Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Authored by , Reviewed by Dr Hayley Willacy | Last edited | Meets Patient’s editorial guidelines

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is for people who have had an accident at work or contracted a disease because of their job. Related benefits which may also be paid include: Constant Attendance Allowance; Reduced Earnings Allowance; Retirement Allowance.

Note: this leaflet gives a brief summary of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and related benefits and is for guidance only. It does not cover all situations, nor is it a full statement of the law. More detailed information is given at the end of the leaflet - see under Further reading.

  • You must have had an accident at work or contracted a 'prescribed industrial disease' because of your job.
  • You must have been working in England, Scotland or Wales.
  • You must have been working for an employer (not be self-employed).

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid even if you are still working. It does not depend on National Insurance contributions. It can be paid on top of other benefits for illness or disability - for example, Employment Support Allowance. There is no time limit for claiming. So, you can claim even if the accident happened, or the disease started, months or years ago.

The law specifies about 70 diseases (see in Further reading below) that are risks in particular jobs. For one of these diseases to apply, you must have contracted it through your job. You must also have been working in a type of job described in the rules. Perhaps the most well-known diseases are: work-related asthma; asbestos-related diseases; vibration white finger; deafness caused by work noise; and pneumoconiosis; however, there are many others.

You must have suffered a loss of physical or mental faculty amounting to more than a particular percentage. The percentage at which you qualify for benefit is usually 14% but there are exceptions.

If you already have a percentage assessment because of a previous injury or disease, the percentage for any new assessment will be added to it. If your previous percentage had not been high enough for you to qualify, this could mean that you may now be eligible. Also, if you have been refused this benefit in the past, if the disease or disability has become worse over time, you can claim again. The percentage disability may have increased to the level where you will be entitled to receive the benefit.

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You must attend a medical assessment to decide the severity of your illness or disability. The doctor compares your health with that of a healthy person of the same age and sex. On the basis of the assessment you are given a percentage (%) disability.

The amount of benefit depends upon the degree of disability. The higher the percentage disability, the higher the level of benefit payable. Some examples are as follows (rates for April 2018):

  • 20% disability - £34.96 per week.
  • 50% disability - £87.40 per week.
  • 100% disability - £174.80 per week. 

Constant Attendance Allowance

You may be eligible for this benefit if you are receiving Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit at the 100% disability rate because you need daily care and attendance. There are four rates of Constant Attendance Allowance ranging from £34.95 to £139.80 per week (April 2018 rates). The amount you receive depends on the extent of your disability and the amount of care you need.

Reduced Earnings Allowance

Reduced Earnings Allowance is for those who, because of an accident or disease caused by their work, can't earn as much as they used to. You must have had the accident or contracted the disease before October 1990. Your individual circumstances determine the amount you may receive but the maximum rate from April 2018 is £69.92 per week.

You must also meet all of the following:

  • Your level of disability is assessed to be at least 1%.
  • You can't return to your regular occupation.
  • You can't do other work with the same level of earnings as your regular occupation.

You can download a claim form from the GOV.UK website (see in Further reading below) or obtain one from the Barnsley Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre, Tel: 0800 121 8379; Textphone: 0800 169 0314..

If you care for someone who is claiming Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate, or is intending to claim for this, you are likely to be entitled to Carer's Allowance. You may wish to consider claiming for this at the same time. See the separate leaflet called Carer's Allowance.