I was working when I went into hospital. What happens to my pay?
If you work but have to take time off because you aren’t well enough to work, you could be entitled to sick pay. Your employment contract may say how much your employer will pay you and how long for, which is called ‘contractual sick pay’.
You might need to give your employers a ‘fit note’ from a doctor to prove that you are unable to work; you can speak to your doctor if you need a fit note.
If your contract does not mention contractual sick pay, you may still be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). SSP is the minimum amount your employer must pay you if you are unable to work as a result of to sickness, and SSP is paid for up to 28 weeks. If you are in hospital for more than 28 weeks, you can make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
If your sick pay is less than your normal income, you may be entitled to tax credits and more benefits such as Income Support, depending on your circumstances, and you might be entitled to Housing Benefit (HB) if you rent your home, as well as Council Tax Support. You should contact your local authority to find out more about these benefits.
In some areas, you might claim Universal Credit (UC) instead of ESA and HB – the rules about benefits can be complicated. The organisation Turn2us have a benefits calculator on their website, which you can use to see what you might be able to claim:
Turn2us is an organisation that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.