Funding for support for disabled staff is the responsibility of the individual’s department. Much support can be arranged at little or no cost. Where there are significant costs involved, external funding may also be available through the Access to Work Scheme (ATW), run by the Department of Work and Pensions. However since ATW requires large employers such as the University to meet the first £1000 of equipment costs, it may not be worth applying if total costs are likely to fall below this threshold.
People employed by colleges can apply for Access to Work funding too.
Please talk to the Staff Disability Advisor (contact details in right hand menu), about the kinds of support that may be available, and the application process.
If you contact Access to Work (ATW) before you start or during the first six weeks of employment, they will normally meet 100% approved costs. Contact ATW as soon as you accept a job offer, to ensure that any support is in place before you start, and to reduce the costs incurred by the employer.
ATW requires an employer to share the costs of Special Aids and Equipment and Adaptations to Premises. A large employer like the University of Oxford is expected to pay the first £1,000 of costs and 20% costs above that threshold up to £10,000. These costs would normally be met by your department. Cost-sharing is not required for other types of ATW support. See the Access to Work factsheet for employers
Tel. 0345 268 8489 (Textphone: 0845 608 8753)
Online form: www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply
ATW staff may arrange to call you back. They may ask for your:
Your ATW Adviser contacts you to discuss your needs. If these are straightforward, this may all be done by telephone.
Your ATW Adviser may arrange for an assessor to visit you at work to discuss your role and support needs. They will write a report for ATW recommending support.
Once ATW has agreed the recommendations they will send you and your manager a letter stating which costs they will meet. ATW may also ask you to sign and return a copy of the letter/declaration before they agree to release funds and send claim forms.
Do not buy anything before ATW has agreed to refund costs. For more expensive items, the report may include three quotations, although ATW will only agree to meet the lowest cost. Details of suppliers are included in the ATW report, but your department may use an alternative supplier who is already on the Supplier Database.
Your department will send a completed ATW claim form, together with certified copies of receipts. Where ongoing support has been agreed, monthly claims should be submitted. Your department should raise an invoice to ATW when claiming repayment, so that finance staff know what sums to expect. ATW will reimburse its share of costs. All claims should be submitted before the specified deadline in the letter agreeing support.
For ongoing support, such as a support worker or travel to work, claims should be submitted monthly.
ATW may refuse claims that are submitted outside the agreed time period.
Staff Disability Advisor