It’s important that you continue to pay your rent as we rely on this income to fund vital services, such as our mental health schemes, our care homes for older or vulnerable people, and essential repairs and maintenance. We do realise, however, that residents in work may be affected by coronavirus, especially if you're self-isolating and not able to work. Depending on what your circumstances are, you can find lots of useful information here. You should also get in touch as soon as you can so we can discuss your circumstances and offer you all the advice and support we can to get through this uncertain time. You can contact us on 0300 123 9966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In light of the current situation with Coronavirus, the Chancellor announced that the Universal Credit standard allowance is increasing for the next 12 months, by £1,000 a year. And the Working Tax Credit basic element by the same amount as well.
If you receive Universal Credit and you have a jobcentre appointment but are staying at home on Government advice, or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, you will not be sanctioned if you tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in good time. You must inform the DWP by updating your online journal or calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. You can find out more information including any updates or changes in guidance on the Universal Credit website: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
Working Tax Credit payments will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021. The amount you will benefit from will depend on your circumstances, including your level of household income. But the increase could mean up to an extra £20 each week. If you claim Working Tax Credits, you don't have to take any action or contact HMRC - the increase in your payments will start from 6 April 2020. in your payments will start from 6 April 2020.
Depending on your employment contract and type of work, your income may be affected if you need to self-isolate as a result of the coronavirus. The Government has announced they have made changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to ensure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread.
The Government announced that UK workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1st March and will be initially open for 3 months, to be extended if necessary. Employers can top up salaries further if they choose to.
They also announced they have made changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to ensure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread.
SSP is paid at a rate of £94.25 per week. For more information including details about applying for Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CBESA) visit the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses.
Some employers have told workers that they will pay them as usual, at least for the next few weeks. If you are in that position and you do not usually receive any benefits, then you will not need to make a claim. Other employers are not in a position to meet the costs themselves. It is their workers who will be covered by the government’s pledge to cover 80% of wages. This will be claimed by the employers and distributed to staff, so you will not need to do anything yourself. It will be up to employers to decide whether to make up the difference.
The Government has made changes to how Universal Credit supports self-employed claimants. Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected. For more information see the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses. In other measures announced so far, the Chancellor has said that he will delay the date at which self-assessment tax payments are due. If you were due to pay a second instalment by 31 July, you will now not have to do so until January 2021.
The pledge to meet 80% of wages applies to everyone who is on PAYE – that is, taxed before they are paid. It is not clear what figure the 80% will be based on. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said that it will probably involve some kind of smoothing of earnings – that is to say it could be based on an average of recent weeks’ pay so you are not out of pocket if your last week’s wages were much lower than the previous week’s.
What is if social distancing is implemented?
Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people. Depending on industry/sector, if the Government enforces social distancing measures, you may be affected if you are self-employed or on a zero-hour contracts. As part of the 2020 budget, the Government announced a £500m hardship fund however it’s currently not clear how it can be accessed. We’ll continue to monitor information from the Government about it to keep you updated.
It was announced in the 2020 budget that the minimum income floor (for those that are SE there is an assumed minimum income) will be temporarily relaxed. This is to ensure you receive some support which will include both the personal and housing element of Universal Credit. If you are affected by coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
Employees are entitled to time off to look after dependants in an emergency – this includes a partner or parent as well as children. The time off is unlimited but employers are not obliged to pay you for this. Speak to your employer to find out its policy. If it does not pay, it may agree to let you use holiday or rearrange your working day to limit the financial impact.