I had an accident about nine weeks ago and have been signed off work ever since. I am getting Statutory Sick Pay but it's not very much. A friend told me I should be able to get some sort of benefit, is this possible? Am I entitled to anything?
At the moment, if you're on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), you should be getting a rate of £75.40 per week if you earn £90 per week or more. You may also be entitled to Income Support if you have a low income and your SSP is less than the amount of Income Support you would be entitled to. You can call 0800 055 6688 (8am - 6pm Monday to Friday) to make a claim for Income Support.
You may be able to claim Housing Benefit if you pay rent and your income, savings and investments are below a certain level. If you rent from a private landlord there's a new way of working out Housing Benefit, known as Local Housing Allowance - If you are aged under 25, are single and do not live with any dependants, you can only get the shared room rate.
You could also speak to you local council about getting Council Tax Benefit.
If your illness continues you may become entitled to Incapacity Benefit but it would simply replace your SSP at the same amount.
If you've had an accident you may be able to make a personal injury claim for loss of earnings and any expenses you have incurred due to the accident. The Law Society website can guide you to members of their personal injuries panel. You could also look at the CLSdirect website for information about personal injuries and whether or not you may be entitled to legal aid.
To find out more about all these issues, you can drop in to your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
Question answered by CAB