NHS injury allowance


NHS injury allowance can be used to top up your sick pay or earnings (if you are on a phased return). It can be paid for up to 12 months per episode. You may be able to claim if you meet all of the following:

  • you are employed within the NHS
  • you have had an accident or contracted an illness/disease that is ‘wholly or mainly attributable’ to your NHS employment*
  • you are on authorised sickness absence or a phased return to work
  • you have had your earnings reduced to less than 85% of your pay because of your ill health.

*For further guidance, please see the NHS employers website. 

If successful, you can receive up to 85% of your pay. Payment is not dependent on length of service, so all staff are covered from their first day on employment.

Please note: different arrangements apply if you injured yourself or contracted a disease at work before 31 March 2013. See the NHS employers website for more information.

You should notify your employer as soon as possible if you believe your sickness absence is work related. Ideally the nature of your condition should be outlined in your Fit Note. You may also need to submit additional medical evidence and witness statements.

Local policy will outline the specific action to take. This may include submitting a claim form to your employer who will decide whether you are entitled to injury allowance. If your claim is successful, your employer should explain when the payment will start (as the allowance is only payable once your pay drops below 85%).

If you disagree with your employer’s decision please contact us for further advice.

Injury Allowance may be paid if you suffer from:

  • a physical or psychiatric injury/illness due to a specific incident or series of incidents at work
  • an injury or disease that does not manifest itself for several years e.g. asbestosis, Hepatitis C following a needlestick injury
  • an injury whilst travelling on official duty e.g. road traffic accident (RTA)
  • an injury sustained off duty, e,g, whilst providing treatment which requires professional skills at the scene of a RTA
  • an injury inflicted off duty which can still be attributed to your NHS employment (e.g. being assaulted on the way home from work by ex-patient).
  • an injury, illness or other health condition contracted due to a series of incidents relating to NHS employment (e.g. exposure to noxious substances causing injury, condition or disease over a period).

It cannot be considered if:

  • you are injured whilst on a normal journey travelling to and from work, except where the journey is part of your duties of employment
  • you are on sickness absence as a result of employment related matters (e.g. you are the subject of investigation/capability/disciplinary procedures or as a result of a failed application for promotion or transfer)
  • you sustain an injury/disease at work which is due to or aggravated by your own negligence or misconduct.
It's not payable:
  • if your pay has not dropped below 85%
  • after your employment contract has ended.

You are entitled to some pay protection if you have to change jobs permanently to a position on lower pay, or have to reduce your hours due to a work related injury, or illness. Pay protection should be awarded in line with your employer’s organisational change policy.

RCN Lamplight Support Service - particularly around income maximisation

RCN Welfare Rights and Guidance

NHSBSA Injury Benefit Scheme - for injuries/diseases contracted before 31 March 2013

Agenda for Change terms and conditions - section 22 and Annex 26

Please also see your contract of employment and relevant local policies.

Sick leave and sick pay

Read about your sick leave and sick pay entitlements, including absence management processes.

Your pay

Check your entitlements to pay - whether you work in the NHS or the independent sector.

Page last updated - 25/08/2021