Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Explained

The pain and discomfort when you are suffering from an injury are bad enough, but once you add the huge amount of worry that can occur when you look at the loss of your earnings, it can quickly seem just a bit too much.

If your company doesn’t support you through a sick pay scheme, you may be left somewhat adrift, reliant on the support of the government in order to see you through.

What is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Statutory Sick Pay is a payment that is made to you by your work and supported by the government. It currently (late 2018) stands at £92.05 per week and lasts for 28 weeks. While it is subject to tax and national insurance contributions, these are usually minimal.

You do not receive SSP for the first three days of being sick as it is not for non-serious issues such as a simple cold or self-inflicted hangover, but once you reach the fourth day off work you become entitled to it as a minimum amount to get you by.

What about company sick pay? Who pays sick pay?

Your company is not legally obliged to offer any level of additional sick pay beyond SSP. While many companies do offer a workplace sick pay scheme which can range from full pay throughout your recovery time, to a small top-up amount on top of SSP, they are under no legal pressure to do so and it should be seen as one of the perks of employment.

For those of us who are not so lucky, reliance on your sick pay entitlement is often the best you can hope for.

Do I qualify for SSP?

In order to qualify for statutory sick pay, you must be working as an employee and earning at least £116 per week (as per the sick pay entitlement for 2018).

What about SSP for the self-employed? Or SSP for part-time workers?

If you are self-employed then you are not eligible for SSP as you are not working as an employee.

Part-time workers who meet the criteria of earning £116 per week are fully entitled to SSP.

Are there any time limitations with SSP?

Yes. Statutory sick pay will only last 28 weeks (approximately six months). Once you have been off work for that long, you may be in the position of needing to look at Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (depending on where you live in the country and the status of Universal Credit in that area).

For many, living off sick pay is all but impossible. If you can’t afford to stay off work or need more time to recover than the regulation 28 weeks, what can you do?

How do I get more money than SSP allowance?

You may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.

If you have been involved in an accident or are suffering from a condition that is not your fault, then you can make a claim for personal injury – meaning you are no longer reliant on statutory sick pay and can receive full recompense for your loss of earnings.

Cute Injury are here to help with making a claim for compensation. Our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors can get you compensation for a workplace accident, or a financial award for medical negligence.

Compensation, which can run into tens of thousands of pounds, can make the struggle of having lived off SSP a distant memory.

Unfortunately, a legal case for financial aid can take months and, in the meantime, you have bills to pay. There are a few more places you can go to for help:

  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
    • Obtaining housing benefit from your local council can help with rent or the interest on your mortgage while you are receiving SSP. You will need to prove your drop in income but help can come swiftly (quicker in some areas than others) and help keep the roof above your head.
    • Council tax benefit may come as a part deduction in your council tax or as full relief from your regular payments while you are unable to work. If you have paid your council tax in advance in full, you may be entitled to a rebate.
  • Income Support
    • In some instances, income support may be available to you to top-up your income on SSP to a greater level – this is especially true in the instance where you are supporting children.
  • Child Tax Credits
    • If you have a family, it is worth contacting the tax credits office to see if your change in status warrants any additional help from them.

Is there anything I can do in advance to help if I become sick?

Being prepared can take a huge amount of worry off you if you become sick. The following are a few things you can do to make sure you avoid being reliant on SSP in the future:

  • Read your employment contract thoroughly – many companies have their own sick pay schemes which can benefit you greatly and either add to, or simply replace, SSP. Make sure you understand the length of these workplace sick pay schemes, however, as some cut off earlier than SSP and can leave you unexpectedly short. Understanding your work-implemented sick pay is an important part of your employment planning.
  • Consider alternative employment – if you have the option between an employer with a good sick pay scheme and one without, do consider the former even if the salary seems lower.
  • Look into income protection insurance, especially if you are self-employed – income protection insurance (or IP) is available from life insurance companies and is there to provide a comfortable level of salary should you become sick, alleviating the need for more SSP.
  • Save – having a little put inside in case you get sick can help a lot, and doesn’t affect your entitlement to SSP.
  • Don’t get ill – don’t we all wish we could choose to never be ill? Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple!

I am on SSP due to an accident that was not my fault- how do I make a claim for compensation?

Call Cute Injury today. Our specialist advisors will be able to listen to your situation and let you know if there’s ground for a claim and, if so, pass you on to one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors.

It won’t cost you a penny – No Win No Fee means exactly that – there are no hidden charges or complicated small print.

Give us a call or fill in our contact form to have an advisor call you back at a time convenient to you. It could make all the difference!

CALL US FREE ON 08000 10 60 66 or use our CLAIM CALCULATOR

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