If you’ve been the victim of an on-the-job accident or injury recently, you know that it can have a drastic impact on your daily lifestyle. Instead of heading into the office for your daily shift, you may be cooped up in bed trying to recover or running back and forth to the GP for the latest prognosis. Being suddenly torn from your normal work routine puts added financial and emotional stress on your family.
Coping with the Financial Burden
Adjusting to life after a work-related accident or illness can be a huge challenge for the entire family. You may or may not have enough savings to pay for the family’s expenses, and your spouse may or may not be able to help provide financial support during this difficult period. Fortunately, there are several options available to help fund your medical and living expenses during this time, including Disability Living Allowance, VAT Relief on Equipment and Services, Rates Relief and Housing Benefits, and The Motability Scheme. The NIDirect website provides a comprehensive guide to determining your eligibility for these services.
SSP and ESA: Know Your Rights
In terms of your job, you are entitled to receive statutory sick pay (SSP) from your employer for qualifying days when you are incapacitated from work. This kicks in when you have been incapacitated from work for four consecutive days, and lasts until you come back to work or reach the SSP cutoff of 28 weeks. To qualify for SSP, you must have a contract with your employer and receive a fit note from your doctor giving notice of your inability to work. SSP is £85.85 per week. Once SSP runs out, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). How much you’ll get form ESA depends on your income and whether or not you’ve made National Insurance Contributions; you can use the benefits adviser on Directgov to help calculate the amount you may expect to receive.
Your employer has a legal responsibility to protect your health and safety in the workplace, so if you’ve been injured on-the-job, you may have a strong case for pursuing an accident at work claim to get your family’s finances back on track and pay for medical expenses while you’re incapacitated from work. Collecting receipts from all incurred medical and specialty care services as well as keeping track of all the time you’ve lost from work will improve your chances of having a successful claim. Hire an experienced solicitor who will take your claim on a contingent fee agreement so that you don’t have to add an extra burden to your family’s finances during the litigation process. While you might win a nice lump sum settlement to cover your expenses and loss of quality of life, remember that the litigation process is often long and complicated, so you’ll have to have a back-up plan in the interim.