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Self-Employed Sick Pay: Everything you Need to Know

If you are self-employed you may wonder whether you are entitled to sick pay. This article explores this issue and helps you to understand what you are entitled to.

Self-Employed Sick Pay Entitlement: Everything you Need to Know
To claim the self-employed sick pay, it is important that you get a medical certificate from your doctor as soon as you start an application for ESA. (© Pexels)

Can you claim sick pay when self-employed?

If you are self-employed you cannot claim sick pay. This is because you’re working for yourself. You do not have any employer that you can claim sick pay from. However, if you are unable to work temporarily because you’re ill you may qualify for ESA (Employment and Support Allowance).

Self-Employed Sick Pay Entitlement

Sick pay, which is also known as Statutory Sick Pay is usually paid by an employer. If you’re self-employed sick pay is not something you will be entitled to. Again, you may want to see if you qualify for ESA.

– Types of illnesses

There are many different types of illnesses which could affect the work that you do. The important thing is that you get a medical certificate from your doctor. This should be done as soon as you start an application for ESA.

If you receive ESA for a period of 13 weeks, the jobcentre will carry out a medical test. If they determine that you are ill you will no longer need a medical note from your doctor. However, you will need to have a disability or an illness that affects your work and your ability to carry it out.

What is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

Employment and Support Allowance is a payment that some people receive due to having a disability or being ill. However, those who qualify for ESA do not receive statutory sick pay.

As far as ESA is concerned, there are 2 different types of income: contributory ESA and income-related ESA.

Contributory ESA is available to those that have a health condition which often makes it difficult or impossible for them to work. It’s also available to those who are not receiving SSP, however, you can apply for ESA up to 3 months before the sick pay ends. You may also receive ESA if you don’t get a state pension as you’re not old enough.

Those who get contributory ESA may also do so because they do not work, or they’re going to stop work. However, those who undertake permitted work may also claim ESA.

You will also need to:

  • Live in the UK. However, you can live in some EEA countries and still receive ESA if you have lived in the UK.
  • Meet the National Insurance conditions for the 2 tax years previous to your claim

If you were self-employed in the last tax year and you plan to make an ESA claim you need to ensure all your NI contributions have been paid.

Income-related ESA is ideal for those who have not paid enough contributions. Universal Credit has now replaced this type of ESA. So you may need to make a claim for Universal Credit.

You are able to make a claim for this type of ESA if you receive a benefit that comes with a severe disability premium. You can also make a claim if the benefit recently stopped.

You can also make a claim for income-related ESA:

  • If you do not work, the work you’re doing is permitted, or you’re about to stop work
  • If you live in the UK
  • If you have investments or savings that are less than £16,000
  • If you have a partner who works under 24 hours a week
  • If you’re a British citizen or you’re from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland and you aren’t subject to immigration control.
  • If you have a ‘Right to reside’ or ‘Settled’ status

Am I eligible to claim ESA?

If you have a disability, a health condition or an illness that makes it hard or impossible for you to work you could be eligible for ESA. This is a payment that the government sends every 2 weeks to help with all of your living costs.

How can I claim Employment and Support Allowance?

If you wish to make a claim for ESA you will need to contact Jobcentre Plus. You will be asked some questions and a form will be filled in for you. However, you can also download a form from GOV.UK. You will need to include a medical certificate that your doctor gave you.

Once you have applied for employment and support allowance you will be asked to attend a work capability assessment. You will also need to fill in a questionnaire where you can explain how your disability or illness affects you.

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