After a stroke, you may be unable to return to work or find that you need to take some time out to focus on your recovery. The financial impact can be stressful for you and your loved ones, but there may be benefits you can claim while you're unable to work.
Many employers have a company sick pay scheme, which entitles you to be paid while you're off work. The amount you'll receive and the length of time you'll receive this will depend upon your contract of employment, so if you're unsure about this ask your employer or check your contract.
If your company does not have a sick pay scheme, you may be able to get statutory sick pay (SSP) up to £96.35 a week for up to 28 weeks. This is paid by your employer in the same way as your normal wages.
To qualify for SSP, you have to earn an average of at least £120 per week. It's also available if you need to self-isolate for more than four days due to Covid-19. Check gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay for more information.
Employment and Support Allowance
If you don't qualify for SSP, or if you've gone past the 28 weeks and you're unable to go back to work, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This is normally paid as part of Universal Credit, but if you've paid enough National Insurance contributions you could be eligible for New Style ESA.
To be eligible for ESA, you must be under state pension age and not receiving SSP. When you apply for ESA you will normally need to complete a questionnaire and attend an assessment with a health professional.
If you're considered able to get back into work in the future, you'll be put into the work-related activity group and could receive up to £74.70 a week. Otherwise, you'll be put into the support group and could receive up to £114.10 a week.
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help pay for some of the extra costs caused by long-term illness or disability. It is not means-tested and it's possible to receive PIP even if you're still in work. It's possible to receive both ESA and PIP.
To qualify for PIP you must be aged between 16 and 64. You must have been experiencing difficulties with getting around or managing daily activities for three months and expect them to last for at least nine months. Find out more at gov.uk/pip.
Find more information about benefits and financial support.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the winter 2021 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.