|Issue 4 - April 1972|
|If you are
ill, and can get a medical certificate from your doctor, you can claim
Sickness Benefit. This is a guide to getting it as quickly and easily
CLAIMING - BASIC BENEFIT
If you are in hospital, you can still get a certificate - if you are too ill, a friend or relative can get it for you.
2) The front of the certificate has two sides; one must be filled in by the doctor. This can cause delay if it is not filled in properly. It must be in ink; must have the name of your illness, and must be signed and dated by the doctor, and have his address stamp at the bottom. He must also say how long he expects you to be ill. This can be days or weeks; the first certificate cannot be for longer than 28 days. (You won't be able to claim if you are staying off work to take care of a relative - e.g. a wife - it would be a good idea to get a bad cold at the same time.)
3) You must fill in the front and back. This is easy enough if you take the questions one by one. Just a few points - when you put the date you fell ill, put e.g. Mon 6.3.72 - that is, the day and the date - and make sure you get the right date for the day, or more delays. Use ink (biro is OK) throughout. At the bottom, sign and date it. This makes it valid. Give your National Insurance number if you can.
4) Send it to a National Insurance Office as soon as possible. You can get the address at the nearest Post Office. You have now claimed benefit.
He or she is responsible for the progress of your claim. He thinks in jargon, and he goes by the book - which he has on his desk. Just keep trying until you get some plain English.
Your claim should not take more than a week to process. Here are some things that can delay it:
When you get well, tell THEM or they will pester you. It's in your own interests - you could be due a few more days benefit. The best way is a 'signing off note', which is a final certificate from your doctor.
Notice how long your certificate will last, and keep a note of it. (If it is for more than 1 or 2 weeks you should get a reminder on form BF 60B.) When it runs out, get another from your doctor, who must examine you. Fill in the front only, sign and date it, send it in.
The first three days of your illness are not payable.
INDUSTRIAL INJURY BENEFIT
I WISH THEY WOULD GET A MOVE ON
You should phone THEM after a week to see what is happening. After two weeks you should go in personally; preferably in the morning. Take a friend or Claimant's Union official with you. Insist on seeing someone about your case.
The first person to come will be the Rater who deals with your claim. If what he or she says is unsatisfactory, demand to see their supervisor. The supervisor has more power to speed things up and make exceptions than the rater.
If you are still not satisfied, ask to see the manager. Insist on it. If you have been badly treated threaten to write to your MP and the press. This sometimes works like magic as higher authorities than THEM investigate all such complaints, and they don't want this to happen.
If you still get no results go with all speed to your local Supplementary Benefits office ('Area Office' in the jargon), which is sometimes in another part of the same building but may not be. They will be able to pay you assistance while your claim is delayed. In fact you can go there after a few days if you are really hard up, and you should demand an exceptional or urgent needs payment under section 7 or 13 or the Social Security Act. This you can claim at any time.
Don't forget to actually write to your MP and the press.
WHO WILL HELP YOU?
IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO LIVE ON
PS PAY DAY