Guidance

Apply for communication support at a job interview if you have a disability or health condition (Access to Work)

You can apply to Access to Work to get money for communication support at a job interview.

Overview

You can apply to Access to Work to get money for communication support at a job interview.

The money pays for a communication support worker to go to your job interview with you.

You can use this service if you:

  • are Deaf or hard of hearing and need a British Sign Language interpreter or lipspeaker
  • have a physical or mental health condition or learning difficulty and need communication support

You need to apply before the interview takes place and tell us the total cost of the communication support you’ll need. For help with finding communication support and getting costs, you can contact your employment adviser or an organisation that specialises in supporting people with your needs.

We pay the costs after the job interview has taken place.

The money does not have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

There’s a different system in Northern Ireland.

Eligibility

To get communication support at a job interview you must:

  • have a health condition or disability which means you need communication support at job interviews
  • be 16 or over
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • have an interview date for a paid job or apprenticeship in England, Scotland or Wales, or a Department for Education supported internship

When you cannot apply

You cannot apply if:

  • you live in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • your job interview has already taken place
  • the interview is for a volunteer role
  • you’re attending a job induction or job review

Apply

Check you’re eligible before you apply.

You can apply for communication support at a job interview online or by phone.

What you’ll need to provide

You’ll need to tell us:

  • the name of the company your job interview is with
  • the date of your job interview
  • how long your job interview is expected to last
  • the name and contact details for someone at the company – we’ll only contact this person after your job interview to confirm it has taken place

You’ll also need to tell us the total cost of your communication support at the job interview. Ask the person providing your support to include:

  • support worker costs
  • support worker travel costs
  • administration costs
  • VAT

The online application will time out after 60 minutes. You will not be able to save and return to your application later.

Apply online

Apply by phone

You can apply by calling the Access to Work helpline. Make sure you have all the necessary details with you when you call.

Access to Work helpline
Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0800 121 7579
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 7479
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm
Find out about call charges

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service

To use this you must:

Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm

Alternative formats

Call the Access to Work number to ask for alternative formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD.

Complaints

You can contact Access to Work to complain if you are not happy with how your case has been handled.

After you’ve applied

  1. An adviser will tell you the decision, using your preferred contact method, within 2 working days. We’ll post you confirmation and a claim form.
  2. Once we’ve agreed to pay for your communication support, you can book your support worker for the job interview, if you haven’t already.
  3. When your job interview has taken place, payment can be claimed. This needs to include the invoice. You’ll need to sign the claim form to confirm it’s okay.
  4. Access to Work will pay the claim if the invoice cost matches the cost you told us when you applied.
Published 3 July 2019