Income protection for agency social workers

I’ve had a few people contact be about income protection and I want to help explain the differences so we can consider what we need.

When we are agency workers we need to consider how we are going to be able to protect the lifestyle that we have in case we become unwell and not able to work.

I’ve recently been thinking about some of the previous experiences I have had. Whether it’s been an aggressive or violent service user, a health scare of even a near miss car accident.  If I was not able to work what would happen?

This has then led to do some research to make sure I’m being as sensible as I can be.

Please note that by no means am I an expert in this subject. I have just picked this up from my own research. If you would like some professional support let me know and I can pass you on to a financial advisor who knows a lot more about this than I do.


What is income protection?

Income Protection is also known as IP. In short, it is an insurance that you get that helps to replace a percentage of your income if you become unwell and are not able to work.


Why should an agency worker consider getting income protection?

As a self-employed social worker if we become sick of unwell and are unable to work we have no cover. This could turn our lives upside down and things could become financially very difficult, very quickly.

The local authority or trust we are working for have not liability to support us with this. We are independent workers and it is our responsibility to make sure we are covered properly.


Who should consider income protection?

  • If you are self-employed and don’t have sick pay to fall back on
  • if you would be worried that you could not cover the costs if you were not able to work
  • If you have dependents

What are the benefit of having income protection?

Having income protection ensures that a percentage or our original earning are covered if we are not able to work. Income protection can pay put a monthly sum which can be calculated to around 60-70% of our monthly income (which is tax free). This could cover our mortgage or those urgent bills that need paying.

Once the insurers have agreed for the monthly pay-out this will continue on a rolling basis. You wold need to check and read the fine print in detail but, with most policies multiple claims can be made if we become unwell and are not able to work.

If we are covered with a suitable policy it can offer security until we eventually are able to go back to work, the policy expires, you retire or die.


What are the types of income protection?

This is usually split into three categories;

  1. Accident and sickness only
  2. Unemployment only
  3. Accidental, sickness and unemployment (the comprehensive cover)


How long would it take to get my monthly sum if I have income protection?

It is important to note that there is a time period where pay-outs are not immediately made. This is known as the ‘deferred period’. This varies between different policies and is definitely something to consider when you are looking at what policy is best for you. This can vary from 4 weeks to two years.  Most commonly these are at around 1 month, 2 months, 6 months and a year.

This would be different for each individual and you would take into consideration when your savings would run out etc. The longer the ‘deferred period’ usually means the cheaper the premium would be.


How much will it cost for income protection for an agency social worker?

Again, this will be dependent on your lifestyle, age, level of cover and the amount that you want to be covered for.

It will also be based on the category that your job falls within. This ranges from Class 1-4. I would expect us to be around Class 3 as this is to do with skilled workers such as Teachers. But this may vary between insurers.

The research I did for cover against accident, sickness and unemployment ranged from £30 per month to £100 per month dependent on exactly what I wanted.

I was also speaking to a financial advisor about this as some of the information I found confusing and I wanted to be 100% clear that I was going to take out the right cover.

If you have any questions or would like me to pass you onto an advisor just let me know as they are more than happy to answer your questions.

If you have any questions around life insurance for social workers please have a read of my recent article.

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