This page answers some of the most commonly asked questions.
- What do I get for my contributions?
- I am self-employed; can I claim sickness benefit?
- When can I claim my old age pension?
- Do I have to pay contributions if I only work part-time?
- How do I claim unemployment benefit?
- I feel I have been unfairly dismissed from my job, what can I do?
- I cannot manage on my income, am I entitled to any help?
- Can I work while I'm on supplementary benefit?
- Is there a limit to the amount of savings and capital I can have to claim supplementary benefit?
- I need to go into a residential/nursing home; can I get help with the fees?
- Can I get help with medical bills when I am abroad?
- Who are the political members of the Department?
If you are paying the full percentage rate contribution, most of the money is going towards your entitlement to old age pension. But you are paying for other social security benefits as well, including sickness, unemployment, invalidity, industrial injuries and death. You are also paying towards the prescription drugs scheme, the specialist health insurance scheme and for doctor and nurse consultation grants.
Yes. Self-employed people can claim sickness benefit and invalidity benefits. It is only unemployment benefit that they do not pay towards and cannot claim.
In Guernsey, pension age is 65 for both men and women. The amount you receive depends on your contribution record.
You have to pay contributions if you earn on or above the lower earnings limit (see leaflet 50, page 13 for this year's rate).
As soon as you become unemployed, you should contact the Job Centre or Alderney States Office to make an appointment to make a claim. If your claim is accepted, you should be prepared to take any job that you are capable of doing. All current vacancies are on display at the Job Centre.
You should seek advice from the Industrial Relations Advisory Officer at the Commerce and Employment Department.
You may be entitled to supplementary benefit. This benefit is means tested and you do not need to have paid contributions. Supplementary benefit would take your income up to a level considered by the States as the minimum needed to live on.
Yes, work is encouraged if you are getting supplementary benefit on the grounds that you are a single parent, or a person over 65. But you would not be expected to work if you were getting supplementary benefit on the grounds that you were incapable of work. In all cases, you must inform the Department, in advance, of any work that you intend to do while on supplementary benefit. Any earnings you receive will be taken into account when calculating your benefit. The first £30 of weekly earnings may be disregarded from your benefit calculation. But you still must declare it to the Department.
Yes. If you live in the community and have capital of £20,000 or more, you will not be eligible for supplementary benefit. If you live in a residential or nursing home, you will not be eligible for assistance if you have capital of £40,000 or more. Savings and capital of £5,000 or less are ignored when determining supplementary benefit. If you own the house you live in, its value is ignored when calculating your entitlement to supplementary benefit, but only for as long as you continue to live in it.
Provided that, at any time during your life, you have resided in Guernsey for a period of 5 years you may qualify for assistance under the Long-Term Care Scheme. For more information contact the Pensions and Allowances helpline on 732506. If you do not qualify for assistance under this scheme, you may be able to receive help from Supplementary Benefit. This will depend on your income and the amount of capital and savings you have. If you have savings or capital of £40,000 or more you will not be eligible for any assistance until your capital depletes. For more advice, contact the Supplementary Benefits Section on 732508.
The Health & Social Services Department handles the reciprocal health agreements with other countries and can be contacted on 01481 725241.
Deputy Allister Langlois
Deputy Sandra James, MBE
Deputy John Gollop
Deputy Christopher Green
Deputy Michelle Le Clerc
Social Security DepartmentSocial Security Department, Edward T. Wheadon House, Le Truchot, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3WH, Channel Islands
Tel: +44 1481 732500 Fax: +44 1481 732501