skip to main content

Access to Work Grant

Find out who is eligible for an Access to Work grant and how to apply for it.

Last updated: 27 November 2023

How Access to Work grant can help musicians at work

An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have an impairment, health or mental health condition. It can help you to:

  • Start working
  • Stay in work
  • Move into self-employment

The grant isn’t for business start-up costs. It’s to help you do things you couldn’t otherwise do because of a condition or impairment.

The grant can pay for things like:

  • Adaptations to the equipment you use
  • Special equipment
  • Taxi fares to work if you can’t use public transport
  • A personal assistant or job coach to help you in your workplace
  • A support service if you have a mental health condition and you’re absent from work or finding it difficult to work
  • Disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • A communicator at a job interview
  • The cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job

Who is eligible for an Access to Work grant?

To get an Access to Work grant you must:

  • Have an impairment, health condition or mental health condition that affects your ability to work
  • Be 16 years old or over
  • Live in England, Scotland or Wales - there’s a different system in Northern Ireland

What are job requirements?

One of the following must apply:

  • You have a paid job
  • You’re self-employed
  • You have a job interview
  • You’re about to start a job
  • You’re starting work experience

Access to Work grants are not available for voluntary work.

Your impairment or health condition

Your impairment or health condition must either:

  • Affect your ability to do a job
  • Mean you have to pay work-related costs, for example additional computer equipment or travel costs because you can’t use public transport

It must also either:

  • Be likely to last at least a year
  • Have lasted at least a year already

Changing jobs when getting Access to Work grant

Make sure you contact Access to Work if you change jobs. You may be able to:

  • Transfer equipment to a new job
  • Get a different amount of grant

Find more information on gov.uk and apply for Access to Work.

Useful online resources

Discrimination in the music sector based on disability

If you are a musician who is an MU member and are concerned about how you are being treated at work, you can get advice on disability rights from the Musicians' Union.

Contact the MU

Latest news & features

Musician with short pink hair, sat in a wheelchair at a desk in front of a laptop, mic and pop shield.

MU Supports Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s First Conference on Disability and Music

This May Cheltenham Jazz Festival will host the first Access To Music Conference, which will see industry figures gather together to explore the challenges faced by disabled people participating in music and live events. Tickets are now on sale for both in-person and online attendance.

Published: 21 February 2024

Read more about MU Supports Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s First Conference on Disability and Music
Back of two women with their hands raised in a meeting.

MU Responds to Seat at the Table 2024 Report Findings

As 2024’s Seat at the Table report finds that the representation of women on UK music trade association boards has now risen to 52%, find out what the MU is doing to improve diversity in our own committees.

Published: 02 February 2024

Read more about MU Responds to Seat at the Table 2024 Report Findings
Musician in the studio sat at the laptop while a musician rehearses.

UK Music Launch Workforce Diversity Survey

The survey, which closes 29 February, is aimed at those who work behind the scenes in the industry to gain an insight into where improvements are needed regarding diversity and inclusion.

Published: 24 January 2024

Read more about UK Music Launch Workforce Diversity Survey
General Secretary Naomi Pohl stands in discussion outside of the Royal Opera House

2023 End of Year Round Up

MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl reports back on the work that the Union has done through 2023, as well as setting out some of MU’s intentions for 2024, and more general food for thought about the music industry.

Published: 30 December 2023

Read more about 2023 End of Year Round Up

Representing and advocating on behalf of disabled musicians

At the MU we advocate on behalf of disabled and/or neurodivergent musicians to ensure their rights are upheld and strengthened – where they encounter discrimination, we’ll challenge it.  

Join our Disabled Member Network

The Disabled Members Network is a space for MU members who identify as disabled and/or neurodivergent to meet and discuss issues that impact their communities, shape MU policy, and change the music industry and the MU for the better.

Join the Disabled Member Network

Representing and advocating on behalf of disabled musicians