Employment Assistance Fund (EAF)
The EAF gives financial help to eligible people with disability and mental health conditions and employers to buy work related modifications, equipment, Auslan services and workplace assistance and support services. The EAF is available to eligible people with disability who are about to start a job, are self-employed or who are currently working. It is also available to people with disability who need Auslan assistance or special work equipment to look for and prepare for a job.
The EAF could help to buy work related modifications and services like:
- the cost of making adjustments to your physical workplace
- modifications to work vehicles
- special equipment for the workplace*
- information and communication devices*
- Auslan interpreting services
- specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions
- disability awareness training for the workplace (including deafness awareness)
- mental health awareness and first aid training.
* There will be some circumstances where the percentage of personal use versus work use for some equipment will be considered when determining the amount of funding to be approved. A JobAccess Advisor will discuss this with you.
Free workplace assessments for eligible people with disability
A free workplace assessment through the EAF is available to help work out what modifications or equipment will best meet your needs and help you do your job. This is called a Workplace Modification Assessment. The assessment is done by a qualified professional. The Assessor will look at your workplace and any barriers that may exist; and talk with you and your employer to find solutions to make your workplace more flexible and accessible.
You usually need to have an assessment when applying for EAF if the assistance being purchased is over $1,000. JobAccess may waive the need for an assessment if, for example, your EAF application is submitted by a Government Employment Service provider like a Disability Employment Services (DES) and items cost less than $10,000.
Who can apply for the EAF?
If you are a person with disability that meets EAF eligibility you can submit an EAF application with JobAccess Secure. If you need help to submit an application you can also:
- ask a friend, relative or advocate to help you with your application
- work with your employer to submit an application
- ask your DES, jobactive or Community Development Program provider to help you submit an online enquiry to JobAccess, or call JobAccess on 1800 464 800 and get a JobAccess Adviser to help you to submit an application.
Your EAF application may take up to 10 working days to assess and refer for assessment. Funding through the EAF is dependent on eligibility requirements being met, workplace assessment outcome and sourcing equipment and modifications from suppliers – this may take some time to finalise. A JobAccess Advisor will be in contact with you to request any further documentation and to help guide you through the application process.
What are the eligibility requirements for the EAF?
- you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident
- you are currently in a job that is expected to continue for 13 weeks or more
- you are working at least 8 hours per week
- or if self-employed, be working at least 20 hours per week over the last 13 weeks and earning an hourly income that is at least equivalent to the National Minimum Wage
- you have an ongoing disability that has lasted, or will last at least two years and disability must limit, restrict or impair your ability to work.
When might your EAF application be declined?
There are special conditions that must be met for your EAF application to be approved. For example, your EAF application will not be approved if:
- you do not meet the eligibility criteria
- your application is incomplete
- you don’t provide the required supporting information with your application
- there is not enough evidence that the requested modification will help you do your job or improve your work productivity
- you have already purchased the modification or service without having your EAF application approved
- the cost of the modification is unreasonable and there are other ways to help you do your job
- you can access funding for workplace modifications through another Government source or state, territory or local government bodies
- you have received a compensation payment from your employer or someone else in the last seven years
- the application is for repairs or maintenance.
The EAF Guidelines provide more detail about the EAF application process, eligibility, and the type of modifications and equipment funded through the fund, or you can contact a JobAccess Adviser on 1800 464 800 to help you with applying for EAF assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions?
What information will I need to apply for the EAF?
Before you start the online application form, you will need details about your employment, such as the type of industry, company size, duration (if permanent or on contract), hours worked and the date you will start. Other information you will need include:
- Your Employer’s/Business Name and ABN number (if applicable)
- Your Employer’s/Business Address
- Your Employer/Manager’s name and contact details.
You can search for your Employer’s ABN here https://abr.business.gov.au/.
Do I need to tell my Employer if I am applying for EAF?
In most instances you will need to let your Employer know that you are applying for the EAF, as JobAccess will need to contact them to verify information in your application, and to organise a Workplace Modification Assessment (WMS) if needed.
If you have genuine concerns about sharing information about your disability with your Employer, please contact a JobAccess Advisor on 1800 464 800 to discuss your particular circumstances.
What if I don’t know what equipment or modifications are needed?
A free workplace assessment through the EAF is available to help work out what modifications or equipment will best meet your needs and help you do your job. This is called a Workplace Modification Assessment (WMS).
When you apply for EAF via the online application, at the “Items/Modifications” tab (Step 4) under “Item Type” you should select “Other” and under “description” you simply write to be determined and go to the next tab. Then under “Item Cost” enter $0.00 and finish the application and submit. A JobAccess Advisor will then contact you to arrange a WMS.
I’m starting a new job, can I buy what I need and then apply for reimbursement?
No. You should not purchase any item or service before your application has been approved and you have been advised in writing. If you do so, the funds will not be reimbursed.
I know what I need but I’m not sure what it will cost, do I have to get quotes first?
You will only need to obtain quotes after your application has been approved. If you don’t know what something costs you can simply enter $0.00 in the online application under “Item Cost”.
- For individual items up to $5,000 (GST inclusive) – you require one written quotation
- Individual items between $5,000 and $15,000 require two written quotations
- Individual items over $15,000 require three written quotations.
Written quotations must contain the supplier’s name, ABN, contact details, and an accurate description of the item and its cost, separately listing GST where applicable.
Do I own the equipment and take it with me if I leave my current job?
Ownership must be confirmed in writing prior to approval of the EAF application. This will determine who is responsible for maintenance or repairs and what will happen to the equipment if the person with disability changes jobs. In most cases, any modification or equipment that is portable should move with you if you are going to a new job.
When can I call a JobAccess Advisor?
JobAccess Advisers are available across Australia on free call number 1800 464 800 from Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) and Eastern Daylight Saving Time, except on Australian national public holidays.
Users who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can connect with JobAccess through the National Relay Service (NRS):
TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 464 800.
- Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 464 800, or
- Connect online at relayservice.gov.au. Under the Contact Us Page are numbers and links for an internet relay call or a captioned relay call, or
- Consider downloading the NRS app from your online app store or by following the NRS app fact sheet instructions.