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Are there grants available for Work From Home based roles with disabilities?

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mitcheyfex
mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
edited December 2022 in Work and employment
Hello,

I'm new to this site please go easy on me!

I wanted some advice and wondered if anyone is or has been in a similar position to me, I'll try and explain the best way I can.

I started a new job at the beginning of November, my first job in a while and I feel I am doing really well and making a good impression despite how nervous and scared I am in social situations, one great thing about this job is they encourage home working and my contract is only for 15 hours a week and is a work from home role, but I have been attending the training at the office, it is soon time to start bringing this home with me and working from home which I am really excited about as I feel I will be free from distractions and more confident.

I have ADHD, PTSD and EUPD aswell as Depression and Anxiety a lot of it is trauma based, I am in receipt of PIP to help with this and I wondered if there are any grants available for me to get a home office built in my garden, similar to a summerhouse but a home office type building where I feel safe and relaxed and there is enough space for me to carry out my work duties, I know there are certain grants to build home adaptions and in some cases an extra bedroom for a carer etc, but I couldn't find anything on grants for disabled people to get easy access to work from home and funding this kind of building, I am due to move out next year and as I mentioned the garden is private and its a housing association property, so does anyone know if something like this exists? Even if not a grant but a loan maybe? My credit isn't great so I doubt I'd be able to get access to a normal loan but wondered if there was anything that existed to fund a project like this?

Sorry if I haven't been clear In my explanation and feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Thanks guys,

-mitcheyfex
Tagged:

Comments

  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hello @mitcheyfex. Welcome to Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. How are you at the moment?

    Thanks for already finding the courage to reach out to us. I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out, especially when you are new and finding things difficult. 

    Firstly, congratulations on the job. I can hear how you are excited to start working from home but also have questions about this. 

    Understandably so too - working from home can seem quite different from working in an office. One question has come to mind if this is ok with you?

    My question is what would you need to make it feel safe and relaxed? I know you have mentioned making it like a home office in your garden but wonder if there's anything you need in particular.

    Typically, what is funded is 'reasonable adjustments'. There is also Access to Work that might be worth looking into. However, this is typically about reducing and removing barriers to your work.

    I hope this helps and at least makes semi-sense. If you have any further questions or if we can provide further support please don't hesitate to let us know.

    We are all here for you and listening to you. You don't have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don't want to.

    Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hello @mitcheyfex. Welcome to Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. How are you at the moment?

    Thanks for already finding the courage to reach out to us. I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out, especially when you are new and finding things difficult. 

    Firstly, congratulations on the job. I can hear how you are excited to start working from home but also have questions about this. 

    Understandably so too - working from home can seem quite different from working in an office. One question has come to mind if this is ok with you?

    My question is what would you need to make it feel safe and relaxed? I know you have mentioned making it like a home office in your garden but wonder if there's anything you need in particular.

    Typically, what is funded is 'reasonable adjustments'. There is also Access to Work that might be worth looking into. However, this is typically about reducing and removing barriers to your work.

    I hope this helps and at least makes semi-sense. If you have any further questions or if we can provide further support please don't hesitate to let us know.

    We are all here for you and listening to you. You don't have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don't want to.

    Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)



    Hi L,

    Thanks so much for your kind, thoughtful reply and making me feel so welcome, I really appreciate it!

    To answer your question, what I'd need to make it safe and relaxed is a home space where there is enough room, it's calm with no distractions but also a place within my own home or garden where I feel safe and at ease, this is why I feel a garden office would be amazing, I love the outdoors and because my flat doesn't have much living space I feel that it would work a lot better having a dedicated space for my office equipment within the safety, comfort and tranquility of my own garden.

    I have briefly looked at the reasonable adjustments and access to work and couldn't find any information relating to grants which can enable this - if of course there are any! 

    Thank you again for your kind response and I hope I am explaining myself semi clear.

    - mitcheyfex 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,055 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    I can’t imagine for one minute that access to work would help with building something in your garden for you to work from. 
    Is there any reason why you can’t  work from inside your home? Many people that work from home do this. Maybe you have a spare bedroom that you can use or even some space in the living room or bedroom? Do you live alone or with others? 
    You can look at a loan but it’s not something I’d advise especially as it’s only 15 hours per week that you’re working. 
    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.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You would need to check the housing association would allow this 

    Also a lot of expense if the job doesn't work out 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,055 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Thanks Janer, i completely overlooked that. You would also need to get permission from your Landlord to build anything in the garden.
    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.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Personally I wouldn't be building anything on a property that I didn't own what happens to it if you leave property 
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hello guys,

    Thanks for your responses, the housing association has already granted permission you are allowed to build sheds/summerhouses etc but they need to take up a certain height or space so there are regs to adhere to.

    I'm only on my own, I'm required to use a works computer which is encrypted because of sensitive customer data, there simply isn't enough space inside the place for my own personal computer let alone a works space it's only me with a 1 bedroom entitlement.

    I'm sorry if my question wasn't explained properly I have trouble being understood or getting my point across and it's clearly happened here but I assume by the responses that this is not something I would typically get help with, this makes staying in work very tricky for me even if only for the 15 hours.

    Sorry and thanks for your time

  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hi again @mitcheyfex. Thanks for updating us and keeping us in the loop with how you are doing. I can hear how difficult things are for you at the moment.

    It is positive to hear that, at the very least, the housing association has already granted permission. It sounds like you could really benefit from extra space due to the sensitive data you work with.

    Unfortunately, the question that disability initiatives will ask is "would someone without a disability benefit from more space for this same type of work if they were living in the same space?". 

    I hope this clarifies a little bit about why Access to Work, and other disability initiatives, may not provide you with financial support with this. 

    In terms of being calm with no distractions - are there particular things you find less calming or more distracting? 

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything else to support you, even if that's just listening to you. We are all here for you and listening to you.

    Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hi again @mitcheyfex. Thanks for updating us and keeping us in the loop with how you are doing. I can hear how difficult things are for you at the moment.

    It is positive to hear that, at the very least, the housing association has already granted permission. It sounds like you could really benefit from extra space due to the sensitive data you work with.

    Unfortunately, the question that disability initiatives will ask is "would someone without a disability benefit from more space for this same type of work if they were living in the same space?". 

    I hope this clarifies a little bit about why Access to Work, and other disability initiatives, may not provide you with financial support with this. 

    In terms of being calm with no distractions - are there particular things you find less calming or more distracting? 

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything else to support you, even if that's just listening to you. We are all here for you and listening to you.

    Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)

    Hi again,

    Your responses are clear, straight to the point and helpful, thank you.

    "would someone without a disability benefit from more space for this same type of work if they were living in the same space?"

    I kinda get it, I think all people would benefit from this type of work whether disabled or not, if there isn't enough room to work indoors and you are on a work from home contract then building another building would help even the non disabled, how will it help me specifically? Well I am disabled and on PIP and have various mental health problems and have struggled in the past building relationships and staying in work for these exact reasons, for me specifically the extra space not only ensures I have space to work (because there isn't any indoors) but I am free from distractions away from televisions, the fridge my pet cat (who I love an adore) I could have my own work space away from all of this to get stuck in and my ADHD would go into hyperfocus mode which means I get things done! Rather than distraction mode.

    So if the question was am I classed as having a disability yes I am, and am on PIP for multiple things.

    But if the question was If it would benefit someone living with me who is non disabled, then no, I am alone in my household and don't have a carer with me and choose too live as independently as possible, my partner will come and visit and may spend time in the house but this is predominantly an issue of space, plenty of garden space, permission to build not a lot of indoor space and not distraction free indoors, plus being registered as disabled something like this be potentially covered??? or would it be on a case by case basis?????

    Is it access to work who I would enquire to? Or is is a DFG grant I would enquire to? Or is there a grant available for this kind of thing that hasn't been mentioned.

    Citizens Advice mentioned Access to work and DFG and that's where I found out I could join Scope to ask the community, so here I am! 

    Thanks for all your help so far.

    But my main question is; is there a grant available for someone in my scenario who has already obtained permission from the landlord, to build a space to work.

    Thanks again
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,055 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    This is highly unlikely to be covered by any DFG and the same for access to work. The only way it would be possible is if you paid for this yourself. I agree with the advice given above that only working 15 hours per week may not be worth going to the expense.
    You talk about a desktop computer but what about a laptop? They take up so much less space and if a desk is needed they can be so much smaller.
    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.
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    This is highly unlikely to be covered by any DFG and the same for access to work. The only way it would be possible is if you paid for this yourself. I agree with the advice given above that only working 15 hours per week may not be worth going to the expense.
    You talk about a desktop computer but what about a laptop? They take up so much less space and if a desk is needed they can be so much smaller.
    Hi Poppy, thanks for your response.

    That's a huge shame but at least it answers my question, is it still worth asking perhaps? 

    In regards to a laptop alternative I have asked work about this and they use their own encrypted systems understandably, also the admin tasks I do require quite a lot of tabs open in one go, and doing this role with any less than 2 screens would even be tricky especially more so for a newby, the general set up for everyone in the business is a desktop tower, 2 screens, mouse, keyboard and desk.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,055 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    For the DFG you will need to have a needs assessment first and outside building such as what you're wanting will not be included.
    For access to work, there's no harm in asking but be prepared for a refusal. I still don't understand the need for a building just to work 15 hours. I have a desktop with 2 screens and a small computer desk plenty big enough to support 2 screens. It doesn't take up much space at all.
    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.
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    For the DFG you will need to have a needs assessment first and outside building such as what you're wanting will not be included.
    For access to work, there's no harm in asking but be prepared for a refusal. I still don't understand the need for a building just to work 15 hours. I have a desktop with 2 screens and a small computer desk plenty big enough to support 2 screens. It doesn't take up much space at all.
    Thanks for response,

    Okay, that makes sense.

    Everyone's needs are different, I have a home office setup which I use for personal use, browsing, media, music, webinars etc, which I'm not allowed to use for work understandably because of the data I'm working with, so having the two home computer setups means I am left with no space, it is literally only a one bedroom ground floor flat, but benefits from a nice sized garden, and as someone who gets distracted easy it is nice to separate my home from my work so I can fully concentrate, my needs are different to others.

    By the sounds of it though this isn't something that would be covered but other adaptions can be.

    Thanks
  • Geoark
    Geoark Community member Posts: 1,471 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hi @mitcheyfex

    I have two laptops that I use in my work area, personal and work. The solution is a simple one, even with two tower PCs, as long as there is room for them.

    Using a docking station would allow you to connect everything with just one or two wires. Keyboard, mouse, monitors, desk lamp etc all go directly into the docking bay. Dual arm monitor stand means both can be adjusted to a suitable height and provide additional room underneath them if required.

    When I finish at the end of the day I simply move the cable (USB) from work laptop to personal laptop and I'm set up, with the work laptop being locked away. Depending where your connectors are located on the two PCs it may be easier to use one USB wire and switch it over, or have one cable from each and swap them over at the docking station.

    It is worth checking what your employer provides, while I have access to funding for different things to replace them or when we first started working from home I chose to buy myself so I had a set up which works for me. So as I work a lot with spreadsheets and documents one is slightly larger for the spreadsheets, the other I can rotate and it adjusts the display so I can read a whole page of a document without scrolling. The funding for a chair is enough to cover a basic office chair, which I cannot physically cope with. Plus it wasn't done overnight, as I have always had the option of working from home with my current employer, it has built up over a number of years, the last thing I bought was a proper office desk. 

    I do get the security, the laptop is bit locked, then requires a password, then requires a code to be inputted they send to my mobile phone, which I am required to have locked and need a pass code to enter. Even then accessing some areas requires additional passwords. Then it has to log into the work VPN or will not give access to the systems.

    I do have one question, as you are working from home have you been given health and safety guidance on setting up your work station/place?

    There are some simple tricks which can help the environment be more relaxing. For example if you have a scent that helps you to relax then using an oil burner during work hours can help, or plug in diffuser. I have tried other ways but found they can be overpowering and have the opposite effect. I have picture of a bull dog above my monitors which I can temporarily relax from what I am doing and focus on as a way of changing my focus from the screen. I used to have my work area near the window, but found the conflict in lighting too distracting. I also put music on so it is not too quiet, but not enough to distract me.

    Personally I love working from home, but know it is not for everyone, and in truth I'm not sure anyone really knows until they start doing it. The advise we give at work, is to be kind to yourself, and reach out if you need support or help.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Geoark said:
    Hi @mitcheyfex

    I have two laptops that I use in my work area, personal and work. The solution is a simple one, even with two tower PCs, as long as there is room for them.

    Using a docking station would allow you to connect everything with just one or two wires. Keyboard, mouse, monitors, desk lamp etc all go directly into the docking bay. Dual arm monitor stand means both can be adjusted to a suitable height and provide additional room underneath them if required.

    When I finish at the end of the day I simply move the cable (USB) from work laptop to personal laptop and I'm set up, with the work laptop being locked away. Depending where your connectors are located on the two PCs it may be easier to use one USB wire and switch it over, or have one cable from each and swap them over at the docking station.

    It is worth checking what your employer provides, while I have access to funding for different things to replace them or when we first started working from home I chose to buy myself so I had a set up which works for me. So as I work a lot with spreadsheets and documents one is slightly larger for the spreadsheets, the other I can rotate and it adjusts the display so I can read a whole page of a document without scrolling. The funding for a chair is enough to cover a basic office chair, which I cannot physically cope with. Plus it wasn't done overnight, as I have always had the option of working from home with my current employer, it has built up over a number of years, the last thing I bought was a proper office desk. 

    I do get the security, the laptop is bit locked, then requires a password, then requires a code to be inputted they send to my mobile phone, which I am required to have locked and need a pass code to enter. Even then accessing some areas requires additional passwords. Then it has to log into the work VPN or will not give access to the systems.

    I do have one question, as you are working from home have you been given health and safety guidance on setting up your work station/place?

    There are some simple tricks which can help the environment be more relaxing. For example if you have a scent that helps you to relax then using an oil burner during work hours can help, or plug in diffuser. I have tried other ways but found they can be overpowering and have the opposite effect. I have picture of a bull dog above my monitors which I can temporarily relax from what I am doing and focus on as a way of changing my focus from the screen. I used to have my work area near the window, but found the conflict in lighting too distracting. I also put music on so it is not too quiet, but not enough to distract me.

    Personally I love working from home, but know it is not for everyone, and in truth I'm not sure anyone really knows until they start doing it. The advise we give at work, is to be kind to yourself, and reach out if you need support or help.

    Hi, this is really helpful I appreciate your well thought out response.

    So my home PC is a big tower with a graphics card in it and the works oneis just a small little thing, I already have a desk with a monitor for my personal PC that will be situated in the property, in regards to the works one I wanted to separate my living space with my work space as mixing the two probably won't help me relax and wind down so to speak, my needs are different I appreciate that, but I guess I will just have to mix the living space with the work space, your idea with the 2 screens and USB and docking port is a great idea, but I am just looking for a bit more separation.

    If I had more space inside then I would be happy to have a separate room for this set up but sadly space doesn't permit.

    I'm happy to provide the desk, the chair, the electricity etc I was just wondering if I could have the actual 'space' under DFG perhaps, sorry if I haven't came across clear properly, I'll likely just stop chasing this and I'll have to work something out.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,055 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Geoark said:
    Hi @mitcheyfex

    I have two laptops that I use in my work area, personal and work. The solution is a simple one, even with two tower PCs, as long as there is room for them.

    Using a docking station would allow you to connect everything with just one or two wires. Keyboard, mouse, monitors, desk lamp etc all go directly into the docking bay. Dual arm monitor stand means both can be adjusted to a suitable height and provide additional room underneath them if required.

    When I finish at the end of the day I simply move the cable (USB) from work laptop to personal laptop and I'm set up, with the work laptop being locked away. Depending where your connectors are located on the two PCs it may be easier to use one USB wire and switch it over, or have one cable from each and swap them over at the docking station.

    It is worth checking what your employer provides, while I have access to funding for different things to replace them or when we first started working from home I chose to buy myself so I had a set up which works for me. So as I work a lot with spreadsheets and documents one is slightly larger for the spreadsheets, the other I can rotate and it adjusts the display so I can read a whole page of a document without scrolling. The funding for a chair is enough to cover a basic office chair, which I cannot physically cope with. Plus it wasn't done overnight, as I have always had the option of working from home with my current employer, it has built up over a number of years, the last thing I bought was a proper office desk. 

    I do get the security, the laptop is bit locked, then requires a password, then requires a code to be inputted they send to my mobile phone, which I am required to have locked and need a pass code to enter. Even then accessing some areas requires additional passwords. Then it has to log into the work VPN or will not give access to the systems.

    I do have one question, as you are working from home have you been given health and safety guidance on setting up your work station/place?

    There are some simple tricks which can help the environment be more relaxing. For example if you have a scent that helps you to relax then using an oil burner during work hours can help, or plug in diffuser. I have tried other ways but found they can be overpowering and have the opposite effect. I have picture of a bull dog above my monitors which I can temporarily relax from what I am doing and focus on as a way of changing my focus from the screen. I used to have my work area near the window, but found the conflict in lighting too distracting. I also put music on so it is not too quiet, but not enough to distract me.

    Personally I love working from home, but know it is not for everyone, and in truth I'm not sure anyone really knows until they start doing it. The advise we give at work, is to be kind to yourself, and reach out if you need support or help.



    I'm happy to provide the desk, the chair, the electricity etc I was just wondering if I could have the actual 'space' under DFG perhaps, sorry if I haven't came across clear properly, I'll likely just stop chasing this and I'll have to work something out.

    I would say that's very very unlikely.
    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.
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Geoark said:
    Hi @mitcheyfex

    I have two laptops that I use in my work area, personal and work. The solution is a simple one, even with two tower PCs, as long as there is room for them.

    Using a docking station would allow you to connect everything with just one or two wires. Keyboard, mouse, monitors, desk lamp etc all go directly into the docking bay. Dual arm monitor stand means both can be adjusted to a suitable height and provide additional room underneath them if required.

    When I finish at the end of the day I simply move the cable (USB) from work laptop to personal laptop and I'm set up, with the work laptop being locked away. Depending where your connectors are located on the two PCs it may be easier to use one USB wire and switch it over, or have one cable from each and swap them over at the docking station.

    It is worth checking what your employer provides, while I have access to funding for different things to replace them or when we first started working from home I chose to buy myself so I had a set up which works for me. So as I work a lot with spreadsheets and documents one is slightly larger for the spreadsheets, the other I can rotate and it adjusts the display so I can read a whole page of a document without scrolling. The funding for a chair is enough to cover a basic office chair, which I cannot physically cope with. Plus it wasn't done overnight, as I have always had the option of working from home with my current employer, it has built up over a number of years, the last thing I bought was a proper office desk. 

    I do get the security, the laptop is bit locked, then requires a password, then requires a code to be inputted they send to my mobile phone, which I am required to have locked and need a pass code to enter. Even then accessing some areas requires additional passwords. Then it has to log into the work VPN or will not give access to the systems.

    I do have one question, as you are working from home have you been given health and safety guidance on setting up your work station/place?

    There are some simple tricks which can help the environment be more relaxing. For example if you have a scent that helps you to relax then using an oil burner during work hours can help, or plug in diffuser. I have tried other ways but found they can be overpowering and have the opposite effect. I have picture of a bull dog above my monitors which I can temporarily relax from what I am doing and focus on as a way of changing my focus from the screen. I used to have my work area near the window, but found the conflict in lighting too distracting. I also put music on so it is not too quiet, but not enough to distract me.

    Personally I love working from home, but know it is not for everyone, and in truth I'm not sure anyone really knows until they start doing it. The advise we give at work, is to be kind to yourself, and reach out if you need support or help.



    I'm happy to provide the desk, the chair, the electricity etc I was just wondering if I could have the actual 'space' under DFG perhaps, sorry if I haven't came across clear properly, I'll likely just stop chasing this and I'll have to work something out.

    I would say that's very very unlikely.
    That makes me so sad.

    Is there nothing that currently exists to keep disabled people in work? If not, I feel like something like that should exist and I'd love to support any projects that encourages this 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,055 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    I'm not aware of anything. You could fund it yourself but you have to think is it worth it for 15 hours per week.
    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.
  • mitcheyfex
    mitcheyfex Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    I'm not aware of anything. You could fund it yourself but you have to think is it worth it for 15 hours per week.
    At this point it's much bigger than that, the amount of people who have disabilities whether physical or hidden, the amount of people with severe anxiety, depression, autism, poor social skills that could work given the right kind of funding, I want to create something to help them people, whether they want to work 2 hours 15 hours, 70 hours, part time, full time, voluntary, part time with a side business there must be so many people who need this kind of service.
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