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9 Welfare benefits
6. If you are ill and can't work
If you are off work sick, you may qualify for:
If you are self-employed or unemployed, you cannot receive Statutory Sick Pay, but you may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit during the first six months of sickness if you have paid National Insurance contributions within the last three years.
If you are sick and you have never worked, you may qualify for Incapacity Benefit if you were under 20 (or 25 in certain circumstances) when you became unable to work. Otherwise, you may get Income Support if you are on a low income. Some people may be getting Severe Disablement Allowance because they can’t work, but you cannot make a new claim for this benefit now because it has ended. If you do return to work and are still disabled, you may also qualify for a higher rate of Working Tax Credit to top up your earnings.
If you have been injured at work
As well as the Statutory Sick Pay or Incapacity Benefit already mentioned, you may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you:
You must have been an employee when you were injured or when you contracted the disease, and the injury or disease must have happened because of your work. To claim this benefit, you do not have to prove that your employer was at fault, but you should speak to a solicitor in case you can also take legal action against your employer.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Rachel Hadwen, a specialist in welfare rights.
Leaflet Version: April 2019
CLS Legal Info Leaflets
(Legal Information Leaflets)