Government support for individuals – a summary
Last updated 7 May 2020
The Chancellor has announced various measures to support individuals and the self-employed as a result of the Coronavirus. Here we provide a summary (as of 7 May 2020) of the support available for individuals during this period of disruption.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Furloughed workers – your employer now has access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help cover up to 80% of wages for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This scheme aims to protect jobs and avoid businesses having to make redundancies. Your employer may discuss becoming classified as a furloughed worker with you which would allow them to use this scheme and keep you on the payroll rather than being laid off.
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. From 13 March, you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people self-isolating in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine. Read more here. If you’re self-employed or not eligible for SSP and you have Coronavirus 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.
- Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit – The basic element is enhanced for the next twelve months. This increases Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months by £1,000 a year and increases the Working Tax Credit basic element by the same amount.
- Tax payments – the next self-assessment payment is deferred from July 2020 until January 2021, with no interest or penalties charged on the deferred amounts. Read more here.
- Support for rent costs – For renters, an extra £1bn of support by increasing the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in an area.
- Mortgage and payment holidays – Mortgage lenders have agreed to support customers including offering a 3-month mortgage holiday. Please speak with your mortgage lender for details. If you are on Help to Buy, this approach will also be adopted where necessary for customers paying interest on their equity loans.
- Housing allowance and Universal credit – the Chancellor has announced a boost to local housing allowance which will cover at least 30% of market rents
- Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by Coronavirus you may be able to use this scheme to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. Read more about the support available to the self-employed here.
- The self-employed can access Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance with no floor limit – that means self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
How we can help
We have teams of tax, financial and private client experts on hand to help you throughout this period. If you have any queries or concerns, please get in touch with your usual Kreston Reeves contact or complete our enquiry form here and one of our experts will be in touch.
Some useful links are below:
- Guidance for employees – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay
- Universal credit – https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
- Employment and Support Allowance – https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance
- Lay-offs and short-time working – https://www.gov.uk/lay-offs-short-timeworking
- If you cannot pay your tax bill – https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc
- Travel advice – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
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