If you work for yourself you are not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, which is paid by employers. But help is available, so start by finding out what you might be entitled to on a benefits checker like entitledto.
The main benefit for self-employed people who are off work due to illness or disability is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and there are other types of help you can look at.
New-style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
New-style ESA provides money for living costs while you cannot work, and support to get back into work if you are able to. You may be eligible if you have made enough National Insurance contributions.
Universal Credit (UC)
UC is now the main benefit for working-age people. It is paid monthly and is based on your circumstances each month, including any extra amounts that apply to you if you have a health condition or disability.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
PIP is a non-means tested benefit, meaning it is based on your support needs and not on your income. It's for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. There are two parts to PIP - daily living and mobility. Whether you get one or both parts and how much you get depends on how difficult you find everyday tasks and getting around.
Support for mortgage interest (SMI)
If you receive Universal Credit and/or Employment Support Allowance you may also be able to apply for a Support for mortgage interest (SMI) loan to help pay towards the interest on your mortgage or another home loan.
Other financial help you might be able to get include:
- Help with health costs like prescriptions and dental treatment.
- Council tax reduction.
- Help with home adaptations.
- Grants and loans including help in a crisis.