Almost half (46%) of UK adults would dig into their savings to support themselves if they became ill and had to take long term sick leave, according to research from Turn2us (part of the poverty charity Elizabeth Finn Care). It asked a sample of the UK public how they would support themselves financially if they were suddenly taken ill and had to go on long-term sick leave.
48% of the 2,209 people polled said they would rely on state benefits, while two-fifths (39%) said they would rely on their partner's income, 14% would use overdrafts and 10% would rely on credit cards.
Matthew Sykes of Elizabeth Finn Care says, "The research, combined with our own experiences, shows that it can take a long time before people begin to seek help with their financial predicaments, with only 6% of people stating they would seek financial support and advice from grant giving charities if they suddenly fell ill and had to stop working. People are often too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for support. As soon as someone becomes ill, they, or people caring for them, should look at what financial help is available for them so they do not spend all their savings or accrue debt.”
More than a quarter (28%) did not think they would be entitled to benefits if they were suddenly taken ill and had to go on long-term sick leave from work, while 16% said they did not know if they would be entitled to them.
The poll also showed that more than half (52%) would have to budget on the cost of food if they went on long-term sick leave, while only 11% would rely on income protection insurance to support themselves.
The online poll of 2,209 adults aged 18 or over was carried out by YouGov Plc in June.
Income protection insurance: News update: 26 September 2010