Can I get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid by an employer for up to 28 weeks. It’s also paid if you’re ‘self-isolating’ because of coronavirus. It’s normally paid from day four of your absence, but the government are legislating for it to be paid from day one when you’re self-isolating.
Visit NHS 111 online (https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/) to find out how to provide an ‘isolation note’ instead of your usual ‘sick note’.
For further information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
I’m self-employed or not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
You can claim Universal Credit (UC), a means-tested benefit, or the New Style Employment and Support Allowance – a contribution-based benefit. Please note, rules around having to attend your local job centre offices in person have been suspended for three months.
There is also a Self Employed Income Support Scheme, which allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of trading profits (up to a maximum of £2,500) for three months.
To find out if you’re eligible, and for further information on claiming a grant visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Personal Independence Payment
Due to coronavirus, face to face assessments for disability benefits have been suspended for three months.
Are government offices still open?
All departments (Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and local councils) still have staff working but many are experiencing staff sickness. Some staff have also been redeployed to other areas, so you may experience delays in processing benefits and the dealing of your enquiries.
I’m worried about managing my rent.
Universal Credit (UC) includes a housing element if the claimant is under state pension age. Housing Benefit is appropriate for those over state pension age.
Please be reassured that the latest information from the government states that no-one renting in the social or private sector will be forced out of their home. For more guidance on this please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities
I’m worried about my mortgage payments or another loan
If you’re feeling worried, contact your lender as soon as possible. Many lenders are offering a ‘payment holiday’ of up to three months to help people through this time. Any missed payments will be added onto your balance and your mortgage or loan will be recalculated.
I need help with my energy bills.
Energy Suppliers are offering help to people who top-up pre-payment cards and are having to self-isolate. This help might include posting out top-up cards or keys, loaded with credit, to your home. If you need help, contact your energy provider as soon as possible
Disconnections of people on a standard meter have also been suspended during the crisis. You can find more advice on Ofgem: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-energy-supply
For more Welfare Advice from St Catherine’s Hospice, visit: https://www.stch.org.uk/our-services/welfare-advice/