Hardware Access Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Anyone over 18 years of age can refer themselves or someone in their household under the Education or NEET pathways, as can relevant professionals. Under the Financial Hardship Health pathway eligible professionals can make a referral on your behalf, examples are below: 

  • Local council or Local Authority employees
  • Charity employees
  • GPs and specialist doctors
  • Teachers or Lecturers
  • Case workers
  • Employment Advisors

Please note that Councillors or elected officials cannot make referrals.

You can refer in anyone that meets this eligibility criteria

Depending on demand, we usually provide a decision within 10 working days of the referral being made to either progress or not progress. You (and where applicable the professional referrer) will get an email outlining this once a decision has been made.

  • Universal Credit
  • Jobseekers' Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Personal Independent Payments
  • Disability Living Allowance

In exceptional circumstances, yes we do. However, we make an assessment on a case by case basis. It is worth providing as much detailed context around the client, their circumstances and how receiving a device could help them and others in the household overcome challenges that they currently face. As our stock of devices is limited and we want to be able to support those residents in the most need, please ensure that a full and valid reason for referral is included.

Currently a maximum of five referrals can be made by any one professional during a seven-day rolling period.  

Yes. Professionals must ensure that the beneficiary being referred into the scheme are aware that the device is being provided by Kent County Council's Digital Kent team, that they understand our privacy policy and that they will be contacted for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Failure to notify the beneficiary could result in future referrals from your organisation being automatically declined.

Currently no. We are looking at how we can do this in the future, such as a Device Loaning Scheme. 

We strive to provide 2-in-1 devices (can be used as a tablet and a laptop). However, it depends on what laptops are available in the market at the time of purchase. In addition, we purchase remanufactured devices that are carbon neutral and officially certified (and BSI kitemarked). 

These are generally a Lenovo Yoga 11e (with 11.6" Touchscreen). 

No. Devices will run on the Windows operating system, with no other software installed. If you require specialist accessibility software, please get in touch with us. 

If you require Microsoft Office products, you can go to office.com and sign up for the free version of Microsoft 365. 

If you require Google Doc products, you can go to google.com/docs/about and sign up for free. 

Each device gifted by the Hardware Access Scheme is supplied with a limited 12-month warranty and any faults must be reported using the My Warranty Claim Form.

For any issues that are not covered by the warranty, we are unfortunately unable to support with. 

Digital Kent will be able to help residents that need digital support. There are a few options, including: 

  • Digital Support, Skills & Sessions - where clients will be matched with a Digital Champion or one of our team. 
  • Community Sessions - where we are facilitating or supporting a community session, which clients can either drop-in or book onto. 
  • Digital Hubs - where we have established 'Hubs' (usually in a local library), which clients can book into. 

Emails can be sent to hardwareaccess@kent.gov.uk, including your reference number in the subject line. You can also contact us by telephone on 03000 410 950.

Approximately every three months each recipient of a gifted laptop will be sent an evaluation form, either in the post or electronically, which needs to be completed and returned to Digital Kent. These forms focus on the benefits of gifting a free device to you, such as improvements with education, employment, household finances, or health and wellbeing. This will enable Digital Kent to evidence the impact we are having and secure our Schemes into the future to continue to help other residents.