If you are earning less because you can’t go to work or because you have lost your job then you may be able to claim benefits.
Statutory Sick Pay
If you are an employee and you get ill or need to self-isolate you may be entitled to SSP which is paid in the same way as your wages.
You must be earning more than £118 a week but check your employment contract as some employers will pay more sick pay than the statutory minimum.
Inform your employer as soon as you know you are not going to be able to work. If your employer asks for proof you can get an online self-isolation note from the NHS.
More detail can be found on www.acas.org.uk
What if you are self-employed?
You cannot claim SSP if you are self-employed but you may be able to claim contribution based Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if you have coronavirus, you are self-isolating or you are caring for a child who is. You must have paid enough National Insurance contributions for the last two tax years.
Universal Credit replaces the ‘legacy’ benefits: Housing benefit, Child & Working tax credits, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support and income related Employment and Support Allowance.
If you already claim any of these benefits it may be worth checking with an adviser before moving over to Universal Credit.
You can work and still claim Universal Credit, your UC will reduce the more you earn.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be aged 18-60
- Live in the UK
- Have less than £16,000 in savings
Applications must be made online (unless you have don’t have internet access, have a disability or sight problems).
Apply as soon as you can (but wait until after any final wages/holiday pay have been paid or this will be counted as income)
You may make a joint claim if you live with your partner however you will both need to make separate accounts.
You will need to create a username and password – one you can remember!
What you need to make an application
- Bank details
- Email address
- Information on your income and outgoings
- Rent or mortgage payments
- Any savings or investments (must be less than £16k)
- Childcare costs
- You will need to be able to verify your identity online
Citizens Advice Help to Claim – for advice and support on making a claim 0800 144 8444
DWP Universal Credit Helpline 0800 328 5644
Contribution based Jobseekers Allowance (if you have paid National Insurance for the last 2 years)
If you are struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get extra help.