Ever felt burned out and exhausted at work, dealing with unrelenting ADHD paralysis, overwhelm and burnout?
You are not alone!
ADHD adults are 3 times more likely to quit on impulse, 60% more likely to get fired, and 30% more likely to have chronic employment issues.
Managing ADHD at work isn't easy, but ADHD can become a strength with the proper support and equipment.
The UK government's Access to Work ADHD scheme is an exceptionally beneficial (but severely underutilised) programme that can make a real difference at work for adults with ADHD.
With grants up to £66,000 per year, you can find the right support and create an optimal and tailor-made work environment to fit your unique ADHD needs.
It covers equipment, coaching and software that can help you take control of ADHD.
Let's dive into how you can make the most of the Access to Work ADHD grant.
What is Access to Work?
Access to Work (AtW) is a UK government grant designed to support individuals with long-term mental or physical conditions, impairments, and disabilities (including ADHD).
It provides financial assistance for practical ADHD equipment, workplace adjustments, mental health support, training, and coaching.
The grant can help you start work, stay at work, and even transition to self-employment by making your work environment more suitable for your unique ADHD needs.
In 2023, you can claim up to a total of £66,000 per year for ADHD support.
It's an excelent way to reduce (or eliminate) the pasky ADHD tax.
Access to Work for ADHD
The Access to Work ADHD grant can be a game-changer for adults with ADHD in the UK.
With up to £66,000 per year, you can invest in ergonomic office equipment, software tools, ADHD coaching, and more.
It's a significant step towards creating an inclusive and supportive work environment.
Who is Eligible
Access to work ADHD programme is incredibly beneficial, but severely underutilised UK ADHD grant.
Application is simple and could take just 10mins to complete, yet surprisingly, only 1% of eligible people use the grant.
Who can apply for the Access to Work ADHD grant?
Eligibility criteria include:
- Living in England, Scotland, or Wales; and
- Having a long-term health condition or disability affecting the ability to work (including ADHD); and
- Being 16+ years old; and
- Engaging in paid work, about to start work or self-employed.
This includes employees, entrepreneurs, freelancers and people looking for a job or transitioning into self-employment.
You cannot get AtW if you live in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You won't be eligible if you are a civil servant or engaged in unpaid work or volunteering.
ADHD Access to Work Examples
The grant can cover a wide range of support, including:
- Mental Health Support: ADHD coaching, therapy, support workers, training
- 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 timer, smartwatch, task manager, mind mapping tools, reminder apps, habit trackers, time trackers
- Other Software Tools: accountability partner app, text-to-speech app
For some more inspiration and helpful examples, check out our in-depth Access to Work ADHD guide or our article on ADHD productivity tools.
Keep in mind that the AtW support will depend on your personal circumstance.
How to Apply & What Do You Need
Applying for the grant is simple and accessible.
You can apply online or by phone; completing the application can take just 10 minutes (if you know what support you need).
You'll need to provide:
- Personal & Work details
- Workplace contact (if not self-employed)
- Description of your condition(s)
- How ADHD affects your work
- What help are you currently getting
- What support do you think you need
Do you need to have a formal ADHD diagnosis?
No, the 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 process and approve your claim.
Without a diagnosis, you might be asked to provide evidence demonstrating how the condition impacts your ability to work.
Can you apply if you are self-employed?
Yes. You can apply if you are a business owner, freelancer or working for an employer on a self-employed basis.
Can you apply if you are working 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.
What happens after you apply?
An Access to Work assessor will get in touch within 7 days, to discuss your work circumstances, how ADHD impacts your work and what help you can get.
They might schedule an assessment at your workplace to evaluate your specific needs, understand how ADHD affects your daily tasks, and determine the appropriate accommodations and support required to enhance your work environment.
How long does it take to get approved?
An Access to Work assessor will get in touch within 7 days to discuss
Processing times vary, but if you are already working, it could take up to 12 weeks for an application to be approved.
Your application will be prioritised if you are due to start work in the next 4 weeks.
💡 Make sure you keep your receipts as you can claim expenses up to 9 months in the past.
Who Pays for the Support?
Access to Work will typically cover all approved costs if you are self-employed.
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 typically pays any balance over £10,000, up to £66,000 a year.
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.
If your circumstances change, you can also ask for your award to be reviewed.
This can occur as often as your situation changes, and you will still be able to get your award looked at again if you disagree with the level of your reviewed recognition.
Other Access to Work FAQs
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.
Do I need to pay it back?
No, it's a UK government grant, and you don't need to pay it back.
Are there other ADHD grants in the UK?
Yes, there are other grants for adults with ADHD in the UK, besides Access to Work.
In England or Wales, you may 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.
In Northern Ireland, the equivalent of Access to Work is the Disability Employment Service (DES).
How Can Deepwrk Help?
Deepwrk is an online body doubling ADHD app specifically designed for the ADHD community in mind.
You can include Deepwrk as part of your Access to Work ADHD application to help with task initiation and completion, improving concentration and dealing with task paralysis and overwhelm.
The Access to Work ADHD grant is a powerful but unutilised tool for adults with ADHD in the UK.
The application is quick, simple and easy and can provide meaningful support in creating and ADHD-friendly work environment.