Government support for individuals – a summary

Published by Daniel Grainge on 7 January 2021

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Last updated 7 January 2021

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 January 2021) of the support available for individuals during the Coronavirus crisis.


  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Furloughed workers – your employer has access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will cover 80% of individual furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500. This scheme, which aims to protect jobs and avoid businesses having to make redundancies, was due to end on 31 October but has now been extended until 30 April 2021 to help cover the period of the new national restrictions. Read more here.
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – if you are ill or have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to work you may be able to get ESA. Read more here.
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – You can get £95.85 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. You can claim SSP if you’re self-isolating and cannot work due to Coronavirus. 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.
  • Mortgage payment holidays – mortgage payment holidays are still available for homeowners affected by the pandemic up to May 2021. Borrowers who have not yet had a mortgage holiday can request from their lender a pause in repayments. Speak with your lender to find out more.


  • 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 taxable grants. The scheme has been extended to include a further two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021 (80% of average monthly trading profits). 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:

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