Assistance for those who are not eligible for SSP
Until the recent announcement for the Self-employed Support Income Scheme, the Government had come into increasing scrutiny for the lack of support given to the self-employed and for individuals caught outside the eligibility criteria for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). For example, the Institute for Fiscal Studies have shown that about a third of all self-employed had a taxable income of less than £10,000.
Whilst assistance is now on its way through the new scheme for self employed (albeit not until June 2020), this does not negate the fact that there will be many whom are working, but earn below the threshold of £118.00 per week and thus will not be entitled to SSP.
If this applies to you then your options are limited to either making a claim for (1) Universal Credit or (2) Employment Support Allowance (‘ESA’). Those who are in need of immediate financial support during this pandemic are advised to not delay in applying for assistance, as these benefits encompass a multitude of elements from income support to housing allowances.
Are you eligible?
You will need to check which scheme is appropriate to your circumstances, as generally speaking ESA is reserved for those suffering from a disability or health condition which affects how much you can work.
If you need to apply to either because you’re suffering from the coronavirus, you will no longer be required to produce a fit note and the Government have also announced that the waiting period for ESA has also been scrapped.
Has any additional assistance been provided?
Usually under Universal Credit you are assumed to earn the same amount as someone like you who is in paid work, so if your earnings are low, the benefit sum may be worked out on higher earnings (this is known as the ‘minimum income floor’). For those affected by the coronavirus or in self-isolation this minimum income floor will be postponed for a set period.
On application of Universal Credit, you should also receive up to a month’s advance upfront and will not need to attend a jobcentre.
How much will I be entitled to?
Under Universal Credit, if you’re aged 25 or over you will be entitled to a standard allowance of £317.82 (this is to be increased to £409.89 after 6th April 2020).
What you’ll get under ESA is dependent on how and how soon you are assessed. You may be entitled to £73.10 per week up to £111.65 per week, but again this is dependent on which grouping you’re placed in.
Are you querying your employment status? Confused about your workplace entitlements? If so do not hesitate to contact Liberty Law Solicitors by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01582 853 783