This information should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice. Read the disclaimer.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is a non-means-tested, tax-free, non-contributory benefit payable to people who have become disabled as a result of an accident at work, or because of one of over 70 prescribed diseases known to be a risk from certain jobs. IIDB is payable on a “no-fault” basis – the claimant doesn’t have to prove any negligence on the part of the employer to be eligible for benefit. The scheme only covers employees or those who were on an approved employment training scheme or course when the accident or event happened. The self-employed are excluded.
IIDB is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions in Great Britain, and by the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Employment Injury Assistance is replacing IIDB, but it’s not expected to start to replace IIDB until autumn 2022.
Who can claim IIDB?
A person may qualify for IIDB if:
- they were an employed earner;
- they suffered a personal injury in an industrial accident, or are suffering from a prescribed industrial disease;
- as a result of the accident or disease they suffered a “loss of faculty”; and
- as a result of that loss of faculty, they are disabled
What is a “prescribed industrial disease”?
Regulations set out a list of over 70 industrial diseases and, for each, the occupations or types of work known to have a link to that disease. To qualify for IIDB for a prescribed disease, a person must have worked in an occupation listed for that disease, and the disease must have been caused by that occupation.
The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) reviews the list of prescribed diseases and occupations and makes recommendations to the Secretary of State on what diseases the scheme should cover.
How much do claimants get?
The amount depends on the degree of disablement – up to £182 a week in 2020-21 and £182.90 a week in 2021-22, for those assessed as 100% disabled. Benefit isn’t normally payable if disablement is assessed at less than 14%.
Additional amounts may also payable depending on the person’s degree of disablement and needs:
Two other benefits may still be payable in addition to or instead of IIDB to people who had an accident or started to have a disease before 1 October 1990 – Reduced Earnings Allowance or Retirement Allowance.
There is no time limit for making a claim for IIDB (except for claims for industrial deafness). However, claims can only be backdated for up to three months before the date of claim.
Industrial injuries benefits decisions can be challenged in the same way as decisions on claims for other social security benefits – i.e. by requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) of the decision and, if DWP upholds its original decision, by then appealing to an independent First-Tier Tribunal.
For further information see the Commons Library constituency casework article on Challenging benefits decisions.
Alongside the Industrial Injuries scheme, there are other DWP-run schemes which make payments to people suffering from certain diseases as a result of exposure to dust. For details see the Commons Library briefing Asbestos-related diseases: payments from the Department for Work and Pensions.
- DWP: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits: technical guidance
- DWP: Decision Makers’ Guide Volume 11: Industrial injuries benefits
- NIdirect: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Citizens Advice: Getting benefits if you got ill or were injured at work
- Turn2us: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
The Commons Library does not intend the information in this article to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. We have published it to support the work of MPs. You should not rely upon it as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. You should consult a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information. Read our briefing for information about sources of legal advice and help.
How people who are unhappy with a decision on a benefit claim can challenge the decision.
How people can challenge a benefits decision beyond the First-Tier Tribunal
Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of serious diseases. People suffering from certain conditions may be able to pursue a civil claim for damages against one or more employers responsible for exposing them to asbestos negligently and/or in breach of a statutory duty. Compensation may also be available under schemes administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).