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Can I claim health benefits

Are You Getting The Right Entitlements
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When you’re off work or need to reduce your hours due to sickness or disability, you don’t want to be having to worry about money. There are a range of benefits you could be entitled to that will help you through this period.

There isn’t just one health related benefit and what you are eligible to claim will depend on your circumstances. There are different criteria for the individual benefits and you may be entitled to more than one. It’s important to claim everything that you are eligible for, as the money can go towards yours and your family’s living expenses.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

This benefit is provided for those who are unable to carry out their regular job due to ill health or a disability. In order to be eligible, you must have been earning at least £111 per week and you will require a fit note after a period of seven days. Through SSP you can currently receive £87.55 a week for a maximum of 28 weeks. After this period you may be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance. In the majority of instances, you won’t be eligible for anything for the initial three days of your sickness.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you cannot work or are extremely limited in what you can do, then you might be entitled to ESA. You may also be moved onto this benefit after the first 28 weeks of SSP. The amount that you will receive varies according to your own personal circumstances, including your illness, age, previous employment history, income and savings. For example, someone who is single and under 25, with no other form of income or savings, would be entitled to £57.35 per week for 13 weeks. After this point the amount would increase to just over £100 a week.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIPs)

Can I claim health benefitsThose people who are currently claiming DLA will gradually be moved over to the new PIPs. Any new claimants will automatically begin on PIPs. This benefit covers those who have a long-term condition that impacts on the provision of their self-care or their ability to move themselves. In order to receive PIPs you will have to undergo a professional assessment, to determine the degree of your need.

PIPs are separated into mobility and daily living (care) elements; of which there is a standard and enhanced rate for both. The amount you are entitled to will be based on your assessed needs and for each individual element this could be from £21.55 to £138.05 per week.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

If you have been the victim of an industrial disease or injury that impacts on your ability to work, then you should apply for the Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit. There are no age limits for being accepted, but you must have had a contract to do the work you carried out at the time of the incident. The amount you receive will depend on your individual circumstances and there is a maximum benefit of £166 per week.

Applying for health benefits can be an extremely complicated system. If you require any help or advice, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau is the best place to go. They can help you understand exactly what you’re entitled to and guide you through the application process.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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