We know that this is a difficult time for so many people who have been affected by the impact of Coronavirus. There are lots of schemes and benefits available to help.
- Financial support if you’re ‘pinged’ and told to self-isolate
If you’re one of the 100,000s of people who’ve 'pinged' and told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app or instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, there's a range of financial support you could get.
- Working from home as you've been pinged? You're eligible for a tax rebate. See 'Tax rebate - working from home for EVEN ONE DAY' below.
- Can't work from home while self-isolating? You may be able to get statutory sick pay. See ''Are you eligible for sick pay when isolating'
- Self-employed? Check if you can claim the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. See 'Self-employment grants' below.
- Can't work from home and on a low income? You may be able to claim a £500 self-isolation payment, but there's no guarantee. See 'Are you or your child self-isolating and you can't work from home' below.
You can also read, and watch a short video, about these benefits on the MoneySavingExpert website.
- Are you eligible for sick pay when isolating?
You MAY be eligible for statutory sick pay if you can't work from home and have been instructed to isolate by Test & Trace or if you were pinged by app.
SSP currently stands at £95.85 a week. To qualify, you must be employed and earn an average of at least £120 a week. For more on the eligibility criteria and how to get SSP, see the MoneySavingExpert help guide.
- Self-employment grants
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been extended again, with a final grant, making five in total.
HMRC has confirmed that if you're told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app or instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, and you can't work from home, this would count as you being 'previously trading but temporarily unable to do so', which means you could be eligible to claim the SEISS grant. You'd still need to meet all the other criteria, including, having a "significant reduction" in trading profits.
- Tax rebate - working from home FOR EVEN ONE DAY during coronavirus?
If your employer requires you to work at home during the 2021/22 tax year (6 April 2021 to 5 April 2022), EVEN FOR ONE DAY you could be eligible to claim tax relief on £6 per week – that’s worth £1.20 to you a week.
The same also applies if you have to work from home because you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or because you're self-isolating having been pinged by the NHS app.
And, if you haven't already, you can still claim for a full years relief for the 2019/2020 tax year. Again your employer only needs to have requested you to work from home for one day in the year!
- Are you or your child self-isolating and you can't work from home?
The government has announced a £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people claiming qualifying benefits or working tax credit, who are required to self-isolate to avoid coronavirus transmission.
It's limited to people unable to work from home during isolation and you can claim up to 42 days after the first day of your self-isolation period.
Since 8 March 2021, if you're the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, so cannot attend school, and you're required to stay at home to look after them, you could be eligible for the support payment.
The payment will be administered by local authorities and you will need to apply to them.
Contact your local authority to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.
- Universal Credit and employment benefits
If you experience financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus please get in touch.
We are here to help so we can all get through this together.
Benefits you may be entitled to
If you have lost your job or are working reduced hours you may be able to claim:
- Universal Credit
- New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (New Style JSA)
- New Style Employment and Support Allowance (New Style ESA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
New Style JSA and New Style ESA can be claimed on their own or at the same time as Universal Credit, so it may be a good idea to apply for Universal Credit anyway, particularly if you pay rent or have children to support.
Please note that depending on your circumstances it may not always be the best option to claim Universal Credit and we would urge you to get advice before making a claim.
Benefits checker and calculator
The government have launched a new benefits checking tool to help people get a quick idea of what financial support they may be able to claim.
It takes a few minutes and doesn’t require detailed information, nor does it process or store personal data. It is an easy first step for anyone who is unsure whether they want to start a claim.
You can use other online benefits calculators to find out what benefits you might be entitled to.
- Universal credit £20 boost to be phased out
The government has confirmed the £20-per-week boost to universal credit, which was introduced in March 2020, will be phased out this autumn.
If you need any help or support please get in touch.
- Furlough scheme extended until end September 2021
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of September 2021
You DON'T need to have been furloughed before to take part. However you do need to have been on your employer's PAYE payroll on 30 October to be eligible. And, if you were made redundant or left your job since 23 September, you could be rehired and furloughed.
- For any furlough claims up until 30 April 2021 you need to have been on your employer's PAYE payroll on, or before, 30 October 2020 to be eligible.
- For any furlough claims from 1 May 2021 until the end of September 2021 you need to have been on your employer's PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021 to be eligible.
- One-off £500 payment for eligible working households receiving tax credits
The Government have introduced a new one-off £500 payment for working households receiving tax credits.
This payment is to provide extra support as the temporary increase in Working Tax Credit (WTC), introduced at the start of the pandemic, ended on 5 April 2021.
You may be eligible if, on 2 March 2021, you were receiving either:
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credit and were eligible for WTC but did not get a payment because their income is too high to get WTC payments
Eligible households will be notified by HMRC and should automatically receive their payment by 23 April.
PLEASE be vigilant about scams, which may mimic HMRC messages.
- Free school meals and food parcels
School meals should be available free of charge to:
- all infant pupils
- pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria
If children entitled to benefits-related free school meals are self-isolating at home, schools should work with their school catering team or food provider to provide good quality lunch parcels. This will ensure that eligible pupils continue to be supported for the short period where they are unable to attend school.