I know people are deeply worried about the coronavirus – the impact it will have on their jobs, their incomes and their ability to provide for their families. The Government said we would support the British people – and we meant it.
These are the measures the Government has announced to support those without employment and ensure people get the support they need to do the right thing - stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives:
INCREASING UNIVERSAL CREDIT AND WORKING TAX CREDIT
- The Government is increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance by £1,000 a year for the next 12 months by £1,000 a year. They are also increasing Working Tax Credit by the same amount for the next 12 months.
- These measures represent a £7 billion injection into the welfare system and will benefit over 4 million households.
EXPANDING ACCESS TO BENEFITS
- To make sure that time spent off work due to sickness is reflected in people’s benefits, the Government are temporarily removing the minimum income floor in Universal Credit. This means self-employed people who fall out of work will still get their full payment.
- Those on contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be able to claim from day one, instead of day eight.
- And the Government are relaxing the requirement for anyone to physically attend a jobcentre – everything can be done by phone or online.
SUSPENDING FACE-TO-FACE BENEFITS ASSESSMENTS
- Temporarily suspending face-to-face assessment for all sickness and disability benefit for the 3 months (effective 17th March 2020). This is a precautionary measure to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus. The Government will ensure those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.
SUSPENDING NEW REVIEWS AND REASSESSMENTS
- Temporarily suspending new reviews or reassessments across all benefits for 3 months. This includes Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
- If awards are due to expire, the Government will be extending end-dates so that claimants continue to receive financial support at their current rate during this period.
- Increasing the generosity of housing benefit so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30 per cent of market rents in local areas.
- This amounts to nearly £1 billion of support for renters.
- A three month mortgage holiday will be introduced for those in difficulty due to coronavirus – so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet. You should contact your mortgage lender directly for further information.
- This includes if you are a landlord whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties.
Last Updated: 13th April 2020