Claiming benefits when you go into hospital
If you are not getting any benefits when you go into hospital, for example, because you were working before you became ill, you might be able to get benefits when you are in hospital.
If you are not well enough to return to work when you leave hospital, you can carry on getting benefit for as long as you meet the conditions for that benefit.
If you were working when you became ill and went into hospital, you might be getting Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). SSP will be paid for the first 28 weeks that you are not able to work. You may also get Working Tax Credit for the first 28 weeks if your income and savings are low.
If you are not entitled to SSP and are not able to work due to ill health and you are aged under State Retirement Pension age, you could claim Employment and Support Allowance. If you are a woman who is aged over State Pension age or a man who has reached the State Pension age for a woman who has the same date of birth as you, you could claim Pension Credit. Please note that on 6 April 2010 State Pension age for women started to increase from 60 according to a schedule which would bring it in line with men's State Pension age by 2018. For more information, see the Turn2us guide to the State Pension age changes.
If your income or savings are low enough, these benefits can also help with payments towards a mortgage or other home loan, depending on how long you will be in hospital.
If you rent your home, you may get Housing Benefit (England, Scotland and Wales) or Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland) . You may also get Council Tax Support.
If you are terminally ill, there are special rules for Employment and Support Allowance. You can get benefit from the first day of sickness and will not have to score points in a medical examination. You will get Employment and Support Allowance with a support component from the start of your claim even if you are in hospital.