Financial help and benefits assessments if you are affected by COVID-19

With uncertainty around what will happen next, it is understandable to have concerns around your finances and any benefits you receive while there are restrictions in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.

During the UK’s period of lockdown due to the current coronavirus outbreak, you might be wondering what financial support is available if you are in self-isolation, can’t work or if you were due to have any benefits reassessed.

Financial support

Being unable to work due to self-isolation, medical treatment or because you cannot work from home during the lockdown, money and what you are entitled to be might one of the main things on your mind.

If you work and are in self-isolation or require medical treatment you should be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay. Unlike other circumstances where this is paid from the fourth day of illness, this will be available from day one throughout the outbreak.

This measure applies if you have been off on or after 13 March 2020.

Sick pay will be paid to you in the same way your wages usually are and you shouldn’t have to contact HMRC or any other government body to receive this.

Along with SSP, you could apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance if you don’t already.

These benefits can help to top up your income and help with everyday costs during these uncertain times.

For the next year the standard rate of Universal Credit and Tax Credits will increase by £20 per week. The Local Housing Allowance for private renters claiming Housing Benefits will also increase.

More information and advice on the financial support you could be entitled to is available from the Understanding Universal Credit website or from the Money Advice Service.

Benefits assessments

If you are already claiming sickness or disability benefits you don’t need to worry about any upcoming assessments during this time. Due to the current situation the UK Government has made the decision to automatically extend all awards and reassessments for these benefits.

It is expected that this will last around three months and mean that there will be no reviews or reassessments across all benefits during this time.

This including Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and any other benefits.

If you have already claimed a benefit like PIP and an assessment has taken place, this will continue to be processed. If you were due to have an assessment, you will be contacted to discuss the next steps.

This is an ongoing issue and there could be updates as the situation develops, at Enable we endeavour to update all information where possible, but it is always best to seek official advice from the Department for Work and Pensions if you are concerned about benefits.

Do you have concerns around money and the coronavirus? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram using #EnableCommunity.