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Hi, my name is Tigerstripes! I was told about the Access to Work scheme

Tigerstripes Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited December 2023 in Work and employment
I have been out of work since 2021 due to Long Covid, which in turn has affected my mental health considerably. I have and continue to struggle on a daily basis, both physically and mentally. I have asked my doctor and mental health nurse if retuning to work would aid in my recovery, both services were very reluctant and hesitant to allow this, stating my physical and mental health isn't ready for a return as yet, but if it's something I want to pursue then it should be on a part time basis to see 'how I get on'.
I was told about the Access to Work scheme and am wondering if this scheme could help me with a phased return on a self employed basis? In a part time capacity. I claim PiP, UC and ESA but don't want these benefits being affected, just in case!
Can anybody help me with Access to Work and guide me through the process.
What do I do next? Do I speak to DWP or apply to Access to Work first?
Any help would be much appreciated. 



  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,293 Disability Gamechanger
    Access to work can help self employed people with changes to your work place such as your home and even help with specialist equipment. It really depends what help you need.

    You can apply online or by phone. Full details are in this link here. I can't advise on the exact process because it's not something i've ever applied for but others here may have.

    As you're claiming ESA then please be aware that for permitted work you need to make sure you work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £167/week. You must tell ESA that you've started working and you'll also need to fill out a PW1 form.

    For UC when you start work you need to report a change of circumstances through your journal and tell them you're working. You will have the work allowance, which means you can receive a certain amount of earnings each month before the 55% deductions apply. If you claim for help with the rent it will be £379/month. If you don't then it will be £631/month.

    As self employed you will need a gateway appointment with a work coach and you will need to report your earnings and expenses through your journal on the last day of each assessment period.

    Do be aware that for all your benefits, if the work you do contradicts the reasons why you're claiming either of them, then it can go against you at your next review.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Tigerstripes

    I see Poppy has answered your query :) I just wanted to welcome you to the community!
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • katwater51
    katwater51 Scope Member Posts: 41 Connected
    I applied online. From memory there is no confirmation email or reference number, you just have to trust thaf your application has gone in.

    They contacted me after 4 months. I was assessed and granted funding for specialised equipment. I would recommend it and encourage you to try it, if you think it’s the right thing for you. AtW were great relatively - it was my work which was really slow. They took 3 further months to decide on a business case whether or not to accept the grant. 
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