Money Advice and Benefits
What if I can’t work – do I qualify for Statutory Sick Pay?
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available for eligible people diagnosed with, or self-isolating due to coronavirus. It’s now payable from day one instead of day four for affected individuals. As well as this, the government’s introducing a temporary alternative to a fit note for coronavirus related absences – you will be able to get it by calling the NHS on 111. SSP is paid at the rate of £94.25 per week.
To qualify you will need to be classed as an employee, earn an average of at least £118 per week, tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline. Agency workers are also entitled to statutory sick pay. You will not be eligible if you are getting Statutory Maternity Pay or have received the maximum amount of Statutory Sick Pay (28 weeks).
What do I do if I’m not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?
If you’re not entitled to SSP you may be able to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance, based on your national insurance contributions. This is paid at the rate of £73.10 per week. The government has suggested that this would be paid to self-employed workers and those on zero hours contracts. This will be available from the first day of sickness or absence rather than the eighth day.
If you can’t get Statutory Sick Pay or New Style Employment and Support Allowance you may be able to claim Universal Credit without going to the job centre. But this is usually not paid until 1 month and 7 days after your claim – although you can ask for a repayable advance. However, if you’re getting other benefits such as Housing Benefit or Tax Credits these will stop, and you may be no better off. Seek advice before claiming if you’re on other benefits.
You can apply for Universal Credit online If you need to make an appointment, call the number you are given when you submit your claim and explain your situation. In these circumstances, you can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without attending a job centre.
What if I’m self-employed and can’t work?
HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). There’s also a new dedicated coronavirus HMRC helpline for self-employed people on 0300 4563 565.
If you are self-employed you are eligible to claim Universal Credit https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit. If you need to make an appointment, call the number you are given when you submit your claim and explain your situation. In these circumstances, you can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without attending a job centre. Find out more on the https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants
What if I’m on Universal Credit and need to self-isolate?
If you’re already claiming Universal Credit let your work coach know as soon as possible, particularly if you can’t attend a jobcentre appointment. If you don’t let them know before you miss an appointment, you could be sanctioned. To do this, use your online journal or call the Universal Credit helpline (0800 328 5644).
All health reassessments appointments have been suspended for three months. If you are due to attend a job centre appointment, but can’t because you are self-isolating or infected, special arrangements will be put in place and appointments rescheduled. Mandatory work search and work availability will also be removed to account for a period of sickness.
If your income reduces because you have coronavirus, must self-isolate, or are caring for someone in your household who is affected, your Universal Credit should change to take this into account. The Minimum Income Floor (which applies to the self-employed) will also be relaxed for those affected by coronavirus.
How can I pay my rent if I’m self-isolating or have the virus?
Direct Debit – You can set up and manage a Direct Debit or via a Bank transfer online’
THE CO-OPERATIVE BANK
1, ISLINGTON HIGH STREET
LONDON N1 9TR
ALAMO HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE LTD
Account No. 50028618
Branch Sort Code 08-90-33
Please text or email confirmation of payment and amount etc so we can allocate your payment promptly.
What if I can’t pay my rent?
We know that some of you are worried about how you’ll pay your rent if you have the virus or need to self-isolate.
We want to reassure members that no one will lose their home as a result of this virus.
We still must collect rent, but if you are in financial difficulties please contact us directly via email, or text for a call back to 07931771737. Alamo will assist you in advising you on the options available to you from the government agencies and make notes on your file so a record is kept of the efforts you have made to keep us informed of your circumstances. For those of you that are already in receipt of full benefits, including your rent, we would expect that you will continue to pay your rent as normal, but again, if you are having difficulties with things due to the virus please let us know.
Download this document Money and Benefits Coronavirus.doc