And Other Benefits for Work-related Illness or Disability
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 personal injury caused by an accident arising out of, and in the course of, your work.
- Or, you must have contracted a 'prescribed industrial disease' because of your job.
- 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 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. To find out if a disease is a prescribed industrial disease contact your local Jobcentre Plus office (see below).
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. For example, for some respiratory diseases the percentage is 1%, for occupational deafness it is 20%.
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 more benefit is payable. Some examples are as follows, rates as at April 2012:
- 20% disability - £31.62 per week
- 50% disability - £79.05 per week
- 100% disability - £158.10 per week
Rates are less if you are under the age of 18 and have no dependents. Benefit is payable from the 15th week after the accident or the onset of the disease (unless you have a disease called mesothelioma). Payment is usually made directly into a bank account, building society account, Post Office account, or National Savings account.
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. 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 2012 rate is £63.30.
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 2012 is £63.24.
Some people are entitled to Reduced Earnings Allowance but not to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if their percentage disability is low, but their disability has reduced their earning power. Reduced Earnings Allowance is not dependent on National Insurance contributions.
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?
- Telephone the Benefit Enquiry Line (details below) to request a form.
- Or, go to the Directgov website (details below), a government site where you can download a claim form.
- Or, get one from your local Jobcentre Plus office or local social security office.
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. There is a separate leaflet about Carer's Allowance. Also, consider asking advice from one of the sources listed below about all your benefit entitlements.
Further information, help and advice
Benefit Enquiry Line (BEL)
England, Wales and Scotland - Tel: 0800 88 22 00 Textphone: 0800 24 33 55 Northern Ireland - Tel: 0800 220 674 Textphone: 0800 243 787
For people with disabilities, their carers and representatives. It is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. BEL offers confidential advice and information on benefits and how to claim them. In addition, they can also send out an extensive range of leaflets and claim packs, and can help you to complete a claim form over the phone.
Directgov brings together the widest range of public service information and services online.
Produced by the Central Office of Information, Directgov provides information from across UK government departments on topics ranging from travel safety and parental leave, to special educational needs, local NHS services, and benefits. The site also brings together an increasing number of online government services, including being able to download and/or complete certain benefit claim forms online.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Provides independent advice on many issues including benefits. Listed in the phone book under 'Citizens Advice Bureaux'. Also, see their excellent website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Department for Work and Pensions
Their website provides a list of claim forms that you can download or fill in online for benefits, allowances, pensions and other payments - www.dwp.gov.uk/eservice/
Contact details of their local offices (Jobcentre Plus offices and other 'social security' offices) can usually be found in the phone book under 'Jobcentre Plus'.
Further reading & references
|Original Author: Dr Tim Kenny||Current Version: Hilary Cole||Peer Reviewer: Ros Jones|
|Last Checked: 14/06/2012||Document ID: 4472 Version: 43||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.