Over 2,000 more disabled people got the support they needed to get or keep their job, compared with this time last year, official figures released today (22 October 2013) show.

22,760 people were being supported through Access to Work between April and June this year – an increase of 10% on the same period last year.

Access to Work provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people at work, such as support workers, specialist aids and equipment and travel to work support.

Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said: “Access to Work offers unique and tailored help so that disabled people can have the same choice of jobs as everyone else – in every sector, from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between. This is about supporting disabled people to fulfil their aspirations in the workplace. I would urge disabled people who are looking for work, or need more support to stay in their job, to find out how this scheme can help them.”

Access to Work supported 31,400 disabled people to keep or get employment last year and the recent set of statistics show the highest level of new claims since 2007 – with 10,390 new applications. More people with mental health conditions than ever before have been supported at or into work through the scheme.

A digital marketing campaign by DWP to raise awareness of the scheme has seen an almost 80% increase in the number of people looking for more information on how to claim the support. Young disabled people can now get support through Access to Work whilst undertaking Youth Contract Work Experience or participating in a Supported Internship or Traineeship.

Businesses with up to 49 employees no longer pay a contribution towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work – saving them up to £2,300 per employee who uses the fund.