COVID-19 - Universal Credit
The Chancellor announced that the self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), as well as a further £1bn to cover 30% of house rental costs.
The increase to Universal Credit standard credit is worth £1,000 a year and the government will also increase the Working Tax Credit by the same amount, the measures are expected to benefit just over 4 million households.
At the same time, the Chancellor announced that the Minimum Income Floor for Universal Credit will be suspended.
If you don’t qualify for SSP
If you’re self-employed you will not usually be covered by SSP. You should be able to claim either Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
The Chancellor announced “quicker and easier” access to Universal Credit for the self-employed and those working in the gig economy, as well as to ‘new style’ ESA. The government will also be temporarily relaxing the requirements of the minimum income floor in Universal Credit for those directly affected or self-isolating according to government advice for the duration of the outbreak.
ESA and Universal Credit support for the self-employed
Since self-employed workers are not generally covered by Statutory Sick Pay, you may wish to consider Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This is a welfare program that supports those whose capacity to work has been affected either by sickness or disability.
When you apply for ESA, you will need to meet certain conditions to prove that your ability to work has been compromised directly by your sickness or disability. Those who qualify will be eligible for £73.10 a week, or £57.90 for under-25s.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, it was announced in the March 2020 UK budget that those claiming ESA will be able to claim from day one of their illness, rather than the standard day eight.
You may also be eligible for Universal Credit, although you will usually only be able to make a claim if you fall beneath the minimum income floor (MIF).
As part of the emergency Coronavirus support announced in the Budget, the Chancellor has announced “quicker and easier” access to Universal Credit for the self-employed and those working in the gig economy, as well as to ‘new style’ ESA. The government will also be temporarily relaxing the requirements of the minimum income floor in Universal Credit for those directly affected or self-isolating according to government advice for the duration of the outbreak.
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- Job Retention Scheme
- Deferring VAT payments
- Deferring Income Tax payments
- Business Tax – Time to Pay Scheme
- Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
- Business rates holiday
- Grant funding for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- Grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Bank of England lending facility
- Increase to Working Tax Credits
- Universal Credit
- Mortgage Holiday for 3 months.
- Insurance Cover
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