Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is for people who have suffered an accident at work or contracted a disease because of their job. Related benefits which may also be paid include: Constant Attendance Allowance; Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance; Reduced Earnings Allowance; Retirement Allowance.
Note: this leaflet gives a brief summary of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and related benefits and is for guidance only. It does not cover all situations, nor is it a full statement of the law. Sources of further more detailed information are given at the end.
Who can get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?
- You must have suffered an accident at work or have contracted a 'prescribed industrial disease' because of your job.
- You must have been working in England, Scotland or Wales.
- You must have been working for an employer (not be self-employed).
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid even if you are still working. It does not depend on National Insurance contributions. It can be paid on top of other benefits for illness or disability - for example, Incapacity Benefit and Employment Support Allowance. There is no time limit for claiming. So, you can claim even if the accident happened, or the disease started, months or years ago.
What is a prescribed industrial disease?
The law specifies about 70 diseases (see link in 'Further reading & references' section, below) that are risks in particular jobs. For one of these diseases to apply, you must have contracted it through your job. You must also have been working in a type of job described in the rules. Perhaps the most well-known diseases are: work-related asthma; asbestos-related diseases; vibration white finger; deafness caused by work noise; and pneumoconiosis, but there are many others.
How seriously affected do you have to be to get this benefit?
You must have suffered a loss of physical or mental faculty amounting to more than a particular percentage. The percentage at which you qualify for benefit is usually 14% but there are exceptions.
If you already have a percentage assessment because of a previous injury or disease, the percentage for any new assessment will be added to it. If your previous percentage had not been high enough for you to qualify, this could mean that you may now be eligible. Also, if you have been refused this benefit in the past, if the disease or disability gets worse in time, you can claim again. The percentage disability may have increased to the level where you will be entitled to get the benefit.
How is the degree of disability assessed?
You must attend a medical assessment to decide the severity of your illness or disability. The doctor compares your health with that of a healthy person of the same age and sex. On the basis of the assessment you are given a percentage (%) disability.
How much is Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?
The amount of benefit depends upon the degree of disability. The higher the percentage disability, the higher the level of benefit payable. Some examples are as follows (rates for April 2014):
- 20% disability - £33.20 per week.
- 50% disability - £83.00 per week.
- 100% disability - £166.00 per week.
Other benefits related to work-related disability or disease
Constant Attendance Allowance
You may be eligible for this benefit if you are getting Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit at the 100% disability rate because you need daily care and attendance. There are four rates of Constant Attendance Allowance ranging from £33.20 to £132.80 per week (April 2014 rates). The amount you are paid is based on a doctor's assessment of your needs.
Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance
You may be eligible for this additional benefit if you qualify for Constant Attendance Allowance at one of the two higher rates and your need for constant attendance is likely to be permanent. The April 2014 rate is £66.40 per week.
Reduced Earnings Allowance
You can claim Reduced Earnings Allowance in addition to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you had your accident or contracted your disease before October 1990. Reduced Earnings Allowance is for those who cannot earn as much as they could before they became disabled. Your individual circumstances determine the amount you may receive but the maximum rate from April 2014 is £66.40 per week.
If you are getting Reduced Earnings Allowance, it is transferred to a different benefit called Retirement Allowance when you reach state pension age and give up regular work. The rate of Retirement Allowance is less than Reduced Earnings Allowance.
How can I obtain a claim form for these benefits?
You can download a claim form from the GOV.UK website (details) below or obtain one from your regional Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre (details from GOV.UK).
A note for carers
If you care for someone who is claiming Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate, or is intending to claim for this, you are likely to be entitled to Carer's Allowance. You may wish to consider claiming for this at the same time. See separate leaflet called Carer's Allowance.
Dr Tim Kenny
Dr Hayley Willacy