Mentor Experiences
 

CLAIMING BENEFITS AND SICK PAY AFTER AN ACCIDENT

Claiming benefits and sick pay after an accident, advice on claiming state benefits and statutory sick pay from your employer after an accident

This helpful subject has been written to assist those people that have suffered some misfortune that has for example resulted in them being off work and needing the financial support of the government.

Start of article about claiming expenses after an accident.

Previous page about gathering evidence.

Mentor Experiences core business is to assist people in finding competent solicitors. If you have landed on this page you may have suffered your injuries from someone else's fault. The blame for your illness or injury may not be obvious or you may think there is no hope of compensation. Mentor Experiences has helped such people. For example a man fell off a ladder whilst painting the wall of his in law's house. Mentor Experiences ascertained that the ladder belonged to the in law's. They were insured for such incidents. Neither the in law's or the man realised that he had a claim, nor that it was insured. Please consider your circumstances and if at all possible we will try and help you.

There are many good sites that will give you excellent advice. In the course of this information you may be referred to sites that Mentor Experiences recommend. Please support these sites and Mentor Experiences as clicking on the link will enable us to continue our work and supporting this site.

Taking time off work owing to the accident or illness will always be a stressful time in your life. More than likely you will be entitled to statutory sick pay for up to 28 weeks. This is a benefit that employers pay. Check your contract of employment for any additional rights - for example full pay for perhaps 6 months and half pay for a further 6 months. You may be able to claim invalidity and disablement benefits. Each case is going to be different. We suggest that you contact the Benefits Enquiry Line on Freephone 0800 882 200. People with speech or hearing problems using a text phone can dial: 0800 24 33 55.They are very helpful and the call can be anonymous.

The following links are official government websites for the agencies that deal with state benefits. Like all state rules you must claim straight away. If you delay you may lose benefit.

Claim forms can be obtained from Jobcentre Plus offices or social security offices. Find your local office on the above site or look for Jobcentre Plus or social security in the business numbers section of the phone book.

The benefit rates change and vary according to circumstance. Some are means tested. Some are there because they acknowledge that some disablements, injuries and illnesses demand greater expense on the part of the sufferer. Therefore are not means-tested.

The following are not means tested:

  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Mobility Allowance.
  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Council Tax Benefit i.e. reduction on the rates.
A common problem when applying for benefits is the fact that the applicant is turned down by the department which you have applied to. This is very very common. The reason is simple unless you have complied with the strict letter of the law then the civil servant is under a duty to refuse the application.

Public money is the ultimate goal for the applicant and most claims fail because the applicant has not completed the form in an acceptable manner. The forms need EVIDENCE. Completing an application for benefits is the start of a legal process. The government agencies have been set up within a legal framework and their reviews and appeals come under that framework.

One of the biggest lessons to learn therefore is to remember Appeal is Part of the Process.

Instead of trying to retrieve a situation at review or Appeal it is better to complete the form in the correct evidential manner in the first place. One needs to educate oneself as to what is required. A link that will help here is (Paul I want to try and do a deal to refer people on in this link to a site that is excellent for this, but don't want to publish it here Please edit accordingly)

Let us assume the worst. What happens next? You will receive a Decision Letter.

The decision letter will leave you in one of three possible positions:
  1. You have been awarded the benefit, at what is the correct rate or what you consider to be the correct rate and for the correct period of time. (these will vary according to what benefit has been applied for.)

  2. You have been awarded the benefit but at a lower rate or for a shorter period than you consider correct.

  3. You have received no award of the benefit at all.
What action, if any, you take next depends on which position you are in, so let's look closely at all three of them.

The appeals process is complicated and you may need to research the topic thoroughly before you make any sense of it at all.

Position 1: Well done you have obviously researched the subject and filled in the forms correctly. Consider now if other benefits such as Income Support which you can now apply for, or have increased, as a result of receiving DLA. The Benefits Enquiry Line will assist you here.

Your award may only be for a fixed number of years, eg one yea, you should be sent another claim form to complete several months before it runs out. Be careful here if you fill it in too early and it is assessed again before the end of the fixed period and you are assessed at a lower rate the benefit will cease at the previous rate immediately. Even if your award is for an indefinite period you are still likely to receive review forms to fill in every few years and your award can still be reduced or stopped depending on what you write in them.

All further claim forms should be completed with the same care as the original, of which you will, of course, have kept a copy on your computer for ease of referring to. Try to include up-to-date medical evidence showing that your condition hasn't improved if that is applicable.

If your circumstances do change for example your condition improves or deteriorates, you should tell the Benefits Agency who may then look at your case again, as it may mean that your benefit should be reduced or increased.

This is known as a supersession. Remember the award can go down as well as up. So if your condition has deteriorated make sure you include good up-to-date medical evidence.

Position 2: You have been awarded the benefit but at a lower rate or for a shorter period than you consider correct. If you ask for the decision to be looked at again your award can be reduced or taken away altogether as well as increased. This is a very difficult position to be in, so please try to get advice from a welfare rights worker before taking any action. The Citizen's Advice Bureaux will have one you can consult with and it will not cost you anything. You may of course wait a long time to see them so you may want to consult an independent expert, who will charge for his time.

Position 3: You have received no award at all. You may be feeling very angry and hurt at not being believed if you have received no award at all. You may also feel let down because you followed all my experiences to the letter and it got you nowhere.

Unfortunately there are no guarantees about the outcome of your claim. If you decide to ask for the decision to be looked at again you will already have done most of the work required, by providing detailed and relevant evidence for the review called a revision.

Nonetheless, you should be aware that the revision and appeal process can be time consuming and emotionally gruelling. The appeal would be heard in a tribunal. Being questioned there in great detail about your everyday life can be distressing and there is still no certainty of success.

Most tribunals are run in a sensitive way who understand what you are going through. About half of all oral hearings are successful ie people come out with a higher award than they went in with. If you are fortunate enough to find an experienced representative your chances of success are even higher.

Now read about the Appeals process.