Benefits if you can’t work due to illness or disability

If you can't work, or if your ability to work is limited because of Parkinson's, there is financial support available.

The benefits you're entitled to will depend on your age, your income or savings, and whether you're currently employed or have previously paid enough in National Insurance contributions.

Benefits you may be entitled to include:

  • Statutory Sick Pay is for people who are still employed but are unable to work because of ill health. It is paid by your employer for the first 28 weeks of any period of sickness. Your employer may pay extra sick pay on top of Statutory Sick Pay.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit paid if your ability to work is limited by ill health or disability. It is made up of two parts: Contributory ESA (if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions) and Income-related ESA (a means-tested benefit).
  • Incapacity Benefit was replaced by contributory ESA in 2008. If you're still receiving Incapacity Benefit, you will eventually be reassessed under the Work Capability Assessment. If you're found eligible, you will be moved on to ESA.
  • Severe Disablement Allowance was abolished in 2001. If you're still receiving it, you will eventually be reassessed under the Work Capability Assessment. If you're found eligible, you will be moved on to ESA.
  • A State Pension is available if you're over pension age (this will increase from 60 to 66 by 2020). To get a full State Pension, you must satisfy the National Insurance contribution conditions.

Read our pages on each of these benefits for more information, including whether you qualify and advice on how to claim.