About the Fund
The Access to Elected Office Fund was set up in 2012 and runs until March 2014.
The fund offers individual grants of between £250 and £10,000 to disabled people who want to be considered for selection as candidates for an election, or are standing for election.
The grants help meet the additional support needs that a disabled person has that are associated with their disability. If this support were not provided, a disabled person may face an additional barrier in the selection and campaign processes compared to a non-disabled person.
Am I eligible?
The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone with a ‘physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. You must be disabled according to this definition to apply to the fund.
You can apply for money from the fund if you:
- can confirm you are eligible to stand for office under the requirements of electoral law, which are set out in the Electoral Commission’s guidance
- can provide evidence relating to your disability, and
- can show us evidence that you have been involved or interested in civic, community or other relevant activities.
This fund is for additional disability-related costs that you have to pay as part of standing for an election. It is not for general costs that any election candidate needs to meet such as campaigning costs (like leaflets). It also does not cover general living costs.
Which elections are covered by the fund?
The fund covers the following elections:
- UK Parliament
- English local (not parish)
- English mayoral
- Police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales
- Greater London Assembly (GLA)
- By-elections for any of the above elections.
If you are not standing (or planning to stand) for the elections listed above, you are not eligible to apply to the fund.
For more details about these elections and the electoral process, please visit the Electoral Commission website.
How much can I apply for?
The minimum amount for which you may apply is £250 and the maximum is £10,000 in any calendar year (1 January to 31 December). You can submit more than one application to the fund but together they must not exceed £10,000 a year.
When will I receive my grant?
The payment process is separate from the application process and will take place after the date you receive your grant letter. If your application is successful, we will process your payment after you send us invoices and receipts for the items you set out in your application.
What evidence do I need to provide?
If your application is successful, we will ask you to provide proof of your name and address, and evidence relating to your disability. Please do not send evidence at the time of applying. For a full list of the evidence we will accept, please read the guidance notes.
Your application also needs to be supported by an independent referee (if you are not linked to a political party) or member of your political party. To download a template reference form, please click here.
More questions? Please visit the FAQ section.
Last updated: July 9, 2012
Read about disabled people who are active in politics.