5. Illness, injury and disability benefits

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

You can get SSP if you’re eligible and either of the following apply:

  • you work for a UK employer in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • you work outside the EEA and your employer pays National Insurance contributions for you

Contact your employer to claim SSP.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

There are 2 types of ESA - income-related or contribution-based.

You can get both of these for 4 weeks if you go abroad.

Talk to your local Jobcentre Plus before you go.

Going abroad for more than 4 weeks but less than a year

Tell your local Jobcentre Plus if you’re going abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You can carry on getting contribution-based ESA for up to 26 weeks if you’re going abroad for medical treatment for yourself or your child.

It doesn’t matter which country you go to.

Going abroad for more than a year

You can get contribution-based ESA in the EEA or Switzerland if you’re eligible and if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions.

Industrial Injuries Benefit

If you’re getting Industrial Injuries Benefit for work-related accidents and illnesses, you can still get this in an EEA country.

Contact the office dealing with your benefit if you’re still in the UK, or the International Pension Centre if you’re living abroad.

International Pension Centre

Email the International Pension Centre
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: +44 (0)191 218 7280
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Find out about call charges

Benefits for carers and people with disabilities

Going abroad temporarily

You can claim the following benefits if you’re going abroad for up to 13 weeks (or 26 weeks if it’s for medical treatment):

You can carry on claiming Carer’s Allowance if you take up to 4 weeks holiday out of a 26-week period.

Tell the office that deals with your benefit that you’ll be away.

Going abroad permanently to another EEA country or Switzerland

You may get Disability Living Allowance (care component), Personal Independence Payment (daily living component), Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance as appropriate if you or a family member are eligible and:

  • work in the UK or pay National Insurance in the UK because of work
  • have paid enough National Insurance to qualify for contribution-based benefits
  • are getting State Pension, Industrial Injuries Benefit, contribution-based ESA or bereavement benefits

If you’re already living in another EEA country or Switzerland you don’t need to have claimed in the UK before you go. But you must:

  • be habitually resident in the EEA country or Switzerland
  • have a genuine link with the UK social security system, eg you’ve lived and/or worked in the UK

Contact the exportability team before you move abroad or claim from abroad.

Exportability Team Room C216
Pension, Disability and Carers Service
Warbreck House
Warbreck Hill Road

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