Serious Injury Claims

Welfare Issues After Serious Injury

After suffering a serious injury, you’ll find yourself learning to deal with a new way of living. You’ll want financial security for you and your family, but this can seem uncertain if your injuries mean you’ve had to leave your job or stop working completely.

You may find that your benefits situation changes after receiving compensation. As this is usually received as a lump sum, it could affect your eligibility for means-tested benefits. Similarly, you might be entitled to new benefits. Our solicitors understand that these changes can sometimes be overwhelming, which is why we offer specialist help in managing your benefits and finances after a serious injury.

What Benefits Am I Entitled To After A Serious Injury?

Depending on the severity and type of your injury, there are a number of benefits that could be available to you and your family:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

It’s also worth checking if you have an insurance policy which could provide financial help – for example health, critical illness or personal accident insurance. Critical illness cover is a type of insurance often linked to life insurance, which can often have a total permanent disability option, or qualifying definitions relating to the loss of limbs and other injuries.

Similarly, you might be eligible for a charity grant. Our team has long-standing links with many charities around the country, so we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

If a loved one has passed away, you could be eligible for certain benefits:

Please visit our page on bereavement for information on the support available after a fatal accident.

How Will Compensation Affect My Eligibility For Existing Benefits?

Your compensation may affect your eligibility for certain benefits, depending on whether they’re means or non-means tested. However, we can help you set up a personal injury trust to manage your compensation so you can still claim the benefits you received before suffering injury. 

Our specialist solicitors will guide you through the process of setting up a personal injury trust, ensuring that you get the benefits you’re entitled to. With the largest Court of Protection department in the country, we’re extremely well-placed to help you manage your funds and advise on issues such as powers of attorney. This is where you give someone else the authority to make legal decisions on your behalf.

These benefits are non-means tested and won’t be affected by your compensation, whether it’s in a personal injury trust or not:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
  • Personal Independence Payment

However, the following benefits are means tested, which indicates that your compensation could affect your eligibility to receive them:

  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit

Personal Injury Trusts

If you receive any means tested benefits, you can use a personal injury trust to avoid losing your eligibility after a compensation claim. Money in a personal injury trust can only be accessed by “trustees” – usually you and at least one other close relative or friend.

Each trustee must agree to any money being released from the trust, but the funds can pay for anything from housing adaptations to mobility equipment. 

Our solicitors can give you specialist advice on personal injury trusts, explaining how they work in a clear and straightforward way. We’ll advise you on:

  • Appointing and removing trustees
  • Bank accounts and building societies
  • Preparing trust documents
  • Tax returns

The Compensation Recovery Unit

If you’ve received any benefits as a result of your injury, the government may be able to recover their value from your compensation. This is handled by the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU),to avoid what the law calls “double recovery”. For example, you might have received Jobseeker’s Allowance while your claim was ongoing, then received compensation for your loss of earnings from the final settlement.

The Compensation Recovery Unit isn’t anything to be worried about – you’re not being penalised and our solicitors can help you with any paperwork.

For more information, please see the government page on the Compensation Recovery Unit.

How Can Irwin Mitchell Help?

If you need advice on benefits during or after your personal injury claim, please get in touch with our solicitors by calling us on 0800 056 4110 or contacting us online.

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