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Your benefits during coronavirus
If you are self-isolating due to coronavirus, you and your family’s health is your first priority.
If you are self-isolating because of Government advice, ask your employer what options are available to you. Check their policy on:
If none of these are possible for you, find out which benefits you might be able to claim. You may still be eligible for benefits if you are furloughed.
Coronavirus and benefits assessments
If you have a face-to-face benefits assessment appointment, do not attend.
Your assessor will contact you to discuss what happens next. This could be an assessment over the telephone or through the post.
You will continue to receive your current rate of benefit.
This temporary measure came into effect on 24 March 2020. This is to protect vulnerable people from coronavirus.
The Department for Work and Pensions has paused the recovery of overpayments for 3 months for:
- Universal Credit
- legacy benefits
- Social Fund loans
- Tax Credit debts
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
You can get SSP from the first day you’re self-isolating because of Government advice about coronavirus and you cannot work from home.
If you need to stay at home because you or someone you live with have symptoms of coronavirus, tell your employer as soon as possible.
If your employer needs evidence, ask the NHS for an Isolation Note.
If you cannot claim sick pay
If you're unable to claim SSP, you may be eligible for:
Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
You can receive Contribution-based ESA from the first day of self-isolation due to coronavirus.
New Style Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
If you have lost your job, you might be able to claim New Style JSA. This does not involve an assessment. You can get this even if your partner is still working.
You could claim this and Universal Credit.
You can now claim Universal Credit online or over the phone due to Government lockdown or self-isolation. If you are self-employed or have a zero hours contract, you will be able to get the same amount of Universal Credit as an employed person. This is a temporary measure.
Emergency Universal Credit loans are now available to people affected by coronavirus. This means you can ask for your first payment straight away. This is a loan. You will pay this back from your Universal Credit payments. If you stop claiming UC, you will still have to pay this back.
If you already claim Universal Credit and are working
Let your Job Coach know if the work ends and whether this is permanent or temporary. If you get Statutory Sick Pay, this will be deducted from your Universal Credit in the same way that wages would be.
Working Tax Credits (WTC)
You can continue to receive Working Tax Credits for up to 28 weeks if someone is getting SSP or ESA while sick. If your work finishes, you may get WTC for another 4 weeks.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
You could also check if you are eligible to claim PIP. This is a disability benefit that can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long-term health condition or impairment. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.
Use the benefits calculator
See what support you are entitled to.
If you are struggling to pay your bills
You could try contacting your utility companies to see if there is any help that they can give you.
For rent or mortgage payments, the government has introduced support to make sure people are protected if they are struggling financially due to coronavirus.
Your employment rights during coronavirus
If you have to self-isolate because of Government advice about underlying health conditions, ask if you can work from home instead of taking sick leave. Your employer should try to make reasonable adjustments for you to continue to work.
Your employment rights will depend on your organisation and the decisions they’ve made for employees during coronavirus lockdown and self-isolation. You rights might include:
- working from home
- flexible working
- paid sick leave in your contract
- statutory sick pay (GOV.UK)
- furloughing on 80% pay (GOV.UK)