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Statutory Sick Pay

Key information

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is money paid to you by your employer if you are sick and unable to work.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: There are no age rules

Type of benefit: Non means tested

Taxable: Yes

Administered by: Your employer



You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:

Who does it help?

Most employees get SSP, including part-time workers and agency workers and workers on a fixed-term contract.

You must earn an average of at least £111 a week before tax (£112 from April 2015) to qualify for SSP. If you do not earn enough to qualify for SSP, or if you are self employed, then you can claim Employment and Support Allowance instead. 

You do not get SSP for the first three days you are sick. It is paid from the fourth day. However, if you have already had a period of sick leave in the previous eight weeks, you can usually claim SSP from the first day as it is counted as one period of 'incapacity for work'.

You can get SSP for up to 28 weeks of sickness. After that, if you still cannot work, you can claim Employment and Support Allowance.

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How much does it pay?

SSP is a fixed amount of £87.55 a week (£88.45 from April 2015).

It is paid by your employers in the same way that they pay your wages and at the same time.

You may get more sick pay on top of this if your contract of employment says you will.

If you are getting SSP, you may get Income Support on top of this depending on your circumstances.

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How do I make a claim?

The way you claim SSP depends on your employer. They can make their own rules about how you should show that you can not work.

Usually, you have to fill in a form provided by your employer for the first week you are unable to work. Or you could write a letter explaining that you are sick (the postmark is taken as the date you informed them), or phone them.

Another option is to fill in Form SC2 (Employee's Statement of Sickness) which you can get from your doctor's surgery or download: Form SC2 (PDF file size 66kb link opens in a new window)

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What documents will I need?

After the first week, you usually have to send in a doctor's certificate to get SSP.

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Challenging decisions

If you disagree with a SSP decision made by your employer, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs Statutory Payments Disputes Team. This may affect your job and your relationship with your employer so you may want to seek specialist advice on this matter first.

Further information on Challenges and complaints

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Change of circumstance

You must report to your employer changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit

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Further help

The website of HM Revenue and Customs (link opens in a new window) has more information about SSP. 

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Last updated: 3 March 2015

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