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Falling ill or suffering due to an accident can mean that you cannot attend work for a period of time. This can be weeks, months, or even years. Despite being unwell or injured, those who find themselves in this position often find themselves worrying about money as opposed to focusing upon getting better.
If you are in a situation where you are going to be absent from work, there is financial help available to you. Don’t struggle and worry, focus upon recuperating and organise your finances by taking a read of your options below.
Statutory Sick Pay
To qualify for SSP you will need to have been off work for more than 4 days in a row, including non-working days. SSP is currently £94.25 per week and is paid to you by employer just like your wages, for a period of up to 28 weeks.
The government handles Statutory Sick Pay in the UK and you may find your employer has their own sick pay scheme that offers your more money.
Get in touch with your HR department or workplace pension provider if you are off work. Sometimes providers include ill-health benefits in their pension packages which could help you during your time away from work.
If you are off work and have been deemed disabled or are suffering from a health condition there are state benefits you could be entitled to. These include:
- Universal Credit or tax credits
- Housing benefit
- Employment and support allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Carer’s Allowance (for anyone who looks after you)
Warm Home Discount Scheme
Over the winter period you could shave £140 off your gas and electricity bill. The Warm Home Discount Scheme is provided by the government to ensure disabled people and those with a long-term health condition do not struggle in the colder months.
Call your energy supplier and tell them about your health condition – they will be able to tell you if you’re eligible.
Local council help
If your illness or accident has meant you are now disabled or will struggle with day-to-day tasks in the short-term your local council may be able to provide you with support. Specialist equipment, carers and home adaptions do not come cheap. However, you may qualify for local authority funding, which means you can get the help you need without stressing over your own finances whilst you are unable to work.
Help with medical costs
Hospital care and doctor’s visits are free in the UK, the only thing we typically have to pay for are prescriptions, eyecare and dental care. However, if you cannot work and you are receiving certain benefits you could have these costs covered for you. Travel costs related to any appointments related to your injury or illness can be paid too.
Check your insurance policies
If you have a mortgage or life insurance policy you may have also been issued with one of the following:
- Short-term income protection insurance
- Payment protection insurance
- Income protection insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Mortgage payment protection insurance
If you have any of these policies contact your provider straight away, have a discussion and make a claim. You may be able to cover your mortgage payments or receive some lost income during your time off work.
Emotional support when off work
Whilst we will naturally worry about our finances when off work for a period of time, many of us neglect our mental health too. If you are struggling financially contact Mind or a similar mental health charity to receive the support you need. Often, talking to somebody one on one can help you put a plan of action together to rectify your money situation too. Alternatively, visit your GP for extra help.
Having a financial plan prioritising to pay off debt can help limited personal finances. Check your online bank statements or online banking to add your income and expenses to your budget planner.
If organizing your finances and benefits schemes are still not enough to cover your monthly mortgage costs, selling your house fast and downsizing might be a good way out.