Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) support into work

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) offers work programmes, advice and support to help people with a disability find and keep a job.

If you have a disability Access to Work can help you overcome barriers to starting or keeping a job.

Access to Work can also give advice to employers, to help them understand your disability and how they can support you.

How can Access to Work help?

Access to Work can help pay for the support you need because of your disability, for example:

  • Aids and equipment in your workplace
  • Adapting equipment to make it easier for you to use
  • Money towards any extra travel costs to and from work if you can’t use available public transport, or if you need help to adapt your vehicle
  • An interpreter or other support at a job interview if you have difficulty communicating
  • Other practical help at work, such as a job coach or a sign-language interpreter

If you have a mental health condition you will be offered help to develop a support plan, which may include:

  • Steps to support you going into, remaining in or returning to work
  • Ideas for reasonable adjustments in a workplace for example:
  • Flexible working hours
  • A mentor who can give you additional support at work
  • Additional time to complete certain tasks
  • Additional training
  • Regular meetings between you and your manager to talk about your concerns
  • A phased return to work, such as reduced hours or less days.

Access to Work partners will also work with your employer to advise them how best they can support you in the workplace.

Can I get this help?

You can apply for Access to Work if you have:

  • A disability or long term health condition that makes it hard for you to work
  • A mental health condition and need support in work

You must also be aged 16 and over and:

  • Have a job
  • Are about to start a job
  • Have been offered a job interview or
  • Are about to begin a work trial or self-arranged work experience

And need:

  • Support when starting work
  • Support to reduce absence from work
  • Support to stay in work

How do I apply?

An Employment Adviser can support clients who are struggling in their current employment and who are worried about losing their job.

If you are experiencing difficulties, contact your local Jobcentre.

Specialist Employability Support (SES) is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) programme which helps disabled people who need the most support to get into work or move closer to getting a job and engage in further work related courses or activities.

There are two routes within the programme:


  • For people who require long term support to get a job
  • A minimum of one monthly face-to-face meeting
  • Up to 12 months

On the programme you would receive:

  • Someone to support you on a one-to-one basis and a plan to support you going forward
  • Someone to support you who has expertise in health and disability issues
  • Support tailored to your needs
  • Help with issues that may be holding you back
  • Online help and databases to help with job searching
  • One-to-one help with CV writing, job searching, interview techniques, health and safety, customer services, budgeting and finance, sales and marketing and leadership

Once you get a job you would receive:

  • Continued support during your first 6 months in work
  • Any equipment you may need at work
  • Support to understand and successfully complete the company induction programme

If you do not find a job:

You will be supported with a focussed plan of action to maintain the progress you are making and where possible support you to get extra help to keep up the momentum.

How to get on the programme?

Talk to your work coach at your local Jobcentre about being referred onto the programme.

Once a referral has been received you will be invited to an initial meeting.

At the meeting you will be invited to talk about your health and disability status and identify skills gaps, geographical barriers and what support you might need to get a job. You will also have the chance to talk about other barriers that you face to getting a job such as housing, debt, or addiction and areas of personal development and any support needs.

This information will help the adviser to decide if SES is suitable for you.

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