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How to access sick pay/employment support following hand Injury

Why can’t I work?

Having a job is an essential part of most people’s lives. When something unexpected happens and you find yourself unable to work it is important to know your options.

With most hand injuries the body takes time to heal and repair; the tendons and bones take a few months to regain strength.

Returning to work, particularly heavy or manual jobs too soon can disturb the healing process or cause further injury, on-going pain and poorer outcomes.

We understand that not being able to work for 8-12 weeks is a significant period of time and may affect you financially.

There are a few ways you can access financial support during this time:

If you are unable to work due to your hand or wrist injury you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP):

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)

How many days you can get SSP for depends on why you’re off work.

You only have to give your employer a fit note (sometimes called a sick note) if you’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).

You can get a fit note from your GP or hospital doctor.

If required by your employer your physiotherapist or occupational therapist can provide advice and guidance on your return to work. This is called an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report and can help employers understand what you are able to do at that stage of your recovery. This is not a sick note and cannot be used for SSP.

If you are an Agency worker you are also entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

How can I start this process?

  • Tell your employer as soon as possible and ensure you have a fit note/ sick note. You must usually tell your employer within 7 working days.
  • Go to to access the statutory sick pay form, this should be completed with your employer.

What if I’m self-employed?

If you are self-employed you are not entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) however you may be able to claim universal credit or employment and support allowance (ESA).

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs if you are unable to work.

Employment and support allowance provides you with money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work. You cannot apply for ESA or universal credit if you are getting SSP.

You cannot get universal credit or income-related ESA if you have savings or investments worth over £16,000.

You can apply for both universal credit and ESA online and may be eligible for both.

How can I access more help?

  • Each borough will have a Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), a network of independent charities.
  • They provide confidential advice online, over the phone and in person for free.
  • Help to Claim is part of CAB and can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim.
  • They can help you complete the relevant paperwork needed to access financial support.

Please note that following a successful application there might be a wait to receive your first payment.

For more information search:

Talk to your employer if you think:

  • the decision not to pay you SSP is wrong
  • you’re not getting the right amount of SSP

You can ask them for a reason. If this does not sort the problem, contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC statutory payment dispute team
Telephone: 03000 560 630
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm  Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm call charges apply.


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