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Benefits and SSP

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Something that's been worrying me for a while... I work limited hours because of ill health. I'm coping at the moment but I have one day contracted and do one or two (at the moment two) extra days which I claim for as extras. One of them is due to a colleague cuttng her hours, the one that's temporary is due to another colleague leaving. (That job will soon be advertised but as a four day job). If I'm off sick I only get paid for the contracted day.

 

About two years ago I was very ill and that illness lasted a month. Financially I was okay during the month as I claim for the extra hours at the end of each month so when I became sick at the end of February, I had just claimed for work done in February for which I was paid on 26th March. However when my pay came in the next month it was just SSP for the one day a week done during late Feb/March and at the time that totalled £293. I imediately put in a claim online for benefits as I barely had enough to pay rent and a few bills. I was clled back and told to claim ESA which I did. A few days later I was called and asked whether I got Statutory Sick Pay. I told them that I did but explained the amount and the contract v overtime situation but was told that if I got SSP I wasn't entitled to ESA or any other benefit.

 

This is worrying me as that particular condition could come back (it has once although luckily not as severely) and my health condition fluctuates. I daren't be off sick if I have to live on so little. It would be a bit more now but still wouldn't give me anything to live on.

 

Was I properly advised? Could I have claimed anything? I can't bethe only person on a varied contract who would not get enough SSP to live on but getting SSP rules out benefits?

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Depending on your situation, you may get some housing and council tax benefits.

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I was on CT benefit at the time but only got £20 a month even at the point when I needed it. I was still paying about £50 per month. I didn't claim HB and didn't change the benefit at the time. I'm now claiming neither and as I work in the office that administers those claims I don't want to have to if I can avoid it. The benefit really isn't designed for a fluctuating income and I was submitting pay slips constantly to show how my income changed. I gave up in the end. Too much hassle for too little gain and then my work moved into the same office where claims are made and I didn't want my colleagues to know my problems.

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So was the SSP rate for a full week divided by five, and you were paid for one day? If this is so, then your employer is confused and has worked out the SSP wrong.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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The SSP is based I think on 7 hours x 4.5 days per month. It fitted back then with what I'd have got if I did no extra days. In those days I might do full time for two weeks ad then no extra days for a while. It's more regular now. I don't dispute the amount I was paid.

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The SSP is based I think on 7 hours x 4.5 days per month. It fitted back then with what I'd have got if I did no extra days. In those days I might do full time for two weeks ad then no extra days for a while. It's more regular now. I don't dispute the amount I was paid.

 

There isn't a variable amount of weekly SSP, you either get it or you don't. You have to earn at least a lower limit in earnings for the eight weeks prior to being off sick (in 2012 the lower limit is £107 a week, not sure what it was 2 years ago) If your earnings total for the eight weeks divided by eight is equal to or more than the lower earnings limit, then you were entitled to the full rate of SSP for the period you were off sick (one month would have been 342.98). If you did not earn the average of the lower earnings limit per week, then you are not entitled to SSP AT ALL, but would be entitled to ESA - your employer would have to complete an SSP1 form which you hand in with your ESA claim and you will be awarded ESA cont based if you've paid enough contributions or income based if your income is low enough.

 

If your employer was paying you company sick pay, but you were under the limit for SSP, then you could also have claimed ESA, you just needed an SSP1.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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