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Access to Work

If you are deaf or have hearing loss, an Access to Work grant could help pay for any assistive devices or communication support you need at work.

What Access to Work is

Access to Work is a government scheme that can help you get into or stay in work if you have a physical or mental health condition or disability.

If you are disabled or have a health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, your employer must make changes to support you. These changes are called ‘reasonable adjustments’. Your employer must make sure you are not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job.

If you need support on top of the reasonable adjustments that your employer makes, you may be able to get an Access to Work grant to help cover the cost of practical support in the workplace.

If you are deaf or have hearing loss, Access to Work may be able to cover the cost of any communication support or technology and assistive devices that you need to do your job. This could include, for example, a listening device or loop system to help you hear during meetings.

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

Who can claim

You may be able to get Access to Work if you’re aged 16 or over and have a disability or other condition that affects your ability to work. You’ll be offered support based on your needs.

You need to have a paid job, or be about to start or return to one.

You might not get a grant if you already get certain benefits. 

To find out more about who can get Access to Work, visit GOV.UK or the nidirect website if you live in Northern Ireland.

How to claim

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can apply online at GOV.UK

If you live in Northern Ireland, visit the nidirect website for information on how to apply through the Department for Communities or your local Jobs and Benefits Office.

If you have accessibility needs

By law, government departments must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people and their representatives, to allow them to have equal access to their services and to claim benefits.

This means that if part of the claims process is not accessible for you, you can ask for changes to be made – for example, a different way to apply for the benefit.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and need support to make your claim, contact the Access to Work helpline:

0800 121 7479
0800 121 7579
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone)
18001 then 0800 121 7479
BSL video relay service (if you’re on a computer)
Contact service

If you want to use the BSL video relay service on your mobile or tablet, find out how to do this (YouTube)

The Access to Work helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Find out about call charges (GOV.UK)

You can find more information about how to get help with benefits if you have accessibility needs at GOV.UK

If you live in Northern Ireland and need a claim form in an alternative format, or you need other support to make a claim, contact the Department for Communities.

If you need help with benefits

Find out what benefits you’re entitled to

To find out which benefits you can claim, use the online Turn2us benefits calculator.

Get support in British Sign Language (BSL)

You can find more information about Access to Work in British Sign Language (BSL) on the Department for Work and Pension’s DWPSign YouTube channel.

To get benefits advice or support in BSL, contact the deafPLUS Advice Line They also have an online service to help you find local benefits advisors.

Get in touch

We’re unable to provide benefits advice at RNID, but we’ll let you know where to get the information and support you need. Contact us

Page last updated: 8 March 2024

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