Blogger\’s Bleg

So, does anyone know the details of the UK welfare system?

The son in law is self-employed in the building trade. Yesterday he broke his collarbone in three places playing football.

He\’s got a private insurance contract to cover long term unemployment/disability, the deductible of which is 60 days.

Medical advice is that he can\’t work for at least 6 weeks.

So what, if anything, can he expect to get from the social insurance system, otherwise known as the welfare state, which he has been paying into for the past 10 years?

The mortgage paid? Sickness benefit? What?

Or, being self-employed, is he screwed?

13 thoughts on “Blogger\’s Bleg”

  1. The welfare state isn’t just about giving out benefits, it’s about punishing refusniks too.

    Self-employed people need to maintain a cash buffer to tide them over until the insurance kicks in. They also ought to belong to a representative organisation (Chamber of Commerce, PCG, FSB, etc) with helplines and advice for these situations.

  2. He certainly won’t get his mortgage paid (nor would anyone else) though as son-in-law of a prudent blogger he could have chosen to insure his mortgage payments – as can everyone taking a mortgage these days. Most don’t because it’ll never happen to them . Mortgage interest might get paid (emphasis on might) subject to means test after 39 weeks – part of an income support claim.

    If he’s paid NI contributions as self employed, he should qualify for Incapacity benefit from day 1 – £61 a week. As far as I know, that’s it.

    Tim adds: As mentioned, mortgage/unemployment insurance he has. With that 60 day deductible. Of course, he does have further insurance: the savings account of that prudent blogger but that’s the part I’m hoping to minimise 🙂

  3. The “welfare” state is more about gerrymandering and rewarding likely labour voters than any social benefit.

    Once you realise its true purpose, it makes more “sense”.

  4. Mortgage paid? You must be joking, Tim. Housing benefit is only for people who rent. (which tells you a lot about work incentives for homeowners vs renters and council house tenants).

    No unemployment benefit (jobseekers allowance) as he was self-employed. Once someone enters self employment, this handily means that they won’t appear on the government unemployment figures again.

    There may be some other social security benefits. However, if he has a working spouse or savings he will almost certainly not qualify.

    This is a striking illustration of how the welfare state doesn’t help those that have contributed when they need it, and a reason why those on benefits who have never contributed see little attraction of trying to find work (and who can blame them).

  5. “…broke his collarbone in three places playing football.”

    He is one tough monkey. If I’d broke my collarbone playing football in even one place,
    damned if I’d even go to them other places.

  6. It’s incapacity benefit as Mark says – £61.35 a week. See

    But he should also be able to get income support, but it’ll be reduced somewhat. He can’t get jobseekers allowance, not because he is self-employed but because he is not seeking work.

  7. This just shows how ridiculously complex the system is. A gang of informed individuals such as you all can’t pin down exactly what he is entitled to. Frankly, I’d just be glad he took out the insurance when he did and suggest he goes for a gentler tackle next time.

  8. It’s not really that complex, Philip, we’re all basically agreed even though few of us claim them, and millions manage to get such benefits, after all.

  9. Tim,
    Mark C and Matthew are right. Incap Benefit
    isn’t means tested but all others your son-in-law can claim, Income Support, Council Tax Benefit are means-tested to dissuade savers. Best thing to do is submit a claim immediately (no backdating) to Jobcentreplus and the local Council and they will work everything out. Oh, it’s also worth contacting HMRC for advice on a tax rebate.

  10. Matthew, you’re agreed that he is entitled to incapacity benefit, but not sure if he is entitled to others (e.g. your own doubts about council tax). It really should be as simple as knowing exactly what and how much to expect. The fact that millions claim them doesn’t mean they are simple. After all, millions pay tax and that’s pretty complex.

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