What is Access to Work?
What is Access to Work?
If you need extra help coping with hearing loss at work, Access to Work can help. Access to Work offers support based on your needs and is available to anyone who has workplace needs that cannot be met through statutory services (for example NHS). In some cases, you may qualify to receive a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace, such as specialist equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you complete your role.
How do I qualify for an Access to Work Grant to help cover the cost of my hearing aids?
An Access to Work grant can be used to cover the cost of more premium hearing aids and accessories that are not usually available via the NHS. Privately, hearing devices are prescribed as part of a bespoke care package, which is tailored to the needs of each individual. This type of approach can aid workers who may benefit from extra features on their hearing aids to help cope with challenging workplace listening environments. Technologically advanced hearing aids can make a considerable difference to hearing in the workplace, however, many are only available privately.
Workers often benefit from:
- Bluetooth streaming of audio calls which link your telephone to your hearing aids
- Remote microphones to help with group conversations or listening from a distance
- Remote control adjustments for hearing aid volume or feature settings
It is advised that you talk to your employer about making reasonable adjustments before you apply. To qualify for help towards your hearing aids from Access to work you must meet the following criteria:
- have a hearing loss that makes it hard for you to do parts of your job
- be 16 or over
- live and work in England, Scotland or Wales – there’s a different system in Northern Ireland (You cannot get Access to Work if you live in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man)
- have a paid job or be about to start or return to one. A paid job could include:
- an apprenticeship
- a work trial or work experience
- an internship*
*Voluntary work not included
We recommend you visit the government pages on access to work to check whether you are eligible before applying by clicking here.
How it works
Speaking to your employer about reasonable adjustments is your first step. It is recommended that you do this before you apply for Access to Work. We also recommend speaking to a qualified Audiologist and completing a hearing aid assessment. This will help you to understand what equipment is available and how it might help towards your specific workplace listening needs.
Once you have applied, an Access to Work adviser will contact you to discuss what help you could get. Once they have spoken to you, they may also contact your employer (only if agreed with you first). A work-place visit may also be required from an Access to Work assessor.
Once this has been completed, Access to Work will decide whether to issue you with an offer of support, potentially including a grant.
How will I receive an Access to Work Grant?
Once you have applied, if you are eligible for a grant to offer support you will be told how much you’ll get and for how long.
You or your employer will buy the items or services you need for which you will need to keep the receipt to provide as evidence. Access to Work will pay the money back, up to the amount of the grant you’ve been offered and with any contributions (such as employer or NHS contributions) deducted. The grant provided will not need to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.
How to Apply
Before you apply for your Access to Work application you will need:
- your National insurance number
- your workplace address(s)
- the name, email address and work telephone number of a workplace contact – this should be someone who can authorise payment for the items and services in your support offer
- your unique tax reference number (if you’re self-employed)
You can make your application online or alternative formats can be requested over the telephone. Make sure you have all the relevant information for a simple application.
Online application can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply
Hassle Free Application!
Integrate Hearing can assist your Access to Work application at one of our specialist Access to Work Hearing Assessments.
Access to work Hearing Assessments include:
- FREE Hearing Test & Assessment of your workplace requirements
- Help & Support with Access to Work Application
- FREE Hearing Aid Demonstrations & FREE Hearing Aid Trials
- Payment taken once you have received your Access to Work Grant
To book an appointment with Olivia to go through your application contact 0161 706 0067
We offer all aspects of hearing care in the North West of England & Wales including Stockport, Wrexham & Runcorn. Whether it be wax removal, hearing protection, music devices, hearing tests or tinnitus rehabilitation, we can help.
For more information about our services or even for just a general chat regarding your hearing health, please do get in touch.
We offer a range of hearing products to suit all needs and budgets
As a completely independent business we are able to offer a large choice of hearing aids from a range of technologies and styles.
Hearing protection is essential if you are repeatedly exposed to loud sounds occurring because of occupational or recreational activity.
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