Injured at Work? What are Industrial Injury Benefits? Had an accident at work? What you should do The two main benefits are: before

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1 What are Industrial Injury Benefits? Industrial Injury Benefits are tax-free weekly cash benefits from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). They are paid to people who have had an injury at work or who suffer from certain illnesses or conditions caused by their work. The two main benefits are: Disablement Benefit and Reduced Earnings Allowance (for diseases which started or accidents which happened before 1st October 1990). You cannot get these benefits if you had the accident or got the disease from a job you did before 5th July 1948, but you may get benefit under other schemes instead. Get advice. If you are a trainee on a government funded scheme when the accident or disease occurs you can claim benefits under a separate scheme. Ask your training provider for details. Who can claim? To get Industrial Injury Benefits you must: have been working for an employer, not self-employed, when the accident happened or the illness or condition was originally caused still be affected in some way 15 weeks or more after the accident or the start of the illness or condition be assessed as at least 14% disabled by the DWP to get Disablement Benefit (unless you are claiming for certain chest diseases). In some cases you can add together percentages from different injuries or conditions to make up the 14% (see page 7) be assessed as at least 1% disabled by the DWP to be able to claim Reduced Earnings Allowance. Had an accident at work? What you should do If you have an accident at work you should report it as soon as possible. Write the details in your work s accident book or, if there isn t one, tell your employer, supervisor or someone in authority. Remember to give the reasons for the accident, details of your injury, and the date, time and place that the accident happened. Even if the injury does not seem serious make sure you report it when it happens. You could suffer illeffects some time in the future. For instance a minor cut could later turn septic, a pain in the stomach could turn out to be a hernia. You should ask the DWP to decide that it was an industrial accident. Get form BI 100A from your local Jobcentre Plus office or fill in the coupon on page 15. This form can also be used to claim benefit at the same time if you think the effects of your injury will last at least 3 months. The law about what counts as an accident for benefit purposes is not always straight forward. For example, verbal harassment causing stress could amount to an accident. If you are unsure, make a claim and get advice if you are turned down. See Advice and Appeals on page 14. JOHN DEAN, aged 14, fell off his bike last year, while delivering papers. He badly broke his foot and although the bones have now mended he still has some pain and stiffness and walks with a limp. He was assessed at 14% disabled and gets Disablement Benefit of a week. 2 3

2 How to claim Disablement Benefit for an accident Fill in the coupon on page 15 and the DWP will send you a claim form. Disablement Benefit is only paid from 15 weeks after the date of the accident but do not delay your claim or you could lose benefit. You should claim as soon as you think you will still be feeling the effects of the injury in 15 weeks time. You can claim at any time. It does not matter if your accident happened many years ago. But benefit may only be backdated for up to 3 months before the date you claim. If your accident happened before 1st October 1990 and because of it you are unfit for any work or have lost earnings power, claim Reduced Earnings Allowance as well (see page 10). JEAN WILLIAMS, an assistant in a nursing home, injured her back lifting a resident who had fallen. She was assessed as 10% disabled and got no benefit. She went back to work, but her condition got worse and she had to give up her job. She asked to have her assessment increased and now gets Disablement Benefit of a week on top of her Incapacity Benefit. Do you have an industrial disease? To find out, use the coupon in this booklet to get the list of over 70 conditions which the DWP accepts as industrial diseases and the type of work which can cause each one. For instance, dermatitis is listed as an industrial disease caused by work which involves contact with substances which can irritate the skin. DORIS PRICE developed asthma while working in a paint factory and because of this she had to give up her job. She was assessed as 30% disabled and now gets Disablement Benefit of a week. Her Trades Union is also helping her claim compensation from her former employer. Can you claim? You can claim Disablement Benefit for an industrial disease if: you are suffering from one of the conditions listed, and you have worked at some time since 4th July 1948 in the type of job listed as causing that condition, and your condition has been caused by that job. For some industrial diseases you have to meet extra conditions. For example, for occupational deafness you need to have been at least 10 years in the noisy work, and claim within 5 years of leaving it. 4 5

3 How to claim Disablement Benefit for an industrial disease To claim, fill in the coupon on page 15. The DWP will send you a claim form. The earliest you can get benefit is 15 weeks after the disease starts unless you are claiming for certain asbestos-related conditions (see below). Claim as soon as you think you have an industrial disease. You can claim at any time, it does not matter if your condition started years ago. But benefit may only be backdated for up to 3 months before the date you claim. If your condition started before 1st October 1990 and because of it you are unfit for any work or have lost earnings power, claim Reduced Earnings Allowance as well (see page 10). What happens next? After you have returned the claim form to the DWP they will check whether any job you have done could have caused your condition. You will then be asked to go for a medical examination. The doctors will advise on whether you are suffering from one of the listed conditions. If they agree you are, they will say what percentage disability they think you have and how long it will last. For some conditions you may be sent for a special test before being asked to go for a medical examination. For example, a hearing test or breathing test. If you are claiming for diffuse mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, and you meet the employment conditions, you are automatically treated as 100% disabled without attending a medical as long as your doctor or specialist nurse provides proof of your diagnosis. You also do not have to wait the 15 weeks before benefit is payable. Accident or disease - how much can you get? The amount of Disablement Benefit you get depends on how disabled you are. The greater your disability the higher the weekly benefit. You will be asked to go for a medical examination so that the doctors can advise on your percentage disablement. There is a standard scale for some injuries. For example, loss of sight in both eyes is counted as 100% while the loss of an index finger is 14%. Other conditions or injuries are decided on by comparing them with this set scale. You need to be assessed as at least 14% to get Disablement Benefit unless you are claiming for certain chest diseases. For occupational deafness you must be assessed as at least 20% disabled to get benefit. A percentage assessment can be made for a set period or for life. PETER ADAMS cut the side of his face when a double glazing panel fell on him. The cut healed, but left a noticeable scar. He was assessed as 10% disabled and this, added to a previous assessment of 5% for an accident to his back years ago, means he now gets Disablement Benefit of a week. He also got 5,000 compensation from his employer. Two or more accidents or diseases You can add together percentage assessments from two or more industrial accidents or conditions to help you reach the 14% needed to get benefit. The DWP now adds in percentages for injuries for which you have been paid a lump sum gratuity under the pre-1986 scheme. So, if you have had any injuries in the past and do not think they have been added to your current assessment, get advice. See Advice and Appeals on page

4 If your condition gets worse If you get worse at any time after an assessment is made you can ask to have your percentage disablement increased. If your condition still affects you when your assessment ends, it is important to ask for it to continue (whether or not you get benefit) to protect any future entitlements as well as to keep any Reduced Earnings Allowance you may get. You have to ask the DWP to reassess your claim on the grounds of a change of circumstances. For example, your condition is worse or has lasted longer than expected. Use the coupon in this booklet to get a claim form but read the warning below first. Warning: If you ask for an increased assessment, the DWP will look again at your claim. Your assessment can be reduced as well as increased and you could even lose the whole assessment. This could also mean a loss of any Reduced Earnings Allowance you get. So it is very important that you get advice before applying. See Advice and Appeals on page 14. Important facts about Industrial Injury Benefits Your employer does not need to be at fault in any way. Your job should not be at risk if you make a claim. You do not need to have paid National Insurance contributions. It does not matter if you do not earn enough or if you are too young (under age 16) or too old (over pension age) to pay them. It does not matter if the accident happens on your first day at work. You do not need to have been off work due to the injury or condition. A director of a limited company can make a claim. These benefits can be paid whether you are in or out of work. They can be paid on top of other benefits such as Incapacity Benefit, Retirement Pension and Bereavement Benefits. If your partner dies as a result of an industrial accident or disease and had never claimed Industrial Injury Benefits, perhaps because the condition was only diagnosed at death, you can still claim. But claim quickly so as not to lose benefit. But If you are claiming Income Support, JSA (income-based), Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, getting Industrial Injury benefits will reduce (or even stop) the amount you get. This could mean you lose things like free prescriptions. So, if you are getting any of these benefits you should get advice before claiming Industrial Injury benefits. SHEILA COOKSON was being bullied by her manager and after an incident when she was shouted at in front of colleagues she went off sick. She was diagnosed with stress and depression. She got Disablement Benefit at the 20% rate as the incident was accepted as an industrial accident which had caused her psychological injury. 8 9

5 What is Reduced Earnings Allowance? Reduced Earnings Allowance is a weekly cash benefit paid to compensate for loss of earnings power due to an industrial accident or disease which occurred before 1st October Claim if you are on the sick, unable to go back to your usual job or to do a job with the same pay. You can also claim if you are over pension age and not working but see Retirement Allowance on page 12. Who can claim? To get Reduced Earnings Allowance you must: have a current assessment of at least 1% disability due to an industrial accident or disease which occurred before 1st October 1990, and because of this disability be unable to do your usual job or a suitable job with the same pay. You may also qualify if you have gone back to your usual job, but are unable to work overtime as required in your contract of work, or you have lost promotion prospects because of this disability. There are some other rules, but if in doubt - claim or get advice. See Advice and Appeals on page 14. How to claim You have to claim this benefit separately from Disablement Benefit. Fill in the coupon in this booklet and the DWP will send you a claim form. You can claim at any time. But benefit will only be backdated for up to 3 months before the date you claim. How much can you get? If you are unable to work at all mainly because of the disability, you will get the maximum amount, a week. If you are in work or unemployed you will get the difference between your current wages, or what you could earn if you got a job, and the rate now paid in your former job, up to a maximum of a week. Warning: If you were getting Reduced Earnings Allowance on 30th September, 1990, but have a break in your claim (even for one day) after that date, you may not get it back. If this happens - get advice. MARK HIGGINS worked in a quarry using pneumatic drills and developed numbness in his fingers which was diagnosed in 1988 as vibration white finger. He claimed Disablement Benefit and was assessed as 5% disabled so he got no benefit. Last year he had to take lighter work and now gets Reduced Earnings Allowance of a week on top of his wages. He also got 4,000 compensation from his employer. The work was very noisy and affected his hearing so he has claimed Disablement Benefit and compensation for deafness as well

6 Retirement Allowance Once you reach 65 (man) or 60 (woman) your Reduced Earnings Allowance can continue so long as you are regularly employed or selfemployed for an average of at least 10 hours a week. If you are not regularly employed, your Reduced Earnings Allowance will be replaced by Retirement Allowance paid at a much lower rate for life. If you are approaching pension age and have not yet claimed Reduced Earnings Allowance, it may be worth delaying your claim for just over 3 months after pension age. You could then get the maximum Reduced Earnings Allowance indefinitely and never have it reduced to Retirement Allowance. NOOR MOHAMMED worked in a factory, over 40 years ago, where there was asbestos dust. He has been unable to work for many years due to a bad chest which was much later diagnosed as asbestosis. He claimed Disablement Benefit and was assessed as 80% disabled. He now gets weekly benefit of and Retirement Allowance of on top of his Retirement Pension. He also got over 65,000 compensation even though his former employer is no longer in business. Compensation from your employer If you have an accident at work or have an illness or condition due to your job, you may be able to get civil compensation from your employer for the injury, pain and suffering involved, and for any loss of wages. You can claim this as well as Industrial Injury Benefits from the DWP. You can also claim compensation for conditions not listed by the DWP as industrial diseases. Compensation is reduced by the amount of certain DWP benefits you get, but any compensation you get for pain and suffering is unaffected and will be paid to you in full. Normally your employer has to be at least partly at fault, although some employers have insurance schemes which pay compensation without fault being proved. You will need a solicitor to get compensation. If you are a Trades Union member you should contact your Union. If not, it is very important to find a solicitor who specialises in your type of case. For more details use the coupon on page 15 to get our factsheet Need advice about compensation?. If you have an asbestos or other dust-related condition A special scheme, under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979, pays lump sum payments to people with certain asbestos or dust-related conditions, who may have difficulty obtaining civil compensation, perhaps because their employer is no longer trading. You need to have claimed Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and been assessed as at least 1% disabled to qualify for an Act payment but you should claim for both at the same time, otherwise you could lose money. For details ring the DWP helpline on

7 For more information The DWP has produced a technical guide DB1 A guide to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits. This is only available on-line at Advice and Appeals Industrial Injury Benefits can be very complicated, particularly if your accident happened a while ago or you think you have an industrial disease. You may need advice or help with filling in the claim form. You might be unhappy with a DWP decision and want an explanation or want to appeal against the decision. As the rules are difficult to understand for both claimants and DWP staff, you should always get independent advice if your claim is refused. You can get help and advice from your Welfare Rights Office, Trades Union representative, an advice centre, or Citizens Advice Bureau. To find the address of your nearest advice centre get our factsheet Benefit Advice and Information in Lancashire by filling in the coupon in this booklet. Want to claim benefit? If you want more information or wish to claim a benefit mentioned in this booklet, fill in this coupon. Tick all the boxes that apply to you. Send it in an envelope to: Welfare Rights Service, FREEPOST, Preston, PR1 8BR (you don t need a stamp). To: The Manager, Jobcentre Plus Please send me a list of all the prescribed diseases I wish to claim Disablement Benefit because: I have had an accident at work I have an industrial disease I wish to claim Reduced Earnings Allowance. My accident or condition occurred before 1st October I wish to apply for an increase in my assessment. My condition is worse or has lasted longer than expected. See page 8 before ticking this box. please tick box Copies of this leaflet are available in large print, on tape, disc, and in other languages on request. Write to: Welfare Rights Service, FREEPOST, Preston, PR1 8BR (you don t need a stamp). To: The Welfare Rights Service Please send me: Need advice about compensation? (factsheet) For an asbestos-related condition For some other injury or disease please tick box Lancashire County Council Welfare Rights Service (April 2007) All figures in this leaflet will change in April 2008 Benefit Advice and Information in Lancashire (factsheet) Don t forget to print your name and address overleaf

8 If you want more information or wish to claim a benefit please complete both sides of this coupon and send it in an envelope to: Welfare Rights Service, FREEPOST, Preston, PR1 8BR (you don t need a stamp). Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Surname Other names Address Injured at Work? Injured at Work? Cash benefits if you have had an accident at work or suffer from an illness or condition caused by your job Post code Telephone number Date of birth National Insurance No. (if you know it) Signature Date 16 Also available in large print and other formats

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