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People getting Invalidity Benefit (IVB) or Sickness Benefit at the time of the changeover were automatically transferred onto Incapacity Benefit and the amount of benefit, they were receiving at the time was not affected.
You qualify for short-term Incapacity Benefit if you: have paid National Insurance contributions and you are 'incapable of work' or are in a 'period of incapacity for work'.
Long-term IB will be paid if you have been sick for more than 52 weeks.
If you qualify under the special rules for young people, you must have been getting short-term IB for 52 weeks.
The same applies if you are aged 20 or over but under 25, and you were in education or training for at least 3 months before your 20th birthday.
There are several different rates of IB For the first 28 weeks of incapacity you can get the short-term lower rate.
See: Benefit Rates If you are under 20 (25 if you have been in education or training) you may be able to get IB even if you have not paid NI contributions.
If you have recently come from abroad, or returned from abroad, there are some extra rules.
If you qualify under the special rules for young people you must have been getting lower rate IB for 28 weeks.
You may get Incapacity Age Addition if you get long-term IB and were aged under 45 on the day you became unable to work. For new claims, half of your occupational or personal pension(s) above £85 is to be deducted from your incapacity benefit.
For example, if you have a weekly occupational pension of £95 then your incapacity benefit will be reduced by £5 a week.
However, if you make a new claim to IB for a date on or after 6th April 2001, you will have any gross Pension Income taken into account when the payable rate of benefit is being calculated.
Incapacity Benefit replaced Invalidity and Sickness Benefit from 13 April 1995.
If you get the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or you are terminally ill, you will get IB paid at the long-term rate after you have been sick for 28 weeks.