New provision to help disabled customers with complex needs get into work now available

Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) aims to provide one-to-one support and training for those who are not in work, are disabled or have complex needs.

Open to both existing benefit and non-benefit customers, people interested in participating can discuss their circumstances with a jobcentre work coach.  

The scheme provides:

  • intensive, flexible provider support for up to 21 months, including 6 months in-work support
  • warm handover from the jobcentre
  • a dedicated key worker
  • help to build a sustainable support network
  • an offer of work experience
  • regular progress reviews 

How to apply

Ask your work coach if you’re eligible.

If you don’t have a work coach, go to your local Jobcentre Plus and ask to speak to a work coach about Intensive Personalised Employment Support.

Visit the www.gov.uk site for more information about the scheme.


Optalis Supported Employment Service

Optalis Supported Employment Service provides a friendly and confidential employment support service for people covered under the disability provision of the Equalities Act.

The team can help if you are looking for work but need extra support, if you are planning to return to work, require further training, or need support when meeting an employer.

Individually-tailored support packages include a wide range of services such as:

  • 1:1 support
  • CV advice
  • interview skills and practice
  • continued support whilst employed.

The Supported Employment Team is able to support people living outside Wokingham Borough. Please visit their website for more information about their services. 

Telephone: 0118 977 8600 

Email: info@optalis.org


Access to Work Grant

An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability to help you:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business.

Download the easy-read guide.

The grant is not for business start-up costs.

How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The money doesn’t have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

To get an Access to Work grant you must:

  • have a disability, health condition or mental health condition that affects your ability to work
  • be 16 or over
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales – (there’s a different system in Northern Ireland)

Your work

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 or work trial
  • you’re starting work experience

You can’t get a grant for voluntary work.

The employer has to be in England, Scotland or Wales.

Your disability or health condition must either:

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


You might not qualify if you get any of these benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Income Support
  • National Insurance Credits.

How much you will get depends on your circumstances.

The money can pay for things like:

  • adaptations to the equipment you use
  • special equipment
  • fares to work if you can’t use public transport
  • a support worker or job coach to help you in your workplace
  • disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • a communicator at a job interview
  • the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job

For further information and to apply, please visit www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply