Although people with disabilities are frequently targeted as key beneficiaries of social protection, little is known on their access to existing programmes. This study uses mixed methods to explore participation in disability‐targeted and non‐targeted social protection programmes in Viet Nam, particularly in the district of Cam Le. In this district, social assistance and health insurance coverage among people with disabilities was 53 per cent and 96 per cent respectively. However, few accessed employment‐linked social insurance and other disability‐targeted benefits (e.g. vocational training, transportation discounts). Factors affecting access included the accessibility of the application process, disability assessment procedures, awareness and the perceived utility of programmes, and attitudes on disability and social protection.