The consequences of being involved in an accident can be devastating. Not only does an individual have to deal with the physical pain and mental trauma, but the long-term implications can also often have a life changing impact on the individual.
An individual who suffers catastrophic injuries may not be able to work due to their injuries or need time off from work on reduced sick pay, or in extreme situations are unable to work at all.
An individual who suffers serious injuries may be entitled to access statutory benefits to assist them financially and cope with their disabilities and losses caused by the accident. In fact, they should never be put off accessing state benefits because they are worried this may affect their personal injury claim.
Our experienced team of lawyers can support and guide you to work out what benefits you may be entitled to.
What benefits am I entitled to after a serious injury?
There are a wide range of benefits available, and each has their own set of rules and procedures for claiming depending on the severity of your injuries. Some of the more common benefits which can be claimed after a serious injury include:
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Carers Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit.
Will compensation affect my benefits?
Your compensation may affect your eligibility for means tested benefits, but this can be avoided by placing the money in a Personal Injury Trust (see below).
Means testing is where the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) looks at what income and capital you have when deciding if you are entitled to benefits. These benefits are available to people who can demonstrate that their income and capital is below a certain threshold.
Non means tested benefits are payments that do not take into account a person’s income and capital.
If a compensation settlement takes you above a certain threshold and is not placed in a trust, it may have a bearing on the amount of benefits you can claim.
The main means-tested benefits that are affected by both income and savings include:
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
- Council Tax Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
If your total household capital is more than £16,000, you are not allowed to claim most means-tested benefits. Capital between £6,000 and £16,000 will cause a reduction in your benefit.
If you receive a lump sum compensation payment which takes your capital over the DWP capital limits your benefits could be stopped or reduced as a result.
Personal Injury Trust
If you receive any means tested benefits you can set up a Personal Injury Trust to avoid losing your eligibility to benefits after a compensation claim.