incapacity benefit

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A state benefit that replaced invalidity benefit and sickness benefit in April 1995. It is paid at three basic rates, the two highest of which are taken into account as taxable income. Short-term incapacity benefit is payable at the lower rate for the first 28 weeks of incapacity and at the higher rate for the 29th–52nd weeks. Long-term benefit is payable, at the highest rate, after 52 weeks. Those claiming the benefit must complete a questionnaire about the activities they can engage in; after 28 weeks they must undergo a medical test to assess their capacity for work-related activities as well as submitting a questionnaire. Doctors must certify in all cases the material supplied. Incapacity benefit is due to be replaced by a new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from late 2008.

Subjects: Law.

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