If you’re unable to work due to illness or because you’re isolating due to COVID-19 (or you’re caring for your child who has COVID-19) you may be entitled to incapacity-related social security benefits as described below.
If you’ve paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the relevant income tax years you may qualify for the contribution based Incapacity Benefit. This is normally payable irrespective of your means. Incapacity Benefit is paid at two different rates, depending on how long you have been entitled (or treated as entitled) to Incapacity Benefit - the short-term rate is paid for the first 52 weeks and the long-term rate is paid after 52 weeks. Normally, no payment is made for the first 3 days of incapacity.
To claim Incapacity you must complete a form SC1 which can be downloaded from gov.im, or you can get one from a social security office or by calling the Incapacity Benefits team on +44 1624 685108 or +44 1624 685109.
If you don’t qualify for the contribution based Incapacity Benefit, or you do but Incapacity Benefit is not enough for you to live on, you may qualify for Income Support. Entitlement to Income Support isn’t dependent on your having paid NI contributions, but it is means tested. The amount of Income Support that may be payable to you depends on your circumstances including the make-up of your household, your housing costs, any additional needs you may have such as disabilities or caring responsibilities, and your income and capital. If you have a partner, your partner’s income and capital will also be taken into account. If you have a partner who works for 24 or more hours a week you won’t be eligible for Income Support (but you may be eligible for Employed Person’s Allowance).
To claim Income Support you must also complete a form A2 which can be downloaded from gov.im, or you can get one from a social security office or by calling the Income Support team on +44 1624 685094.