Government support for individuals if affected by the COVID-19 outbreak

The government has published a number of measures to support individuals during the current Coronavirus outbreak. We have summarised below some of the issues covered in a recent post-budget press release.

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will now be available for eligible individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or those who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with Government advice. This is in addition to the change announced by the Prime Minister that SSP will be payable from day 1 instead of day 4 for affected individuals.

Sick notes from 111

People who are advised to self-isolate for COVID-19 will soon be able to obtain an alternative to the fit note to cover this by contacting NHS 111, rather than visiting a doctor. This can be used by employees where their employers require evidence. Further details will be confirmed shortly.

Support for the self-employed

Those who are not eligible for SSP, for example the self-employed or people earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week, can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance

Hardship fund

The government has announced a new £500 million Hardship Fund so Local Authorities can support economically vulnerable people and households. The government expects most of this funding to be used to provide more council tax relief, either through existing Local Council Tax Support schemes, or through similar measures.

Problem paying tax

If you fall behind paying your taxes HMRC should be approached to organise a staggered repayment plan – based on your reduced capacity to meet any payments due.

And finally, if you need more information on any of these issues please call.

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