• This topic has 23 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by poly.
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  • Short Term sickness help for the self employed
  • catfood
    Free Member

    I wonder if anybody can help with some info, I’ve been on the phone to CAB and the DSS but just get cut off or am on hold endlessly.

    It’s my nephew, he’s a self employed landscape gardener, he’s 32, yesterday he was rushed in to hospital and had to have emergency surgery for a ruptured bowel, big op and it’s going to be quite a long recovery, very luckily there’s no sepsis so he will recover in time but having had abdominal surgery I reckon that realistically it’ll be a few months before he can work again, he’ll be in hospital for another week or so but already financial worries are coming up. He has no savings and rents a flat alone, he has a two year old daughter who stays with him a few nights per week, no official custody arrangement has been made as yet.

    I’m just wondering what support will be available, as a self employed person myself I realise things aren’t quite as straightforward as if you’re employed, will he be able to claim rent in the short term? I know he should get some support but no real idea as to what that might realistically be.

    suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    F all, unless things have changed in the last 15 years, which I very much doubt.
    perhaps £100 a week?
    Good luck!

    catfood
    Free Member

    Yes I believe he’s entitled to something like that, it’s his rent that’s the problem and we’re wondering if he can get any help with that.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Citizens advice or shelter I’d imagine are going to be your best bet with finding out options.

    Presume he’s no insurance?

    catfood
    Free Member

    No, no insurance.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member
    footflaps
    Full Member

    He might be able to apply for Universal Credit, which can cover housing costs in some cases.

    I expect the process will be tortuous, complex and deliberately obscure – just to stop people being successful.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    “No, no insurance.

    Are you sure, as per link – often you have some as part of other policies.

    As an aside – and no help and not meaning to be condescending but why would someone not have this when they have dependents, and in a physical job where an injury would leave them unable to work (unlike being a self employed graphic designer for example where you could probably do some work a few days after an op, even if not back to full duties)

    20:20 hindsight, etc.

    fossy
    Full Member

    He’s 32, not many 32 year olds think about income insurance/pensions etc. It’s going to be tough for him.

    jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    I can’t help with anything useful, but would encourage, as per fossy above, to encourage kids/nephews/cousins etc to take out income protection insurance. It’s cheap for what you get and covers exactly this kind of thing.
    Good luck to the OP and family.

    catfood
    Free Member

    Well I finally got through to CAB.

    There will be some help, they will do a three way chat with my nephew and the DSS to help him get short term support that may get him through this, so that’s a relief, I can’t imagine it will be much but it’ll help.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Good news.


    @fossy

    I could get that at 22 but at 32? I know what I type is inevitably going to sound critical but really? Is our (school?) system so bad at preparing people for working life that people don’t think of things like this – even if unaware of income protection, does the thought of ‘what happens if I get hurt and can’t work?’ not prompt them to look into it. Does careers advice not include (to me, obvious) stuff like this.

    I mean, I assume he has a small business account or similar, do they not mention stuff like that? Liability insurance, does that include something (unlike them to not try to upsell!)

    Hopefully CAB can come through with help.

    fossy
    Full Member

    Given the ‘kids’ I see at work, in a professional sense, there are plenty that haven’t taken the pension scheme. I do remind them it’s insane not to (average career salary scheme). But they prefer the money in their pocket. We do put 9-10% of our salaries in, but employer put’s in over 20%.

    Same with income insurance – I guess it’s not cheap ?

    suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    Income Insurance isn’t cheap! When I looked at it 30 years ago it cost about £500 a month for £2000 pm cover, for 12 months max!
    As a carpenter/joiner….

    nickjb
    Free Member

    Same with income insurance – I guess it’s not cheap

    Wasn’t particularly cheap when I looked into it, especially if you wanted meaningful cover.

    On top of that it’ll be an extra outgoing on top of a long list of outgoings: Mortgage, bills, food, travel, tools, liability insurance, pension, etc. Something has to give. I’d rather put the money somewhere else and self insure but even that may not be an option if money is tight.

    Edit: looking at the figures above its really not worth it.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    It’s also much more expensive for self employed as they are much more likely to use it. The policies don’t normally pay out till after x weeks as well, making it less useful. I guess they see a lot of fraud, so make it harder to claim.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I guess also depends on your career, etc., and likelihood of having a career ending / delaying injury.

    £500pm for £2000pm cover, were you juggling chisels while discussing it with them?!

    [edit] I just idly looked up on MSE and looks more like £50/mo people are discussing there. Not insignificant and probably career dependant as well.

    lunge
    Full Member

     But they prefer the money in their pocket. We do put 9-10% of our salaries in, but employer put’s in over 20%.

    Sadly, with cost of living as it is, people have to look short term.
    Yes, the company may contribute more, but they won’t see it for 40 years and they rent is due this month.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    It’s not much different for employed in some cases. I needed a year off due to a back injury, got paid for a short time then statutory sick pay. I had savings and a partner who was on reasonable wages, so I was fine.
    If I was in the same position now, I’d probably not have the savings due to the cost of living, things might be a bit different.
    I’d say it’s far easier currently to find yourself in real trouble financially due to sickness.

    catfood
    Free Member

    Being self employed I looked at sickness income insurance when we had our first child, it was really expensive and didn’t pay out for the first six weeks of your illness, so unless something catastrophic happened it just wasn’t worth it, not to me anyway.

    Not everyone is financially astute and I’d say that at present lots of folk are only a month or two from financial oblivion, my nephew included.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    Tough deal for him. I hope he gets some help.

    For what it’s worth, I’m paying around £35 a month for income protection that’s supposed to give me about 1k a month should I need it.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Our income protection in about £40 a month for both of us BUT… I doubt it would pay out in the case of the OP, as it doesn’t really cover anything you’d expect to recover from (enough to return to work) in less than a year… and wouldn’t pay out for the first two months no matter what the prognosis.

    jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    Apologies. I raised income protection insurance with no knowledge of self-employed etc. When I took it I was PAYE and it would kick in from when the work sick pay ceased, so appreciate that’s a very different scenario to a self-employed person who’s income ends instantly and of course makes a massive difference to the premiums involved.
    Good luck

    poly
    Free Member

    I could get that at 22 but at 32? I know what I type is inevitably going to sound critical but really? Is our (school?) system so bad at preparing people for working life that people don’t think of things like this – even if unaware of income protection, does the thought of ‘what happens if I get hurt and can’t work?’ not prompt them to look into it. Does careers advice not include (to me, obvious) stuff like this.

    no it doesn’t. We provide a group income protection policy to all our staff which will pay them 75% of their salary if they are sick and unable to work from week 12 until retirement age. Nobody under 40 gives it a second thought. In fairness at some point he’s probably asked “why am I paying NI” and part of that justification is that it covers this sort of thing – which it will to a limited extent.

    I mean, I assume he has a small business account or similar, do they not mention stuff like that? Liability insurance, does that include something (unlike them to not try to upsell!)

    they might but most policies have a lag period anyway – 1/2/3/6 months before they will pay out.

    This is STW where people talk about their SIPP and Vanguard funds etc – in reality a lot of society live hand to mouth and have no contingency.

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