Access to Work: staff guide

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff guide about the Access to Work scheme.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales



This document is for DWP staff and explains how the Access to Work scheme operates.

An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if someone has a disability, health or mental health condition to help them:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business

Why we publish this guide

We publish this guide to help people understand how we make decisions.

More about Access to Work

Find out if you can get help from Access to Work at

Published 22 December 2014
Last updated 6 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added the maximum annual award limit for 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 - this is £65,180.

  2. Updates about civil servant eligibility for Access to Work made in section 3.

  3. Published an updated version of the Access to Work staff guide. Various changes made over the past 12 months.

  4. Updated with the latest rates effective from 1 April 2021.

  5. Updated information about Supported Interns and Traineeships.

  6. Published an updated version of the staff guide. Changes include: Chapter 3 – updated content for 'Supported internships and traineeships' and Chapter 17 – addition of 3 new paragraphs at the end of this chapter.

  7. Published the latest version of the staff guide. Section 16 now includes the 2020 to 2021 celling cap.

  8. Published an updated version of the Access to Work staff guide.

  9. Published a fully updated version of the Access to Work staff guide.

  10. Added a note about supported internships and traineeships (page 18, paragraph 135) and added the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the list of government departments which have agreed to fund all adjustments for staff directly employed by them and based at any location (Appendix 1, page 97).

  11. Added revised version of the staff guide. Section 3 now includes information about the annual award limit and section 11 includes information on the Tech Fund.

  12. Published updated version of the guide with various updates.

  13. Published revised Access to Work: staff guide with changes to paragraphs 33, 479 and 761.

  14. Updated parts: 1 Introduction, 3 Eligibility, 9 Special aids and equipment, 16 Overpayments.

  15. Published revised version to include guidance on new rules about self-employment and a cap on the amount people can receive.

  16. Clarified guidance for staff on the topics of self-employment, company directors, requests for reconsideration, mental health support services, car parking charges, government departments, and additional evidence.

  17. Updated guidance about support workers at paragraph 366 of the guide.

  18. First published.