- a state benefit payable to those under the state retirement age who are incapable of work because of an illness or disability but who do not qualify for statutory sick pay; it replaced invalidity benefit and sickness benefit in 1995. Entitlement depends on an adequate record of National Insurance contributions. It is paid at three basic rates. 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. For the first 28 weeks of incapacity claims are made by an 'own occupation' test, based on the production of a medical certificate. After 28 weeks claimants must undergo a medical test to assess their capacity for work-related activities (an 'all work' test) as well as completing a questionnaire. Doctors must certify in all cases the material supplied.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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