We fight to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Access to Work for people with epilepsy

This information applies to people in England, Scotland and Wales. The Access to Work Scheme is different in Northern Ireland. To find out more visit nidirect.gov.uk

What is Access to Work?

Access to Work grants can help pay for practical support to help you start work, stay in work, become self-employed or start a business. Here is the information for Northern Ireland, which has a slightly different system.

What will I get?

Access to Work grants can be used for things like:

  • Changes to the equipment you use
  • Special equipment
  • Help with travel costs if you can’t use public transport
  • A support worker to help you in your workplace
  • A support worker if you can’t use public transport
  • Disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • How much you get depends on your individual circumstances and what help you need

Can I get an Access to Work grant?

To get an Access to Work grant your epilepsy or other health conditions must affect your ability to do your job or mean you have to pay work-related costs. The health condition must be likely to last a year. You must also be 16 or over and be working or about to start working. You may get a grant if you’re self-employed. The work must be paid. You cannot get an Access to Work grant for voluntary work.

You must have talked to your workplace about possible reasonable adjustments.

You might not be able to get an Access to Work grant if you already claim certain benefits.

Mental health support

You can get confidential support and advice from a trained healthcare professional from the Mental Health Support Service. You do not need to have a diagnosed condition to use the service.
You do not have to get Access to Work to get support from the Mental Health Support Service, but you must be eligible.To get mental health support you can apply for Access to Work. You can also contact one of the Mental Health Support Service providers directly. They are:

How do I apply for an Access to Work grant?

In England, Scotland or Wales you can apply online or by phone. Call Access to Work on 0800 121 7479. Check the website for the list of information you need to have ready.
In Northern Ireland  contact the Department for Communities on 028 9020 9000.

Where can I find out more?

Information for individuals in England, Scotland and Wales
Information for employers in England, Scotland and Wales
Information about Access to Work in Northern Ireland

Epilepsy Action has a list of useful organisations for help with benefits.

Event Date: 
Friday 11 December 2015

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated April 2020
    To be reviewed April 2021

Comments: read the 1 comments or add yours



Submitted by Betsy Meyer on

Subscribe to the e-action newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest news on coronavirus, epilepsy news and events, and how you can get involved.

Epilepsy Action will never swap, share or sell your details. For more information, read our privacy policy.
By clicking subscribe you agree to our privacy policy.