Arguably, there’s not much that’s worse than being injured. Injuries leave you in pain, unable to do the things you’d usually do on a daily basis and can mean that you have to rely on family and friends for things that you’d generally be more than capable of doing yourself. This is frustrating and inconvenient for everyone involved and could turn your family life upside down if the injury you’ve sustained prevents you from working.
If an injury leaves you unable to work, it can be a huge financial blow, especially if the accident happened away from work. Whether your inability to work is temporary or long term there are measures out there that are intended to help people in your exact position.
There are various benefits available for people who have been left unable to work because of an accident, regardless of whether or not the accident happened within your workplace.
Gone are the days when employers had no regard for their employee’s welfare or safety. Nowadays, the law is on the side of the employee and employers are bound by regulations set out by the government. However, although these strict regulations have caused the number of accidents in the workplace to decrease dramatically, they do still happen.
So, what happens if you’re unfortunate enough to suffer an accident and left unable to work?
Obviously, the first thing you should do is get the medical attention you require. If you are seriously injured then your recovery is the most important thing.
Next you should try to grasp an understanding of the laws that are set out to protect you. If you’re a member of a union then it’s a good idea to ask your union representative for advice about your situation. They will be able to access simplified documents that outline the specific laws that affect you.
After seeking advice from a union representative you should speak to an injury solicitor that specialises in your injury area, as they may be able to negotiate a case and be able to get you compensation for your injury.
What if you’re not injured at work?
If your injury occurred out of work then you won’t be able to claim compensation against your employer, although you may be able to make a claim from whoever was responsible. However, if you’re unable to work then there are certain benefits that you could benefit from.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid for the first 28 weeks of your absence from work, but this is only available if you are employed by a company and is paid at a rate of £87.55 per week. You may receive more sick pay than this if your contract says otherwise. Your employer may pay you in full for the time you’re away or they could offer a more substantial payment than SSP. However, you’d have to check the terms and conditions of your contract. If you do not work for an employer then you should make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) instead.
Both of these benefits are supposed to provide a form of income while you are unable to work. Although neither of these payments are likely to provide you with the level of income that your earnings provide, it will go towards preventing a complete financial meltdown.
If you’re unsure of the benefits that you’re entitled to then it’s worth contacting your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau for help. Also, if you think you could be entitled to compensation for your injury, you should contact a reputable legal professional as soon as possible.