As a resident of the UK, if you suffer from a disability or illness that prevents you from earning a wage from a job may be entitled to receive a weekly benefit if you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be under the age at which you would be able to apply for the State Pension.
Some of the eligibility requirements that you do need to meet include:
– You are ineligible for Statutory Sick Pay or your claim has run out
– You are either unemployed or are self-employed
– You have been in receipt of maternity leave benefits and are unable to return to your job because you are unable to work due to illness
In addition to meeting one or more of these criteria, you must also meet the following requirements:
– You must have paid into the National Insurance through deductions made through your pay or on your own
– The period that you have been unable to work must have been at least four consecutive days. This includes weekends and holidays.
– You have been unable to work for two consecutive days out of seven
– You are receiving specialized medical treatment
There are also exceptions under which you may qualify for the Incapacity Benefit:
– You are between the ages of 16 and 20.
– This age limit is extended to 25 if you have been attending school or involved in a training program for the three months immediately preceding your 20th birthday.
– You have been unable to work for the past 28 weeks due to illness or injury.
– You have been too ill to work since you turned 20.
Even if you have been living and working outside the UK, you may still be eligible to apply for Incapacity Benefits. The main point is that you or your employer paid in contributions to the National Insurance during this time and that the contributions have met the amount requirements. If you find that you haven’t paid in a sufficient amount of contributions, you should not automatically assume that it would be useless to apply because you would be turned down. If you have been unable to work for the past 28 weeks, or if you were a resident of the UK and lived there for 26 weeks in the year before you make a claim, you may still be eligible for the benefits. A member of the Armed Forces of the UK is still treated as a resident when serving abroad.
There are three weekly rates associated with the payments you receive under the Incapacity Benefit. You receive the lower short-term benefit for the first 28 weeks and a higher short-term benefit for the remaining weeks of the first year. If you are still unable to work because of the illness or disability after one year, you will then start receiving long-term benefits until you are cleared by a doctor to be able to return to work.