What is it?
Incapacity Benefit (IB) is a contributory benefit which gives financial assistance to people who become sick and are unable to work.
Basic qualifying conditions
To qualify you must be ordinarily resident on the Island at the time of your claim.
You must be under State Pension age, however you may receive Short term Incapacity Benefit at the Retirement Pension rate for up to 52 weeks if the illness or disability:
- began before you reached pension age, or
- is linked to a period of incapacity for work before pension age.
Entitlement to IB is based on the National Insurance contributions you have paid. Any savings you may have are ignored when deciding if you will qualify for the benefit.
Government employees who are eligible to receive unabated sick pay should not claim Incapacity Benefit until they go onto half pay/nil pay.
How much could I get and how am I paid?
IB is paid at one of two basic rates:
- short term rate for the first 52 weeks of incapacity
- long term rate after 52 weeks
No payment is made for the first 3 days of incapacity.
Incapacity Benefit can be paid weekly by MiCard, which can be collected at a Post Office. Long term Incapacity Benefit can also be paid every 2 weeks directly into a bank or building society account.
If you are claiming incapacity benefit you (and any partner you have) can be required to take part in work-focused conversations as a condition for you retaining your full benefit.
How and when should I apply?
The SC1 claim form can be downloaded or requested from the Incapacity Benefits Team.
Social Security Division
+44 1624 685108 or +44 1624 685109
A doctor's statement should be provided for any periods over 7 days. Claims should be made as soon as your incapacity commences.
Permitted and voluntary work
Generally you are not allowed to do any work while you are getting Incapacity Benefit. However you can do certain types of work, including “permitted work”, without losing your benefit.
If you want to undertake permitted work you must tell us that you are going to do so using form PW1.
There are 5 types of permitted work you can do –
- You can work for any number of hours per week indefinitely provided you do not earn more than £30 per week.
- You can work for any number of hours per week indefinitely provided you do not earn more than 16 x hourly rate of minimum wage* and the work is part of a treatment programme and is under medical supervision done in a hospital or similar institution.
- You can work for any number of hours per week indefinitely provided you do not earn more than 16 x hourly rate of minimum wage* and the work is supervised by a person employed by Government or charity engaged in providing or obtaining work for people with disabilities.
- You can work for less than 16 hours a week provided you do not earn more than 16 x hourly rate of minimum wage* for up to 52 weeks at a time. Further permitted work is allowed if you leave benefit for more than 8 consecutive weeks or there is a break of at least 52 weeks since you last did this type of permitted work.
- You can work for less than 16 hours a week provided you do not earn more than 16 x hourly rate of minimum wage* indefinitely if your health condition is so serious that you are found incapable of work without undergoing a Personal Capability Assessment (PCA)
* The hourly rate of minimum wage referred to is the rate of minimum wage for persons aged 25 or over (£7.50 per hour from 1 June 2017).
As well as permitted work, you can do unpaid voluntary work (as long as it is not for close relative) or work as a panel member with a disability qualification on a social security appeal tribunal and qualify for Incapacity Benefit.