Test and Trace Support Payment
Test and Trace support payments of £500 are available to help ensure that people on low incomes can self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact. You must have been advised to isolate on or after the 28 September 2020 in order to be eligible for the payment.
Eligibility and how to apply for this payment can be found HERE
You can get £95.85 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. Your employer may also pay you more than this, if they choose to, or your contract stipulates this.
To check your sick pay entitlement you should talk to your employer. Visit the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) page for more information.
If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new-style Employment and Support Allowance.
If you are eligible for new-style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home.
If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.
If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.
To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.
If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will run to 30th April 2021, but will extend if necessary.
You are able to claim Universal Credit, providing you meet the usual eligibility criteria.
From 6 April 2020, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change will apply to all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak. New claimants will not need to attend the Jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.
Whether you are currently in or out of work, if you are on a low income and affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, you will be able to access the full range of the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
From 6 April, the Government increased the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for 1 year. Both increased by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.