HomeRulesEmploymentBenefitsCarers › Work Choice Program
Work Choice Programme DWP

The Department for Work and Pensions runs this specialist disability employment programme. Read on to see if the Work Choice programme can help you.

WORK CHOICE: The DWP Work Choice programme helps disabled people find employment and develop their career.

Work Choice specialises in supporting people with disabilities who want to work.

It is a voluntary scheme. But, people with complex barriers can get help to secure employment and stay in work.

This section explains how Work Choice can help you get job and keep it – even if you have a disability. You can also find further information on the simple process to join the Work Choice scheme.

The Work Choice programme is voluntary. Thus, you are not forced into joining. But, if you join Work Choice you can get several different types of support. The support you get will depend on what kind of help you need. Work Choice provides help and support such as:

  • Specialist training and help in developing your skills.
  • Training for a job that is best suited for you.
  • Building up your confidence and positive interview coaching.

Work Choice replaces two previous schemes called WORKSTEP and Work Preparation. It did not replace the Job Introduction Scheme and that one has now ended.

Note: Work Choice does not operate in Northern Ireland. NIR has different schemes for disabled people instead.

What Help Can You Get?

First of all, the support you get will help you find a job. The process also helps you keep it and progress in the workplace. DWP will set up an interview to see what level of support you need when you join the Work Choice programme.

How Work Choice Works

In some isolated circumstances you can extend Work Entry Support. The extension may reach 3 or 6 months where there is a clear prospect of a job posting. Different providers can offer three separate levels of help across the country.

Level of Help What You Get How Long it Lasts
Work Entry Support Advice on work and personal skills to help you find a job Up to 6 months
In-Work Support Help to start work and stay in your job Up to 12 months

If You Have Complaints about Work Choice

Your first contact should be the service provider if you have a complaint about joining Work Choice. Contact your Disability Employment Adviser at Jobcentre Plus if you cannot solve the issue.

Work Choice Programme Eligibility Criteria

You can apply for Work Choice even if you have a job. The programme helps people when they feel they may lose it because of their disability. The same guidelines apply to those who are self-employed. Work Choice eligibility means you must:

  • Live in England or Wales, be of working age, and need support in work as well as finding a job.
  • Be capable of working at least 16 hours a week after Work Entry Support.
  • Have a recognised physical or mental disability that means you find it hard to get or keep a job.
  • Need specialist help that you are unable to get from other government schemes (e.g. Access to Work, workplace adjustments, Jobcentre Plus partners).

Actually receiving any disability benefits is not a requirement to join the Work Choice programme.

How to Claim Work Choice Support

Talk to a Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus. The DEA can explain how to join Work Choice programmes.

Note: Work Choice has closed for new applications in Wales and the North West of England (except Manchester). The deadlines for applying in the rest of England are:

  • England (except the North West and London): 1st of December 2017
  • Manchester: 15th of December 2017
  • London: 1st of February 2018


Access to Work: Payments and practical support for individuals with a health condition or disability.
Disability Benefits Helpline: A guide explaining how to get help from the Disability Service Centre.
Disabled Facilities Grant: Get money towards the cost of making essential improvements to your home.
Recruitment of Disabled Workers: A list of rules to follow when recruiting disabled employees.
VAT Relief for Disabled Persons: Some VAT reliefs apply for those who are ‘chronically sick or disabled’.

Work Choice Programme Eligibility and Membership in the United Kingdom