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State benefits – what do they really mean for your clients?

This is a question that comes up time and time again. So, let’s be clear, yes the state can provide a safety net if ill health or an accident does strike, but welfare benefits were never designed to support the lifestyle most people are used to today.

In fact, the maximum sickness benefit your client would be entitled to is just £109.65 a week*. This is based on a client aged 25 or over and in the Employment Support Allowance support group.

How are state benefits worked out?

Statutory Sick Pay
If your client's unable to work due to illness or injury and isn't entitled to sick pay from their employer, they might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay. This is paid for a maximum of 28 weeks; after 28 weeks, they may then be awarded Employment & Support Allowance. It’s also worth remembering self-employed clients aren’t entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.
Employment and Support Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance is not paid alongside SSP and is awarded to those unable to work due to illness or disability. During the first 13-week assessment phase, the state determines whether your client's illness or injury affects their ability to work. Claimants may then be awarded a higher rate of ESA which is regularly reassessed.

How will my clients be affected?


Amount per week

How long

Are my self-employed clients entitled to it?

Statutory Sick Pay


Up to 28 weeks

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Clients in permanent employment

Red cross


Employment Support Allowance: Assessment rate

£57.90 under age 25

£73.10 aged 25 or over

Up to 13 weeks

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Clients in permanent employment

Green tick


Employment Support Allowance: Work-related activity group

£86.95 for under age 25

£102.15 for age 25 and over

Up to 52 weeks

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Clients in permanent employment

Green tick


Employment Support Allowance: Support group

Up to £109.65


Green tick

Clients in permanent employment

Green tick


Show your clients the shortfall without Income Protection

The online Shortfall Calculator shows how your client’s income could fall if they couldn’t work.

Use it directly with your clients so they can see the potential drop in income for themselves and the difference taking out Income Protection can make.

It also includes an information area which gives you the up to date figures on the state benefits available, for you to refer to quickly and easily.

More information

Here’s some useful links to external sites which can give more information about each state benefit and how to claim.

  1. Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  2. Universal Credit
  3. Benefits calculator
  4. Universal Credit timeline

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