Incapacity Benefit

Incapacity Benefit

If you can't work because of illness or disability you may be able to get Incapacity Benefit (IB), a weekly payment for people under State Pension age - currently 60 for women and 65 for men.

For new claims made from October 2008 onward, Employment and Support Allowance replaced.

Changes to benefits if you are ill or disabled

Incapacity Benefit

Income Support paid because of an illness or disability

Severe Disablement Allowance

If you still receive Incapacity Benefit or Income Support paid because of an illness or disability, your claim will be reviewed by Jobcentre Plus between October 2010 and 2014.

Who is eligible?

You may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit if any of the following apply to you:

your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, or you can't get it

you are self employed or unemployed

you have been getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and have not gone back to work for your employer because you are incapable of work

you were under State Pension age when you became sick

You must also have been:

paying National Insurance Contributions

unable to work due to sickness or disability for at least four days in a row (including weekends and public holidays)

getting special medical treatment and unable to work for two or more days out of seven consecutive days or you must:

be aged between 16 and 20 (or under 25 if you were in education or training at least three months immediately before turning 20), and

have been too ill to work because of sickness or disability for at least 28 weeks, and

have been too ill to work before you turned 20 (or 25 if you were in education or training at least three months immediately before turning 20)

If you've been living or working abroad

Living or working abroad can affect your Incapacity Benefit claim. But you may be able to claim if you've either:

paid enough UK National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in the relevant income tax years (and the equivalent in certain other countries - ask your local Jobcentre Plus office for details)

worked abroad for an employer based in the UK and paid NICs for the first 52 weeks of that employment

If you haven't paid enough National Insurance contributions

You may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit even if you haven't paid enough National Insurance contributions if the following apply:

you're aged under 20 (or 25 if you were in education or training at least three months immediately before turning 20)

you've been sick for 28 weeks

you're present and resident in Great Britain for 26 weeks in the year before you claim

If you're in the Armed Forces or you live and work within the European Economic Area (EEA), you may still be treated as being resident in the UK

How it works

Incapacity Benefit is paid at three weekly rates:

short-term (lower) IB is paid for the first 28 weeks

short-term (higher) IB is paid from weeks 29 to 52

long-term IB is paid from week 53

How much do you get?

Current weekly rate amounts:

short-term (lower rate) £68.95 if you're over State Pension age £87.75

short-term (higher rate) £81.60 if you're over State Pension age £91.40

long-term basic rate £91.40

How it works

Incapacity Benefit is paid at three weekly rates:

short-term (lower) IB is paid for the first 28 weeks

short-term (higher) IB is paid from weeks 29 to 52

long-term IB is paid from week 53

You may be able to get extra benefit - an 'age addition' - with your long-term Incapacity Benefit if you were under 45 when you became too ill or disabled to work. You may be able to get extra benefit for your partner, civil partner or the person who looks after your children.

How it's paid

Incapacity Benefit is paid into your bank, building society, Post Office® or National Savings account that accepts Direct Payment. If you're registered blind or need someone who cares for you to collect your money, your payment can be sent by cheque and cashed at the Post Office®.

From April 2009 Jobcentre Plus are introducing changes to the day and how often you are paid Incapacity Benefit. The changes could move the day you are paid, this day will be determined by your National Insurance number. The changes also mean you will be paid at least every two weeks.

How to appeal

If you're refused Incapacity Benefit or have questions about your payment, you can ask the office that dealt with your claim to look again at their decision.

For further information click Here to visit the Direct Gov website.

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