Return to Work Grants Program - Guidelines

ACT Women’s Return to Work Grants Program


Digital Online ApplicationExternal Link

Application Form [PDF 299KB] [Word 41KB]
Income Means Test


These guidelines are designed to explain:

General Information about the Program

All program information can be found on the Women ACT website at Please remember to check the website regularly for any changes to ensure that your copy of these guidelines is kept up-to-date.

If you do not have access to the Internet and have any questions regarding the Program that are not covered in this document, please contact the Women’s Return to Work Grants Program Coordinator on 6205 2885.

What is the Women’s Return to Work Grants Program?

The Return to Work Grants provide $1000 in funding to individual women on low incomes who have been out of the workforce for more than 12 months due to caring responsibilities at some point in their lives.

This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, women with disabilities, younger women and older women requiring assistance in returning to paid work.

The Program provides funding for thing such as attending short courses, paying for child care to attend interviews as well as more formal training or education. It may also provide support for the purchase of equipment or clothing directly related to the woman’s return to work.

What kind of training can I do?

The $1,000 grant is to be used for training and job readiness skills which improves your prospects of successfully gaining paid work.

Training under the Program must be in courses that:

Such courses must be:

Other professional costs may be:

You must develop a Return to Work Plan

A Return to Work Plan is designed to be completed by you with assistance from the Grant Coordinator at interview. This interview can take place face to face, by phone or by other means. The Coordinator will assist you to determine the best training for you to undertake based on your skills, interests, life goals and values to achieve your desired employment goal. On your Return to Work Plan you will allocate your expenditure items and costs, which will then be listed on your Letter of Offer and Agreement.

What costs can the grants cover?

Participants can use the grant to cover the costs of the following:

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a $1,000 grant under this Program, an individual must meet the following criteria:

The Program has an employment focus. Training approved through the Program will therefore be in courses that increase work-related skills, improve job prospects or personal business.

Grant Conditions

The grant may be used only on items and activities specified on your Return to Work Plan. If you need to change how the funds are to be spent after receiving the Letter of Offer and Agreement, you will need to obtain a written approval for a Letter of Variation through the Grants Coordinator.

You are required to complete a Financial Acquittal form within 6 months of receipt of the grant. If you do not provide this you may be required to repay the grant.

How do I apply?

You can access an application form on the Women ACT website, which can be emailed back to, or mailed. Alternatively you may request an application form by contacting the Grant Coordinator. All contact details are at the end of these guidelines.

Once you have submitted your application your eligibility will be assessed. If you are eligible the following will occur:

If you are not eligible, you will be advised by mail.

After interview, if you are approved, you will receive a Return to Work Package including your Letter of Offer, financial paperwork, acquittal information and survey.

You can then proceed with your work plan.

How many times can I apply for the Program?

You can only apply for one grant through the Women’s Return to Work Grant Program.

How long is the Grants approval valid for?

From the date you receive your payment, you have a six months to spend your funding, unless the training/course undertaken is longer and you have discussed this with the grant Coordinator.

You pay training fees directly

Providing the Program guidelines are met, the ACT Government will provide a grant of $1,000 for training and associated costs directly to you. It is your responsibility to make the agreed payments according to your Return to Work Plan.

What if I have left over funds?

If items in your Return to Work plan do not cost as much as projected, then you must contact the Grants Coordinator to discuss best use of funds in line with your return to work goals.

What is an Acquittal?

An Acquittal is providing receipts to verify expenditure for items agreed to in your Letter of Offer.

You have six months to collect receipts and return the paperwork as provided in your Return to Work package.

It is your responsibility to date the receipt of your Return to Work payment into your account and monitor your due date for acquittal (six months after Letter of Offer).
Please note that all receipts must be from a credible source and have an ABN number.

Can I use the Grant for more than one course?

Yes. The grant may be used for more than one training course, provided that:

Are there any other options available for me if I am not eligible?

The Return to Work Program conducts regular Career Sessions for women who would like to re-enter the workforce, but are uncertain of their career direction. You do not have to be a recipient of the Grant to attend a Career session.

Information about Career Sessions are available at

Other Scholarships/financial help

The Return to Work Program Coordinator is able to assist women who are not eligible for the Program with information and referral to other programs that can support them to enter or re-enter the workforce including;


ACT Women’s Return to Work Grants Application forms and more information can be found on the website or by contacting the Return to Work Grant GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601.

The actual address of the office is Level 2, 180 London Circuit, Civic. Phone: 6205 2885, Email: