The Benefits Cap and industrial injuries
The Chancellor has announced that his Benefits Cap will apply to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit – even though it’s meant to provide compensation for industrial diseases and injuries, whatever your income.
Yesterday the Chancellor announced that, from 2013, household benefit payments will be capped at a level equivalent to median earnings for working households. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is included, alongside income replacement benefits (JSA, IS and ESA), means-tested benefits that help low income families meet extra costs (HB and Council Tax Benefit) plus benefits that help meet the costs of having children.
But IIDB isn’t there to provide an income or to meet extra costs. For disabled people, the benefits that do this are ESA and IS for income and Disability Living Allowance for costs. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is a no-fault compensation scheme. It provides some measure of justice for workers who have suffered a disease or injury that is probably due to their job, but which is hard to prove on an individual basis.
It meets a claim for social justice that is entirely separate from the question of whether or not you are poor or have needs that you can’t meet from your income. Including IIDB in the list of benefits that count towards the Cap will be unfair to many middle class workers and former workers who will have suffered a loss of some sort, but will now not be compensated.