Money and benefits advice update

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Posted on25 Sep 2020

This month’s update from Martin Bell, Money and Benefits Advisor provides a reminder of financial support available for people who cannot currently work due to Coronavirus.

Advice on financial support if you cannot work because of coronavirus.

As more people are being tested for Coronavirus, the number of people who need to self-isolate will also increase. It is more important than ever that people continue to follow the latest guidance and always stay at home and self-isolate if:

  • you or someone you live with has any coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • you’ve been told by test and trace that you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus.
  • someone in your linked household bubble has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • you’ve been advised by your doctor or health authority to shield because you’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. (This will only apply if a future local lockdown is introduced.)
  • you’ve been advised by a medical professional to self-isolate before being admitted to hospital for surgery.

If you are self-isolating, you will need to tell your employer so you can make arrangements to work from home. However, this may not be possible for everyone.

Please see below financial support you can access if it is not possible to work from home.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

You may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer if you are off work because of coronavirus (COVID-19). You can check if you are eligible for SSP here.

If you’re off work for 7 or more days, your employer may ask you to provide proof that you are self-isolating. Further information can be found here.

Universal Credit

You may be able to get Universal Credit at the same time as SSP. If you get both Universal Credit and SSP, the amount of your Universal Credit may be reduced by the amount of your SSP.

Other financial support which may be available if you’re not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

On 22 September the government announced more financial support. People who are required by law to self-isolate from 28 September will be supported by a payment of £500 which is for those on low incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.

People in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment, which will be available to those who are required to self-isolate from 28 September.

Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes, it is expected to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up by their Local Authority.

You can apply online for Universal Credit if you cannot get SSP. Further information on how to claim Universal Credit can be found here.

You might also be able to apply online for New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). Further information about New Style JSA and how to claim can be found here.

If you have a disability or have a health condition that affects how much you can work, you can apply for new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Further information about new style ESA and how to claim can be found here.

You might also be able to get new style ESA if one of the following applies to you or your child, now or at some time in the past:

  • you’re at high risk because you have an underlying health condition (shielding).
  • you’re self-isolating because you have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • you’re self-isolating because you came into contact with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, or you were told to self-isolate by a test and trace service.

If you would like to discuss the best option for your situation with Martin Bell, Money and Benefits advisor please contact Customer Services 08005870211 to book an appointment.