The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

– Better access to employement for disabled people

Improved access to  employment for disabled people

The Government yesterday announced changes to Access to Work, a disability employment programme delivered by Jobcentre Plus, to give disabled people faster and simpler support into work.

Access to Work provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work, where this goes beyond what would be reasonable for an employer to meet. For example, the programme provides grants direct to individual disabled people to reimburse them for approved costs, and is very flexible to meet individual needs.

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller said: “Our changes to Access to Work will give disabled people the confidence to apply for jobs, safe in the knowledge that they are already eligible for support. Employers will also be reassured that support is available towards costs beyond what is reasonable for them to meet.”

In 2009/10 the programme  supported 37,300 disabled people in employment.  Estimates suggest an average annual net fiscal benefit of £2,600.

Disabled jobseekers will be able to find out immediately if they’re eligible for Access to Work support by completing a short on-line questionnaire at Directgov.

To be eligible for the programme a person must:

o    have a disability or health condition as defined under the Equality Act which is affecting their ability to work;

  • be 16 years old or over;
  • live and work in Great Britain;
  • be in work already, or have a confirmed start-date;
  • not be in receipt of Incapacity Benefit (however the person may get limited help if they will be working under Higher Level or Supported Permitted Work rules).

Full release: Here


  1. At present all these initiatives seem theoretical and spin led to cover the uncertainties around budgets cuts and massive change currently happening throughout the public and social sectors. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few months???

  2. I agree with the comment and have been so disappointed by the lack of financial support or government will to help deaf people out of work, in work and trying to return to work. I have been trying to support two deaf people who have worked in a factory for nearly 30 years and are now being made redundant. None of the agencies or organisations which I have googled are able to provide either accessible support, free support, or good advice as to how I can give these two clients of mine details of companies who might hire deaf people. I have basically been told by numerous organisations to contact another, which, when contacted, often refers me back to the original one! I had no idea things have become so critical for deaf workers and its pretty shameful that unemployment amongst deaf or hearing impaired people is still around 40%. What a waste!

  3. Improved access to employment for disabled people…. that depends…. there are huge issues among deaf people where Access to Work is trying to drive down the hourly costs for support with the result that deaf people will end up with below-standard communication support. Deaf people have enough problems trying to realise their own potential and skills in work without having all this stress. I also know of an administrator who has, effectively, been told she can only have a certain number of hours a week of support and she is responsible for a busy reception area – does her employer have to close the reception on the days she has no support?

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