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Getting benefits if you got ill or were injured at work

This advice applies to England

You might be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if you’re disabled because you either:

  • were injured in an accident caused by your work – for example if you damaged your leg or got post-traumatic stress disorder

If you got ill or were injured before 1 October 1990

You might be able to claim Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA) or Retirement Allowance as well as IIDB.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help if you: 

  • want to check if you can claim REA or retirement allowance
  • have a problem with REA or retirement allowance

Check if you can claim IIDB

To claim IIDB, when you got ill or were injured you must have been:

  • an apprentice
  • on a government approved training scheme
  • an agency worker who paid National Insurance through your payslip

You usually need to have been in Great Britain or paying national insurance in the UK when you got ill or were injured. If you weren’t, contact your nearest Citizens Advice to see if you can still get IIDB.

When you apply for IIDB a medical examiner will assess you. The medical examiner decides how disabled you are on a scale of 1 to 100% – this is different from other types of disability benefit.

To get IIDB the medical examiner usually has to decide you’re at least 14% disabled. This doesn’t apply if you have:

  • pneumoconiosis
  • byssinosis
  • diffuse mesothelioma

Check how much IIDB you’ll get

The amount of IIDB you’ll get depends on how disabled the medical examiner decides you are. Check how much you can get for different levels of disability on GOV.UK.

If the medical assessor decides you’re 100% disabled, you might also be able to get extra money. You might get one or both of:

  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance

Check if IIDB will affect your other benefits

IIDB counts as income, so it will affect:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support

Constant Attendance Allowance and Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance don’t count as income.

IIDB won’t affect other benefits – for example you can get IIDB at the same time as Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Attendance Allowance.

If you or your partner get IIDB, you won’t be affected by the ‘benefit cap’ which limits the amount of benefit payments a household can get.

When to claim IIDB

You can make a claim for IIDB straight away. You will start getting IIDB 90 days after you were first injured or became ill.

If you claim IIDB more than 90 days after you were injured or become ill, it will be backdated. IIDB can be backdated for up to 3 months, but it will still only start 90 days after you were first injured or became ill.

How to claim IIDB

You can print an IIDB claim form from GOV.UK. There are 2 types of form depending on whether you're claiming for a medical condition or an injury caused by an accident.

Fill in the form and post it to Barnsley IIDB Centre. If you can’t print off the form, call Barnsley IIDB Centre and they’ll post it to you.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits (IIDB) Centre

Barnsley IIDB Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1SY

Telephone: 0800 121 8379
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Text relay: 18001 then 0800 121 8379
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7.30pm

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

Check how long you’ll get IIDB for

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will decide how long you’ll be disabled because of your injury or medical condition – they’ll confirm this in a letter.

If the DWP decide your disability’s permanent

You’ll get IIDB for the rest of your life – this is called a ‘life assessment’.

If the DWP aren’t sure how long your disability will last

You’ll get IIDB for a fixed time, for example a year – this is called a ‘provisional assessment’.

The DWP will contact you near the end of the fixed time to arrange for you to be examined again.

If the DWP decide your disability will only last for a fixed time

You’ll get IIDB for a fixed time, for example for a year – this is called a ‘final assessment’.

Your IIDB will stop at the end of the fixed time.

If you’re near the end of the fixed time

If you’re still disabled by your injury or medical condition, contact the IIDB Centre so the DWP can assess you again and make a new decision.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits (IIDB) Centre

Barnsley IIDB Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1SY

Telephone: 0800 121 8379
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Text relay: 18001 then 0800 121 8379
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7.30pm

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If your situation changes

You should tell the DWP if your situation changes – this is called reporting a ‘change of circumstances’.

You should tell the DWP if for example:

  • your medical condition gets better or worse
  • you change your name, address or bank details
  • you get married or start a civil partnership
  • your doctor’s details change
  • you go abroad

You should tell the DWP about a change of circumstances as soon as possible. If you don’t tell the DWP that your condition has got worse you might miss out on extra money.

If you don’t tell the DWP that your condition has got better, you could get paid too much. If you’re paid too much you usually have to pay your benefits back to the DWP. This is called an overpayment – check how the DWP deal with overpayments.

If you go abroad

You’ll keep getting IIDB while you’re abroad – it doesn’t matter how long you go for.

If you get Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance, you’ll usually keep getting them forever if you go to the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein. If you go anywhere else, you’ll get them:

  • for 6 months if you go temporarily
  • for as long as the DWP decide if you move permanently

If the DWP say you’ve had an overpayment of IIDB

The DWP can only ask you to pay the money back if you:

  • gave wrong information when you first applied or after you started receiving IIDB

  • didn’t report a change of circumstances which would have affected your IIDB

You can check what you can do if the DWP say you’ve been overpaid.

Challenging an IIDB decision

You can appeal against an IIDB decision. This might include a decision that:

  • you can’t get IIDB

  • you can only get a lower amount than you think you should get

  • you’ve been overpaid

If you think the DWP made the wrong decision, the first step is to ask them to look at your claim again – this is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. You can check how to ask for a mandatory reconsideration.

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