Do you have entitlement to contractual sick pay or will it be statutory sick pay only?
When you are off sick, firstly check your contractual/statutory entitlements with your employer. If possible try to get dates of when any sick pay or entitlements will end.
If you are off sick, have a substantive contract, and have a certain amount of income per week, you will have entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for 28 weeks from your fourth day of sickness.
If you have entitlement to ‘full’ contractual pay, your employer will use the SSP as a component part of your full pay.
If you are on reduced contractual pay and still within the 28 week period, you will need to check if they will use the SSP as a component part or if they will pay it on top of your reduced pay.
If you are on nil contractual pay, SSP will be the only payment you will receive.
A benefit called Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) can in most cases be claimed when SSP runs out at 28 weeks. Your employer will need to provide you with an SSP1 transfer form to enable you to make a claim.
More information on SSP and ESA can be found at www.gov.uk (universal credit may apply in some areas; the job centre will confirm if this is the case).
Important: SSP can be affected by previous periods of sickness in some cases.
Check your benefit entitlement
If you are not employed, or your pay is reducing, check for possible benefit entitlement.
You can also visit your local Job Centre or call the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) directly on 0800 055 6688 nearer the time of the reduction in pay.
Is PIP a consideration for you?
Personal Independence Payment provides an extra income to assist in meeting some of the extra costs of living with a disability or long term health condition.
You are able to claim the benefit whether you are in or out of work as it is non means tested and is awarded on the basis of your ability to manage the tasks of everyday living. Qualification will depend on the extent to which your condition affects you.
More information on Personal Independence Payment can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/pip/overview
Facing the possibility of ill health retirement?
The RCN has advice on NHS ill health retirement application and appeal process. If you suffer from permanent ill health that affects your employment you may be facing the possibility of having to consider ill health retirement. The guide gives advice for before, during and after the application process.
Non-members can access a fact sheet on ill health retirement on the NHS Business Services Authority website.
For private pension schemes you will need to contact the scheme provider to establish the provisions and processes of that particular scheme.
Need further advice?
If you would like further advice on this subject, contact the lamplight team.
If you have an appointment booked with us, preparing will help you get the best from it.