Brits still confused by sickness benefit entitlement

The majority of UK adults are unaware of the limited financial support available to them if they become unable to work through illness or disability, new research has found.

Over a third of respondents – 38 per cent – said they had no idea about how long they were able to claim Employment and Support Allowance benefit, according to the research carried out for Zurich.

The research found 22 per cent thought they were entitled to claim for between 4 and 6 months, while less than a fifth of those surveyed, 16 per cent, gave the correct answer of between 9 and 12 months.  

Nick Homer, Zurich UK Life’s Protection Manager says: “It’s encouraging to see a shift in public opinion with few people now having an expectation of long term State support, however there remains great confusion amongst the public regarding the level of State benefit provision for those who are unable to work as a result of illness or injury. Regrettably, this clouds the important message regarding the need for private provision.    

“As an industry we have a role to play encouraging more people to take responsibility for their financial planning.”  

Kevin Carr, CEO, Protection Review says: “With ongoing reductions in Government benefits we are seeing a huge transfer of risk from Governments and large corporations onto individuals and it is important for consumers to act themselves to protect the one thing that pays for everything else, which is their income.”