expanded to include support for disabled employees and workers that need to work from home.

Updated guidance that was published last week states that Access to Work advisers can now work with individuals with disabilities and their employers to assess what support and equipment will be needed to ensure that they can work at home.

The Access to Work scheme awards grants of up to £60,700 to eligible employees for equipment that allows them to work effectively and comfortably.

To get help from Access to Work the individual must:

  • have a disability or health condition (physical or mental) that makes it hard for them to do parts of their job or get to and from work;
  • be 16 or over;
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales – there’s a different system in Northern Ireland.

They will need to have “a paid job” or be about to start or return to one. A “paid job” could include:

  • self-employment
  • an apprenticeship
  • a work trial or work experience
  • an internship

If a grant has already been spent, but additional support is required because of the current working from home requirements, then those eligible are being encouraged to approach the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for further support.

The guidance has also been amended to include measures to prioritise new claims, to aid key workers and new starters, as well as beginning remote assessments, and there will also be a six-month extension of any existing grants if there are no changes in the individual’s situation.

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