Access to Work ADHD Guide

Access to Work is a UK government programme that grants up to £66,000 to support adults with ADHD, neurodiversity, and other health conditions in starting work and staying at work
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What is Access to Work?

Access to Work ("AtW") is a UK government grant that supports people with long-term mental or physical  conditions, impairments and disabilities.

It provides financial support for ADHD that can help you start work, stay at work, and even transition to self-employment.

The grant can pay for practical ADHD equipment & workplace adjustments, such as ergonomic office equipment, software tools and other adaptive equipment. It can also cover mental health support, training and ADHD coaching.

Access to Work can help you tailor, optimise, and enhance your work environment to fit your unique ADHD needs.

Key ADHD Access to Work  Stats

Access to work icon funding

Claim up to


per year

Access to work time to apply icon

As quick as


to apply

Access to work usage icon

Used by just


of eligible people

In 2023/24, you can claim up to a total of £66,000 of funding for ADHD

Application is simple and could take just 20mins to complete, yet surprisingly, only 1% of those eligible use the grant

Who is Eligable?

Individuals Who:

Live in England, Scotland or Wales
Have long-term health condition or disability
Affects ability to work
Lasted (or likely to last) 12 months or more
Are 16+ years old
In paid work, about to start work or self-employed
Includes entrepreneurs and freelancers
Also includes people looking for a job or transitioning into self-employment

Permitted Work Includes:

Paid full/part-time employment or temp work
About to start paid work or transitioning to self-employment
Self-employment, freelancing, entrepreneurship, agency workers
In paid internship or apprenticeship
Looking for work
On work trial

You Cannot Get ATW If:

Living in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man
Living in Northern Ireland
Employed as a civil servant
Engaged in unpaid work

Practical Access to Work ADHD Equipment & Examples

Access to work focus & task management icon
Access to work focus laptop iconAccess to work desk focus and task management iconAccess to work image laptop headphones notebook
Access to work standing desk image
Access to work hyperactivity icon
Access to work planning and time management icon
Deepwrk ADHD body doubling app screenshot 1Deepwrk ADHD body doubling app logo 1Deepwrk ADHD body doubling app screenshot 2Deepwrk ADHD body doubling app screenshot 2Deepwrk ADHD body doubling app logo 2
Access to work mental health icon
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Access to work stress and anxiety image
Access to work hyperactivity icon
Access to work suggestions icon
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How to Apply?

You can apply online or by phone

Application is simple and accessible

It can take just 20 minutes to fill it in, if you know what support you need
Download our guide for a step by step walk through the application process

Application Methods

What Do You Need To Apply?

Personal & Work Details

Your personal and contact details
Employment details (title, type, duration, address)
Details of workplace contact (unless self-employed)
UTR number if self-employed

ADHD Specific

Description of your condition(s)
How ADHD affects your work
What help are you currently getting
What help and support do you think you need

What Happens After You Apply?

Access to work after you apply time waiting image
An Access to Work assessor will get in touch, to discuss:
Your work circumstances
How ADHD impacts your work
What help you can get
Processing times vary, but if you are already working it could take 12 weeks for an application to be approved.
If you are due to start work in the next 4 weeks, your application will be prioritised.
Top Tip: Keep your receipts. Once approved, you have 9 months to claim expenses
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Who Pays for Your Support?

If you are self-employed, Access to Work will normally cover all the approved costs.
Otherwise, your employer will pay for the items or services you need.
Depending on the size of your employer, Access to Work could refund up to 80% of approved costs under £10,000. It will normally pay any balance over £10,000, up to £66,000 a year.
access to work image who pays for support

How Can Deepwrk Help?

Deepwrk is an online body doubling ADHD app specifically designed for the ADHD community in mind.
How it works? We host virtual ADHD coworking sessions rooted in behavioural science and designed to improve focus, motivation and task completion.
Join us. Transform the way you work. And turn ADHD into a strength!
Try Deepwrk Free
Start free 🎉 No credit card required ✨

Frequently Asked  Questions

Who is eligible?

ADHD is considered a mental health disability under the UK Mental Health Act (1990).

So if you have ADHD you could qualify for the Access to Work grant.

To be eligible for AtW, you must:
- Live and work in England, Scotland or Wales;
- Be 16 or over (but there is no upper age limit);
- Have a long-term health condition or disability that affects your ability to do your job;
- Already be doing paid work, or be about to start work or become self-employed.

A paid job generally means full or part-time paid work, whether permanent, casual, temporary, trial, work experience, or self-employment.

💡 Top Tip: If you’re currently looking for a job, you can also apply to Access to Work if you need communication support at interviews.

Do I need to be a UK citizen?

No, you don’t need to be a UK citizen to apply for the Access to Work ADHD grant.

You must live and work in England, Scotland or Wales (there’s a different system in Northern Ireland).

You can’t get Access to Work if you live in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Do I need formal diagnosis?

No, Access to Work scheme does NOT require you to have a formal ADHD diagnosis.

That being said, having a diagnosis can make it easier to have your claim processed and approved.

Without a diagnosis, you might be asked to provide evidence demonstrating how that condition impacts your ability to work.

Providing additional evidence can help support your application. Helpful documents include:
- Medical reports, letters from healthcare professionals
- Invoices for assistive equipment or adaptations
- Or any other relevant evidence demonstrating ADHD impact on your work

Can I apply if self-employed?

Yes. You can apply if you are a business owner or if working for an employer on a self-employed basis (e.g. as a freelancer).

You can apply for AtW if moving into self-employment or starting a business (but it won’t cover start-up costs to set up the business).

You might be asked to provide additional evidence and documentation to support your application if you are self-employed. That can include copies of your company accounts, tax returns and business plan.

Can I apply if I work from home?

Yes. Access to Work can be used for flexible working arrangements, such as hybrid working, working from home (all or part of the time), or working from multiple locations.

Can I apply if I receive other benefits?

If you receive Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support, you are still eligible for Access to Work, in case you work more than one hour a week.

Getting an AtW grant won’t affect any other benefits you receive.

People in receipt of one of the following benefits are not normally eligible for Access to Work (but there are some exceptions): Incapacity Benefits, Employment Support Allowance, Severe Disability Allowance, Income Support as a result of disability, National Insurance credits

Can someone else apply on my behalf?

Yes. You can nominate someone else to deal with Access to Work on your behalf. You’ll need to ask them to provide a ‘third-party permission form’ for you to fill in.

How long does it take to get approved?

The processing and approval times vary. It can be quicker if you are about to start a new job.

Your application will be a priority if you are due to start work in the next 4 weeks.

If you are already working, it could take up to 12 weeks for an application to be approved.

Are there other ADHD grants in the UK?

Yes, in England or Wales, you may also qualify for financial support for ADHD through PIP (Personal Independence Payments).

Success rates for this claim type are slightly above 50%.

Payments are based on how your symptoms impact you, not just your diagnosis. Work history and income aren't factors for eligibility.

To improve your chances of success, share real-life examples of how ADHD affects you, such as forgetfulness impacting self-care or burning food due to distraction.

You can apply for PIP regardless of receiving financial support for ADHD from Access to Work.

How long does it last for?

Access To Work is an ongoing programme, and it lasts for however long you need it.

That being said, you get AtW support for three years before your case is reviewed.

Access to Work will contact you 12 weeks before your support is due to end.

You can also reapply if your work circumstances change (e.g. if you become self-employed).

What is the maximum funding for ADHD?

There is no set amount for an Access to Work grant.

How much you get will depend on your specific case.

From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, the maximum annual award cap is set at £66,000.

This figure is uprated annually in line with the national average salary.

Access to Work is a government grant, so you you won’t need to re-pay it.

Is it means based?

No, it doesn’t matter how much you earn.

If you receive an ADHD Access to Work grant, it won’t affect any other benefits you get.

You also don’t need to pay it back.

What can Access to Work fund?

In the context of ADHD you can request support for ADHD coaching and therapy, software tools and office equipment.

You can have a look at some practical examples of what AtW might fund on our website.

Note that the list is not exhaustive and would depend on your individual examples.

AtW  regularly funds ADHD body doubling apps, and you can claim Deepwrk membership via the Access to Work grant.

Who pays for my support?

Access to Work will normally pay all the approved costs if you are self-employed or have been at a job for less than 6 weeks.

If you apply after you have been in the role for more than 6 weeks, your employer might need to contribute towards the cost.

Depending on the size of your employer, Access to Work could refund up to 80% of approved costs under £10,000. It will normally pay any balance over £10,000, up to £66,000 a year.

How to claim costs once approved?

If you are employed, typically your employer will need to purchase the equipment or tools and claim back the costs.

If you buy equipment yourself, you'll only be reimbursed through Access to Work if you are self-employed or if your employer agrees to reimburse the cost and submit a claim.If you are self employed, you need to pay and claim back the costs.

Once approved, you can use pro forma invoices to claim costs. You have 9 months to claim for costs. 💡 Keep in mind that any costs incurred before grant approval will not be reimbursed by AtW.

Can I dispute or appeal a decision?

Access to Work scheme has a reconsideration policy which entitles you to one reconsideration of an award by a different AtW case manager.

You can also ask for your award to be reviewed, if your circumstances change.

This can take place as many times as your situation changes, and you will still be able to get your award looked at again if you do not agree with the level of your reviewed award.

What happens after you apply?

After you apply, a case manager will contact you to discuss what help you could get.

They will discuss the award with you and develop a tailored package of support.

You may need an assessment of your workplace to assess your needs. If you know what support you need, you do not need to have an assessment. Assessment can be carried out by telephone, online video call or in person within the workplace.

What are Access to Work ADHD examples?

Mental Health Support:  ADHD coaching, therapy, support workers, training, virtual assistants

Hyperactivity Support: ergonomic chair, standing desk, exercise ball, fidget tools, under desk treadmill, larger desk, coworking space access

Focus & Task Management Tools: laptop, multiple screens noise-cancelling headphones, focus music apps, white and brown noise machines, website and app blockers

Planning & Time Management:
visual timers, smartwatch, task manager, mind mapping tools, reminder apps, habit trackers, time trackers, tablet

Other Software Tools: text-to-speech apps, body doubling apps