Employment Assistance Fund (EAF)
The EAF gives financial help to eligible people with disability and mental health condition and employers to buy work related modifications and services. The EAF is available to people with disability who are about to start a job or who are currently working, as well as people who need help to find and prepare for a job. It is also available to people with disability who are self-employed, and jobseekers 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
- specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions
- disability awareness training
- deafness awareness training
- mental health first aid training.
Free workplace assessments for eligible people with disability
A free workplace assessment through the EAF is available to help work out what modifications 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 assessment will look at your workplace and any barriers that you might have and will look at your job and workplace to identify any equipment or modifications that would work for you and your workplace. The Assessor will recommend any equipment or modifications from the assessment and liaise with you and your employer to find and access solutions to make your workplace more flexible and accessible.
You usually need to have an assessment if the assistance being purchased for you is over $1,000. JobAccess may waive your need for an assessment, for example, if 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, 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 20 hours per week if you are self-employed
- you have an ongoing disability that has lasted, or will last at least two years. Your 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 not complete
- 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 bought a modification 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
- you want to purchase medical, therapeutic, health related aids, equipment or services including prescription glasses, cochlear implants and hearing aids
- 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 EAF, or you can contact a JobAccess Adviser on 1800 464 800 to help you with applying for EAF assistance.