Who is it for?
Employed people who are unable to work because of illness. Some exceptions (e.g. people on contracts of less than 3 months).
Who pays it?
Employer – disputes handled by HMRC.
Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
NI244. By notifying employer, using self-certification for first 7 days of claim.
What are the age limits?
Up to age 65.
National Insurance based?
No, but must have recent earnings over the lower earnings limit (£95 per week).
How long does it last?
Total of 28 weeks.
What is effect on other benefits?
Overlaps with all NI benefits except bereavement allowance, and counts in full for all means tested benefits.
Is it taxable?
Increases for dependants?
Payable if in EU or other?
Yes, if UK employer in EU.
Points to watch
People may be due income related ESA as a “top-up” or when SSP period ends. Transfer to ESA after 28 weeks if NI contributions conditions satisfied or if aged under 25. Note that the ‘assessment’ phase ESA is lower than SSP so claimants will have a drop in income.
You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website
The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform