Last Updated: September 2016

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers (including contract workers, trainees, apprentices and business partners) aren’t seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

This includes:

  • Making reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process
  • Making physical changes – eg installing a ramp for a wheelchair user or an audio-visual fire alarm for a deaf person
  • Letting a disabled person work somewhere else – eg on the ground floor for a wheelchair user
  • Changing their equipment – eg providing a special keyboard if they have arthritis
  • Allowing employees who become disabled to make a phased return to work – eg working flexible hours or part-time
  • Offering employees training opportunities, recreation and refreshment facilities.

For more information see Government rules on “Reasonable adjustments for disabled workers”.

If you work, you can claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP). PIP is not means tested and is assessed on your physical and care needs.If you receive a PIP award, at any rate, it is a qualifying benefit for the extra help for disabled workers. Make sure you check your award notice to see if the ‘disability element’ is included.

Working Tax Credit is paid by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HRMC) to working people on low incomes. You do not need to have a disability in order to claim Working Tax Credit but the qualifying rules are different if you are a disabled worker; in order to qualify for the extra help for disabled workers you must: Work for 16 hours per week AND have a disability which makes it more difficult for you to find work.

HMRC publishes a disability helpsheet (TC956) which includes a list of the descriptors which they consider put you at a disadvantage in finding work.

For more information about Tax Credits, see The government’s “Find out if you qualify for tax credits” site and this note about the disaibility element of tax credits

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit, which has been designed to replace some others, whilst helping make sure you’re always better off in work. If you’re on a low income or out of work, Universal Credit helps you to find a job or increase the hours you work. It is there to top up earnings each month and gradually reduce as earnings increase. Universal Credit payments again. If you’re a parent, you can also claim up to 85% of childcare costs. Find out more about childcare support for parents.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages, so you may not be able to claim, where you live, it just yet. When you make a new claim for benefit, such as if you become unemployed, the DWP will tell you whether you can claim Universal Credit.

For more information about Universal Credits, see these articles:

Other Benefits

An Access to Work Grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition to help you ; start working,stay in work, move into self-employment or start a business. More information

If you have a low income you may also be entitled to further help with other bills. Check your eligibility using an online calculator. You could also speak to you council about help with rent, Housing Benefits or Council Tax reduction.

Here are some useful links: