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What Will Happen If You Become Disabled?

This section explains what happens if you become disabled. Check out the information on your rights to certain disability benefits.

DISABLEMENT OVERVIEW: Further guidance covers the responsibilities of employers and how to get help from the council.

You might also qualify for certain disability and sickness benefits such as:

Note: If you become disabled you have disability rights and discrimination rights that protect you in the United Kingdom.

Your entitlement to disability benefits depends on your personal and household circumstances. You can use the government benefits calculator to see what you might get. If you become disabled you may also qualify for:

Note: You can get a health and social care needs assessment if you live in England. Use it to find out what help you can get from your local council.

What If You are Employed and Become Disabled?

If you are employed and become disabled your employer cannot discriminate against your disability. Disabled employees get protected by definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Employers must keep jobs open for disabled persons. Likewise, your employer cannot pressure you into making a resignation solely because you became disabled.

Employer ‘Reasonable Adjustments’

Your employer must also make ‘reasonable adjustments‘ for you in the workplace. They must see that you are not disadvantaged as compared to any non-disabled workers. Such reasonable adjustments might include:

  • A phased return back to the workplace (e.g. working flexible hours or part-time).
  • Extra time off work for your medical treatment or relevant counselling.
  • Designating any tasks you cannot do easily to another employee.
  • Providing technical equipment and practical aids for you.
Time Off Work If You Become Disabled

What happens if you are an employee and become disabled? Perhaps you are unable to work because of your disability? In this case you may qualify for Statutory Sickness Pay (SSP). But, some employers have their own workplace sick pay scheme instead.

There are options for those who still cannot work after 28 weeks or cannot get Statutory Sick Pay. In this case you can apply to get Employment and Support Allowance.

You may need to take time off work while you wait for your employer to put reasonable adjustments in place. This specific time off work should not get recorded as ‘absence from work‘ in that case.

Note: Those who are unsure can check their employment status on the government website.

Access to Work Scheme

The Access to Work programme provides helpful payments and practical support. It is for individuals with a health condition, mental health condition, or a disability. Payments from the Access to Work grant can help you:

  • Start working or make it easier to stay in work.
  • Make a move into self employment or set up a business.
Dismissals and Redundancy If You Become Disabled

Can your employer dismiss you solely because you become disabled? Absolutely not! Likewise you cannot get selected for redundancy simply because you are disabled.

But, you can get dismissed if your specific disability means you are unable to do your job even after reasonable adjustments have been made.

Note: Talk to ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for advice about work disciplinary issues.

What to Do If You Become Disabled in the United Kingdom