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.
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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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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