If you have to stop working due to an accident, illness or redundancy, you should start your income protection claim as soon as possible. Here is what you need to do.
As soon as you find out you will be out of work for a prolonged period, call your income protection insurer. You will need to give them:
Your personal details, e.g. name, address and date of birth
Your policy number, which you can find in your policy documents
Your reason for claiming, e.g. the nature of your illness and how long you will be off work
Do not stop paying your premiums during your claim, otherwise it could invalidate your policy and you will not get an income paid to you.
Your insurer will talk you through the next steps of your claim and send you a claims form to complete and send back, along with:
Evidence of why you are off work, e.g. a medical report
Birth certificate, to confirm your age
Proof of income, e.g. your P60 or last tax return
Your insurer then assesses your claim to see if it is covered by your policy. They may also ask you for more information before they accept your claim.
If you cannot give them the details they need, it is unlikely they will pay out.
Here are the potential outcomes of an income protection claim:
Your insurer accepts your claim and pays you an income.
Your insurer pays you a smaller income if your existing income is lower than the amount you declared on your policy.
Your insurer rejects your claim. This may happen if you gave false information about yourself when you applied.
If your insurer accepts your claim, they will keep in contact with you monthly or annually to check on your recovery.
You may still qualify for some financial support, or be able to apply for:
Sick pay: If you are too ill to work or need time off to recover from an accident, your employer should pay you Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Redundancy pay: You may be eligible for statutory redundancy pay, but only if you have been working for your employer for at least two years.
Universal Credit: If you lose your job, other than through redundancy, you could claim Universal Credit.
Keep your insurer updated on your progress, including details of your recovery or if you find a new job following a redundancy.
If you want to return to work on shorter hours than you worked before, speak to your insurer to check if they can support you financially.
They might be able to pay you a partial income until you are able to return to full time work.