Support for self-employed workers
If you are self-employed and your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, you have up until 13th July to claim for the Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The second grant will open for applications in August.
You can find out more about eligibility here.
Advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace?
If you are advised to self-isolate for 14 days by NHS Test and Trace and you are unable to work from home, you should be entitled to the following:
- If you earn an average of £120 per week, you will be entitled to the statutory minimum of £95.85 per week. If your employer normally offers a more generous company sick pay, you may be entitled to your normal company sick pay.
- If you earn under £120 per week, you may be entitled to support through Universal Credit. If you have an existing claim you should log in to your journal and update your details to reflect this period of self-isolation. The award should be boosted in line with your drop in earnings. If you are not already claiming Universal Credit, you may be entitled to make a claim. However, it is always wise to complete an online benefit check or speak to Cairn’s Tenancy Sustainment Team before claiming to check the impact on any existing benefits that you may be claiming before proceeding with a Universal Credit claim.
- If you are self-employed and do not already have an active Universal Credit claim, you may be entitled to claim. Again, you must check the impact claiming will have on any existing legacy benefits you may be receiving. If you already have an active Universal Credit claim, you should log in to your journal and update your details to reflect this period of self-isolation. Your award should be boosted in line with your drop in earnings.
Coronavirus benefits easing ending
At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak the government eased rules and restrictions around claiming benefits. There has been no update as to when things will go back to normal or if the change will be extended. The changes put in place are as follows:
- Attending interviews at the Jobcentre was suspended for three months from 19th Jobcentres have remained open, but only for the most vulnerable claimants such as homeless people, and by appointment only.
- Face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits were suspended from 17th March for an initial period of three months. In early June the government announced that they were in the process of reviewing this measure in light of the latest public health advice and would confirm the next steps as soon as possible.
- Suspension of benefit reviews and reassessments for Universal Credit (LCW/LCWRA), Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment were in place up to 24th June. On 16th June the government announced that they were in the process of reviewing this measure and would confirm the next steps as soon as possible.
- Work search and availability requirements were suspended for three months from 30th March (until 29th June). No announcement has been made on whether this will be extended or not. As the economy is slowly beginning to open up, it could be that the government decide not to extend it.
- Recovery of certain debts was suspended from 3rd April for three months. This was so that the Department for Work and Pensions could redeploy staff to help with the high volume of new Universal Credit claims they were receiving. As the number of new claims has dropped, this suspension could be lifted and claimants will begin to see these deductions again for assessments made on or after 3rd July.
Other easings still in place that were introduced on 13th March and due to last until 12th November are:
- Statutory Sick Pay / Employment Support Allowance
Changes that meant SSP and NS-ESA is paid from day one, and that those ‘self-isolating’ are treated as incapable of work.
- Suspension of the Minimum Income Floor
Self-employed workers claiming Universal Credit will not have the minimum income floor imposed – their UC award will be based on their actual earnings.
- Jobseekers Allowance
Those getting Jobseekers Allowance are treated as being capable of work when ‘self-isolating’. This period will not therefore be counted as a period of sickness and a JSA claimant will not lose entitlement to Jobseeker’s Allowance because of Coronavirus.
- Carers Allowance
Carers remain entitled to Carers Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring as a result of either the carer or the person being cared for having to ‘self-isolate’.
If you are worried about money then please get in touch. Our knowledgeable Tenancy Sustainment Team are on hand to help.