Your income and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

See what support you might get

Page last updated on Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 19.00

If your income is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be able to claim Sick Pay or benefits to support you through this period. Your income may be affected due to working less, no longer working, self-isolating, or caring for someone who is sick.

Many employees and self-employed people will be protected as the Government has offered a package of support to businesses. Get more information here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Help for your situation

Benefits you may be able to receive

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a non EEA citizen

1641 Comments.

  • Hi, I was made redundant from my job 26th May due to covid-19, I was paid my last wage including holiday pay from that job June 15th. I moved out of the area I was living in and used my last wage to pay a deposit and first months rent upfront. In July I received a payment of £309 from universal credit which doesn’t even cover half the rent on my new home (moved due to feeling depressed) I also have a child. I have had no help from universal credit and my local council cannot help me with crisis support or discretionary housing payment due to having not lived in the area for more than 3 months. What help can I get to pay my rent and council tax?

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:10

      Hi,

      It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation. Firstly, your inital UC payment may be reduced due to the date you received your final earnings. You should check to see how much UC you will get in the future to see if you can manage the rent long term. You can use our benefit calculator to check this out (www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk). The 3 month rule for a DHP or crisis support must be a local rule.

      There is no reason that your council cannot support your rent in the meantime and councils are charged with being flexible in their approach. You may need to find someone to support your claim to the council.

      I would suggest you contact your local CAB to see if they can make the case to the council on your behalf.

      I wish you all the best.

  • Hi. I AM WORKING FOR NHS as a bank staff on 0 hours contract. I went to visit my parents abroad and not been able to return to UK due to airport closures. Last shift I worked was end of Apríl. I was not able to return back to work. I am pregnant and asked to go on Maternity leave 1.July.Baby is due on 13.September. Flights just started Last week. MY QUESTION IS IF I AM ENTITLED TO ANY Maternity pay from my NHS employer as I was stuck abroad and COULD NOT work ANY shifts in April, May or June due to Covid 19 as I know it is normally calculated from your earnings for the last few months before going to Mat. LEAVE.

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:20

      Hi,

      as long as you have paid Class 2 NI contributions for 13 weeks in the previous 66 weeks you should still be eligible.

      You can contact the Maternity Allowance helpline to see if you qualify. The number is 0800 055 6688.

      Best wishes.

  • Lorna Forsyth
    June 29, 2020 21:57

    Hi there. Unfortunately our family is going through a very rough time and my husband has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. I’m just finished my maternity leave and was due to go back to work this work but I’m now using some of my annual leavr. Can my employer put me on furlough as our family now need to shield as my husband is medically vulnerable? There are other people at my work that are furloughed due to shielding. My boss previously told me I couldn’t be when my husband was first in hospital 10 days ago. I know the extension for people returning from mat leave is extended. Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:34

      Hi Lorna,

      I am so sorry that your family are going through such a hard time.

      Unfortunately if you have not been furloughed so far the deadline for furloughing additional employees has now passed so you cannot be placed on furlough.

      I am sorry that this leaves you in a very difficult situation.

  • Natasha Reynish
    June 16, 2020 08:37

    Hi, I have just been informed by my employer that at of the 29th June I am required to return to work full time and will be taken off furlough. I would love to go back to work however I have a 9 year old daughter, who isn’t back at school and I have no other child care options. I have offered to work from home, but they have said it isn’t viable. I have offered to work from 3 till 6 when I can drop my daughter to her dads house once he finishes work. My employer has said that if they accept that offer of my hours or work I will still be taken off furlough as they have work for my full time so I won’t qualify for furlough. Is this that case? If so what are my best options as it probably won’t be financially beneficial for my to only get paid 15 hours a week once I pay for fuel and the bridge toll to get to work?

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:38

      Hi Natasha,

      This is a difficult situation for you. The terms of furlough are up to your employer. The Government has allowed companies to bring employees back part-time from 1 July but it looks like your employer is not happy going down this route. You whilst you are working part time.

      You may want to discuss this again with your employer as you could work part time and they could claim furlough for the remainder of your hours. If your employer does not want to go down this route, you may be able to top up your wages with Universal Credit until you can return fulltime.

      You can use our calculator at http://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk to see if you would be eligible.

      I wish you the best of luck.

  • Hi I’ve been on apprenticeship & 2 weeks before my apprenticeship finished I had to go off on shielding because i am in 1 of the extremely vulnerable categories because I was on apprenticeship I have not paid any tax or national insurance so the small family run business looked into this but can’t get any help to pay me I have had advice and been put on universal credit but don’t get any money till the 20th june but told it will only be £300 by then I will have already done 12 weeks with out pay how I’m I supposed to live on that and what about the 12 weeks I haven’t received anything by the looks of things I will have to keep shielding for longer but with no money can anyone help

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:39

      Hi Alex,

      That sounds like the amount excluding any additions that you may be entitled to if you pay rent. It is also lower than the standard allowance so I think that is probably the amount taking account of your apprenticeship earnings.

      You should get more than that following your last apprenticeship pay.

      You may find it useful to see how much you will get once your apprenticeship earnings are not taken into account. you can use our calculator at http://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk to see what you may get.

      If you have difficulty paying your rent, you should contact your local council who may award you top-up to assist with your rent (this is called a discretionary housing payment).

      If you pay council tax, you should also apply for council tax support from your local council.

      Best wishes.

  • Peter Mesce
    June 10, 2020 02:48

    Hi,
    I wonder if you can help
    The company that I am currently working for have put me on furlough for the 2nd time up until the end of July, and there are also rumours of redunancies within the company, which I may be part of due to lack of business. I want to know if whilst on furlough, I can work for another company, and still get furlough payment from my current job, or will the furlough be affected? and/or if I can claim any benefits alongside my furlough, such as JSA as I have savings?
    Also
    If I am to be made redundant from this employer, do I sign up for benefits straight away, whilst I look for new work, even though I will have my final months salary from them?

    Many thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:40

      Hi Peter,

      You can claim Universal Credit as well as being in work or furloughed. You can use our calculator at http://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk to see if you would qualify.

      If you are made unemployed, you should apply for Universal Credit the day after you receive your last wage. That will ensure that the earnings will not be taken into account for your first payment.

      However, you can only get Universal Credit if your savings are under £16,000. You should also claim new-style JSA and you can claim this even if you have savings – further details are on this page. You should claim this immediately you are made redundant. If you pay Council Tax, you may also be entitled to support with your Council Tax payments – you apply to your local council.

      However, each council has set their won savings limit so you may need to check this out.

      Our calculator (www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk) contains the eligibility criteria to all benefits so you may find it helpful to check out what you would be entitled to.

      Best wishes.

  • I’ve been unemployed for for 7 months and my 6 months contribution based JSA has run out and I don’t qualify for Income based JSA. I want to apply for National Insurance Credits which it would appear I’m eligible for. However the website refers me to the Job Centre which is shut and there seems to be no number to contact within any relevant site. I’ve spoken to HMRC and they’ve said its a job centre query but they couldn’t find any contact details, web chat etc. This doesn’t appear to be a new benefit claim which is all the phone numbers I’ve been through seem to talk about. Has anybody any ideas who I would speak to?

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 09:41

      Hi Phil,

      I agree there doesn’t seem any way to get through to them. The best I could find was a referral to Citizens Advice. It may be worth trying your local CA to see if they have a number. I am so sorry we could not find anything either – this must be very frustrating for you.

      I wish you all the best.

  • Hello,
    I am an Agency worker. In the lull after Christmas, I was laid off and told that I would be called up when work was available.
    I accepted this, and thought I would be OK for a short while by tightening my belt, and waiting for the call to say work was available again.
    Then, the whole Covid 19 thing began, and I was placed on the extremely vulnerable list (ie. I received the letter).
    This obviously means I have to sheild – so I can’t seek work at the moment.
    I have just listened to the Govt. statement, saying sheilding must continue, and will be reviewed again on 15th June.
    My situation seems to be a gap in the Govt. thoughts.
    I appear not to be able to claim Universal Credit – been through all that – I seem to have dropped off the Radar!
    I feel the whole thing is very difficult to understand and get stressed and anxious. I may be entitled to financial help, bit I just can’t suss it out.
    I’m sure there will be other Agency workers in the same situation as me.
    Am I condemned to survive on my low pension? This could go on for a long time.

    Thank you – please advise
    I have an occupational pension of approx. £850 per month, but I find this hard to survive on

  • Phill Turner
    May 28, 2020 10:31

    Hi.
    In your breaking news you have put the following.
    Self Employed Income Scheme: In assessing whether self-employment makes up 50% of your income the Government has amended the advice from 50% of taxable income to 50% of all income, including benefits.
    Will this include a car that is used for driving lessons and put as capital allowance be deemed as a benefit?
    I have not been able to claim for the gov scheme for self employed due to the fact I receive a pension and my self employed earnings are just below my pension earnings.
    If I can claim the car as benefit that would change how hmrc look at my claim.
    Thank you.
    Phill.

  • I am self employed, my trading income is a lot less than £50,000 a year (more like £12,000) average over last 3 years, have filed accounts for last 3 years but am not entitled to government grant due to None Trading related income in 2016/2017 tax year from my previous employment before I became self employed.
    I don’t see why HMRC has included these earnings from employment (as None Trading Income) that was earned before I was made redundant and became self employed in the tax year 2016/2017.

  • Hi,
    I am currently stuck abroad for 3 months now due to Covid19 and am not able to get back to the UK because of airline closures also have a 4 month old baby with me. I receive Universal credit and carers allowance. Should I let them know I am abroad and is my benefits going to be cut off? This is my only source of living. Please advise me on what to do.

    • Alannah McGhee
      June 16, 2020 09:03

      Hi Omar,

      It is always best to let UC know about your change in circumstances. You should let them know why you are stranded abroad and that you are under extenuating circumstances.

      The rules under Universal Credit state that you can only receive payment during a temporary absence if the absence is no more than 1 month long. At the moment there are no exceptions to this rule that explicitly refers to being stranded abroad or COVID-19 – but there has been verbal confirmation from staff at the Department for Work and Pensions saying that if you travelled abroad before the 17th March, your benefits shouldn’t be stopped. This communication was reported by CPAG and you can find it here: https://cpag.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/briefing/early-warning-system-latest-findings-20th-24th-april.

      I hope this helps and best of luck.

  • Hi,

    I am a single mum with a 3 year old son, I was working full time for a private hospital. I am on Universal Credits and private renting just about managing to keep up with my rent. My daughter was part time nursery and looked after by my parents. However they are in an at risk group and the nursery is now closed till September. I have managed to secure 3 days a week at another nursery but its a lot more expensive and charges in addition to the 30 free hours and im waiting to find out of UC will help with this. As such I have had to reduce my days at work to 3 days a week and even with UC can not afford my rent. I cant get onto the housing association list above a band 6 ( 1-2 bed flat only) and the council refuse to add me to the housing list saying I am sufficiently housed. I cant find cheaper private rent as they all seem to say no DSS and many now say no Children !!! I feel completely stuck.

    I am in a small amount of rent arrears as my employer did not pay me while off as they remained open and It took a while for me to arrange a key worker nursery, they counted this as childcare issues.

    • Alannah McGhee
      June 16, 2020 09:04

      Hi Sammy,

      There are two main things for you to: first is to contact your Work Coach as soon as possible to explain that your circumstances have changed. If you are only able to work fewer hours then your Universal Credit will usually increase to reflect this (unless you become affected due to the benefit cap, but this seems unlikely given your employment history and the fact you are still taking some hours). In addition, the standard allowance part of Universal Credit has increased, and so has the way that the housing element is worked out (to help with your rent), from April so you should have seen an increase to your monthly payments from April (again, provided you’re not affected by the benefit cap). You can use our online calculator to check how much support you can get, here.

      The reason that your Council says you are ‘sufficiently housed’ is probably because your two children are generally expected to share a room (until one of them turns age 10). So by sufficiently housed they might be referring to a home with 2 bedrooms (rather than one bedroom each, which is what I think you have been searching for). This means you might be expected to look for a property with 2 rather than 3 bedrooms. However if you are struggling to meet rental payments in the meantime it is a good idea to look on your council’s website about getting some support via a Discretionary Housing Payment. Mention to the council that you are already in arrears and Universal Credit is not enough to meet costs. Applications are generally made via the council website.

      I hope that this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi, my husband has just been fired while on furlough for not meeting sales targets that were set after lockdown and then he was furloughed so couldn’t work. He is being made to use his holiday for part of his notice of I month and so will get 2 weeks furlough and 6 days holiday pay. He has only worked there for nine months so we cannot claim unfair dismissal and we were going to try for constructive dismissal but then they suddenly fired him. No warning, no meetings, just called to attend a zoom meeting called an employment review which started with the H R lady reading a statement saying he is fired.

    I get about £800/ month furlough money as PAYE. But know that it will not be topped up and my job will go the moment the scheme does.

    Is there any help for us? We have no savings and not enough NI to get benefits. Both British and in our fifties.

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:47

      Hi Deborah,

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s circumstances. You may wish to discuss his dismissal further with Citizens Advice in your local area, as they provide advice regarding employee rights.

      You are likely eligible for some support through Universal Credit as a joint (couple) claim. This will be tapered down according to your earnings, you can use our benefits calculator to assess the level of support you are likely to receive (at: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free ). If you are eligible for Universal Credit, you will likely also be eligible for Council Tax Support from your local authority. This will also show in the results page of our calculator.

      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any questions about using the software.

      Best wishes.

  • Rowan Martin
    May 23, 2020 07:47

    Hi,

    I am a self employed contractor and have suffered a drop in my earnings due to a reduction in the availability of work linked to COVID-19 as well as increased daring responsibilities as I have two school-aged children. Although my earnings have reduced I have still been able to maintain ~50% of my average income. It appears I would qualify to receive a grant for 80%, but this would leave be better off than before. I do not want to profit from the situation. Is there a way of only claiming part of the grant? Thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:48

      Hi Rowan,

      Do apply for the grant, as you say this will be for 80% of your average earnings.

      The grants were set up to assist people like yourself to ensure you are ready to fully restart your business when you are able.

      Best of luck!

  • Hello

    I started a new job march 10th 2020
    However I left my old job march 27th 2020.
    Still working at my new job now as i’m a carer. Today (22 may 2020) i realised ive been paid by my old employer, my last pay from them should’ve been on 23 April20,

    Does that mean ive been place on furlough even though I’ve left the my old job in 27 march? Is that possible?
    And if so would i need to pay them back as im no longer with their company?
    What will happen?

    Just alittle confused

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 27, 2020 17:18

      Hi Francene,

      I would recommend checking this with your old employer – they’ll be able to tell you whether or not you have been placed on furlough.

      You won’t necessarily have to pay this money back – it is possible to be furloughed by one employer whilst working a new job. However, again, I would check this with your employer since it will depend on your job contract.

      If your employer does not explain this to you or you think they are not acting correctly, I’d recommend getting in touch with the employment rights organisation ACAS: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

      All the best.

  • Hi, I started on the 24th February and was placed on furlough but now have been taken off the scheme, is this correct? As my cut off date for my payroll was after the 19th March does this make me no longer eligible?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 27, 2020 17:17

      Hi there,

      Yes unfortunately if you were not on your employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020, you wont be eligible. Your employer should be able to confirm this for you.

      If you’re not eligible for the furlough scheme, you may be eligible for benefits instead. If you’ve been working and paying national insurance for the last 2-3 years, you may be eligible for New Style JSA. You can find more info here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa. You may also be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, though this will depend on your savings and income. You can use our online benefit calculator to see what you’re eligible for: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      All the best.

  • i claim uc i dont work i also claim for my 19 year old who attends college 12 hours or more a week can she work part time without it affecting my uc claim for her thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      June 16, 2020 09:01

      Hi Belinda,

      For Universal Credit, the amount usually deducted for nondependents is £75.15 per month, regardless of the nondependent’s income. However, there is no deduction if the non-dependent is aged under 21, so your daughter beginning work should not change how much UC you are eligible for.

      You can also use our benefits calculator to see how her beginning work might affect your benefits: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free Although it shouldn’t affect your UC award, her starting work may impact how much council tax support you can claim.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi
    I am on PAYE of the TV production company as a freelancer and not working for anyone else. I have had a dramatic reductions in the job offers. Three days in April. 1 day in May….I have just received an email last night from my team-leader with cancellation of further 21 days which were pre-booked and covered June , July. All in all I have a couple of days of job offer, which does not cover even the minimum of survival. So my situation is unique to most of people.
    I have asked my manager whether I can be furloughed and was told that they need someone to be available for coming jobs, but 2 days a month will not keep me above the water. What else I can do to get financial support through next 2-3 months?
    Thank you
    M

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 27, 2020 09:10

      Hi Michael,

      I’d recommend using our benefits calculator to see what support you might be eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      If your earnings are lower than usual you may well be eligible for Universal Credit (and possibly some other support). If you put your circumstances into the calculator it will let you know. As your earnings may fluctuate month to month, if you just put your expected earnings in (as best you can), that should give a good estimate. Once you apply for Universal Credit, they will base your award on how much you earn in each month, so this will take into account any changes in your earnings month-to-month. We’d also recommend applying for Universal Credit as soon as you can, as your first month assessment period will begin when you apply, and your first payment won’t arrive until after this period (usually 5 weeks).

      Best wishes.

  • Hello there,

    I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this?

    I recently received an automated renewal for Working Tax Credits that showed the governments COVID increase and that I didn’t have to do anything if everything checked out ok.

    Today I received a letter advising that they are reviewing the Disability Element of working tax credits because they’ve been notified that Personal Indepentant Premium / Disabled living allowance has been stopped?

    I’ve never claimed those benefits!

    I migrated from ESA to Working Tax in 2017, which qualified for the disability element each claim year, until this letter dropped on the door step.

    Other than returning the form with a cover letter asking for an explanation, I’m not sure what to do?

    Have they made a technical error or are they underhandedly trying to get people off the disability element to save money?

    Hope you can help?

    Cheers

  • Caroline Wood
    May 18, 2020 14:54

    Hi,
    I worked in a cafe earning £500/month. The cafe isn’t registered for PAYE but I did a tax return as we also have some rental income. I class myself as self employed but HMRC have said not. I have appealed. If I’m not classed as self employed, how can I claim some benefit for the loss of earnings ?
    Thanks

  • Michelle Lewis
    May 18, 2020 10:09

    I work in sales and I’m only getting 100% my basic wage which is £450 a month less. As it is a face to face job I’m not going back to work anytime soon. Is there any other help I’m entitled too?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 27, 2020 09:09

      Hi Michelle,
      Universal Credit is the main means-tested benefit that you might be eligible for, if your earnings are low and your savings are less than £16,000. Your eligibility will depend on your specific circumstances so the best thing to do is complete our online calculator with your current details: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. If you’re eligible you will be able to click on a link to apply.

      You may also be eligible to claim Local Council Tax support (if you pay council tax). The calculator estimates this for you but you can also check your local council website to see if you are eligible (they usually have their own online assessment/calculator).

      Best wishes.

  • Hi. My husband is self employed taxi driver. He usually works his own hours part time in winter and extra in summer. At the end of tax year he submits his income. Since the lock down he has been out of work. We are already receiving tax credit and working tax credits including for 4 children so we are getting by. My question is are we supose to let HMRC know about this? When conditions get better and there is demand for Taxi hire he will return to work. But at the moment there is no work for him. Second question should we apply for Universal credit or stay on the benefits we already recieve? Thank you x

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 14:34

      Hi Ali,

      Yes, he should let HMRC know about this. They wont be taking this change into account in the short term (so you’ll still be able to receive the same amount of tax credits), but they will take it into acount for your future payments. That means that because they’ll know he’s earning less than usual at the moment, your award of tax credits next year is likely to be higher.

      Regarding Universal Credit, this will depend on your exact situation. Please do not make a claim for UC without checking first, since as soon as you claim, your tax credits will be stopped. If you havent already, I’d recommend entering your household information into our benefits calculator (https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free) where you can compare your income under tax credits to under UC. If you are at all unsure about claiming UC, please get some specialist advice (Citizens advice offer this: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/search-for-your-local-citizens-advice/) before making a claim.

      All the best.

  • I am able to work from home, and have been since 10th March. We have two children (5 and 10) which are not in school and unable to attend their before & after school club.
    My husband was furloughed on 6th April. His company is open with skeleton staff and he has received a call asking for him to return to work on Monday. Our personal circumstances were confirmed, regarding childcare issues and health risk for 5 year old 5 with Asthma. Unfortunately, his employer was less than willing to help. They requested a decision on the call, with two options:
    – Return to work on Monday
    – Do not return and go unpaid, the next ‘number’ on the list will be called in

    In complete shock and dismay, he confirmed he will be unable to return, as the risk is too high. This now leaves his wage going from £320 standard, to £270 furlough, to £94 sick pay (if accepted on the basis of shielding)

    We had already applied to Universal Credit around 4 weeks before the pandemic started, as the benefits calculator showed we were eligible. As of yet, we have not been eligible for any payments.

    Is there any other support available, or advice on dealing with an unreasonable employer. Government guidelines state they SHOULD take into account childcare etc, not this is not a rule and it seems the company are taking advantage of this.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 14:35

      Hi Jade,

      I’m really sorry to hear that. In terms of your husband’s employer, I would recommend looking on this ACAS page which gives advice about his rights as an employee: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

      I would recommend doing another benefits check now that your household income has reduced, since you may now be eligible for Universal Credit. If so, you should make a new claim as soon as possible. Your husband may also be eligible for ‘New Style JSA’ if he has been working and paying National Insurance for the last 2-3 years. This does not take into account your income or any savings you may have. He can find more info and make an application here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-jobseekers-allowance

      All the best.

  • Hello
    I am EEA national. I have applied for Universal Credit but they have informed me that I cannot receive any payment until I am given a National Insurance number. I did not have a National Insurance number and when I try to apply it says “You cannot currently apply for a National Insurance number because of coronavirus (COVID-19).”

    I told this to Universal Credit in my journal but they say that they cannot pay me any money until I have National Insurance number. So what am I to do? No Universal Credit because no National Insurance number. No National Insurance number because Coronavirus. I am stuck. Please can you advise me.

  • Derris Williams
    May 15, 2020 09:18

    My son has not been payed his 80% this week by his boss wot can he do

  • Before the current situation I was already registered as both employed and self-employed (I file tax returns). I am on furlough from my employment (which was my main source of income) whilst continuing my existing self-employed work. Am I limited in my ability to pursue new or forms of self-employed work do you know (which would then be included or listed in next year’s tax return)?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 14:34

      Hi Peter,

      There do not appear to be restrictions on working elsewhere or taking on new work for furloughed workers (as long as your own employment contract with your employer does not say otherwise).

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I have registered as self-employed in February 2018 and filed a self-employed return for 2017/2018 tax year. The profit I made between February and April 2018 was just below £2000. But while calculating the average income for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme the government takes this amount that I had made within two month as the representation of my income for the whole tax year. It ads this amount to my profit in 2018/2019 tax year (which is about £9000) and divides it by 2 reducing my average income as well as the support I should receive by almost the half of it should be in reality. I explained this to HMRC and asked them to review it. Do you have any Idea if they might change the way they calculate the average income? Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:49

      Hi Naser,

      Unfortunately I have little information on this. It appears that HMRC is reviewing their methodology in your case so you may see a different outcome. As the rules around these COVID-19 support schemes were, necessarily, drawn up quickly we are seeing some whose earnings or situation do not really fit neatly into the administration.

      I hope you get the outcome you want – best of luck.

  • Karen west
    May 14, 2020 10:55

    I am a self employed and work has dried up completely due to the virus. . I pay my partner £300 pm to do odd jobs. He only gets a £200 pension apart from this. I can claim on the self employed scheme but what help can he get? I don’t give him wage slips and he is way below any tax threshold. I don’t earn that much myself.I do however have 2 properties which pay the mortgages with nothing left. I have minimal savings (under £2000) what can we do. At the moment the only income is his pension

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:50

      Hi Karen,

      As you have two properties you are not going to be able to get assistance through means-tested benefits.

      You are already claiming the Self Employed Income Support Scheme and I cannot think of anything else that you would be eligible for.

      I am so sorry and wish you the best of luck.

  • Am PAYE and also work self employed am currently receiving furlough payments from my PAYE job can a also claim the self employed grant thats being offered

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:12

      Hi Wayne,

      If you filed a tax-return for 2018/19 and at least half of your taxable income is made through self-employment (though no more than £50,000 per annum profit), you can claim the self-employed support funding while you also receive furlough payments through your PAYE work.

      Best wishes.

  • Tadeas Maly
    May 13, 2020 22:19

    Hi,
    I’m working in the London over 15 years. have 0 hours contracts with 2 employers. No shifts since March, no income. I received message from DWP today, that I’ll get payment 148.70 £ every 2 weeks for New Style JSA. So how can I survive in the London with 300 £ per month, if I have to pay 500 £ rent for small room ?
    It will be great, if you will send me the link, where can I ask for help, thank you. T.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:13

      Hi Tadeus,

      You may be eligible for Universal Credit as well as ‘new-style’ JSA. This is designed to cover both your housing costs and your personal costs. The criteria for Universal Credit is that you have no more than £16,000 savings and a low income, and you have either settled immigration status or are a UK citizen. The application site for UC is: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

      You can assess your eligibility for UC and other benefits on our benefits calculator at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. If you are eligbile for support, the results page of the calculator will direct you to the relevant application sites through the ‘Apply here’ buttons.

      Best wishes.

  • Jacquelyn Whitmore
    May 13, 2020 19:03

    I am self employed with 2 parts to my tax return 1…. Domestic cleaner (affected by loss of business during the pandemic) and 2… online crafts which has actually increased during the outbreak. I’ve been invited to apply for the grant which I’m told I will get. Will I still be entitled to it if my overall earnings have not dropped? Just the cleaning side? I wasn’t asked to differentiate on the application thanks , Jacqui

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:13

      Hi Jacquelyn,

      You can claim the SEISS funding despite continued income through your second income. The qualifying criteria is simply that you filed a tax return for 2018/19 and that the majority of your taxable income is made through your self-employment, though you do not return more than £50,000 per annum profit.

      Best wishes.

  • hi I have been furloughed and now where I work have said they are opening back up but I am the sole parent of an infant and I don’t have child care what are my rights please

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:19

      Hi Dawn,

      The government updated advice on 4th April to say that individuals who cannot work due to childcare responsibilities can be furloughed by their employer, even if work is available for them/their colleagues. This means that your employer can continue to claim the Job Retention Scheme funding on your behalf while you continue to look after your infant. However, this is unfortunately to the discretion of your employer so I would advise speaking with them as soon as possible about whether this is an option.

      If they do not agree to continue paying you through the scheme, you can likely claim Universal Credit if your savings are not above £16,000. You can assess your eligibility for support on our benefit calculator at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Anandha kalyani Raja
    May 12, 2020 19:43

    hi
    i am a nurse. I have been isolation for two weeks, following which i was on sick leave for next two weeks. I got only sick pay for the month . Could i get any support to pay my rental arrears for the month

    • Alannah McGhee
      June 16, 2020 09:03

      Hi Anandha,

      Universal Credit payments are unfortunately not backdated and you can only apply for payment based on your current circumstances. If you continue to be on a low income and your savings are less than £16,000 you might be eligible for Universal Credit or Council Tax Support. You can check this with our online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free .

      You should speak with your landlord, agency or association (whoever you pay rent to) to discuss alternative arrangements for paying your rent, for instance if it would be easier for you to pay arrears back gradually now that you are feeling better. Another option can be to search for whether there are any grants available: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hello,
    My partner has been told to shield by the nhs due to an ongoing health condition during the co-vid 19 pandemic. We have 5 children aged 8 months-15 years old and before this situation he had became a self employed courier and was doing well. We have now unfortunately been subjected to the benefit cap and had more than £1000 of income removed. We have tried to recieve some clarity regarding whether or not my partner should be in receipt of ESA. I understand that the benefit cap is a legal requirement and it is there to encourage people into work, he has been told NOT to go to work by the government. Our rent is £850 and we have been left with £250 to feed our children and pay utilities per month. We would not be subject to the cap when he returns to work as he earns over £600. We cant even access a food bank as we cannot physically leave our home. Is there anything that can be applied in these unprecedented times? We have been trying to get some clarity regarding our situation with our case manager but they don’t seem to actually know how or if co-vid would impact our case.

    • Alannah McGhee
      June 16, 2020 09:02

      Hi Kim,

      I’m sorry that you’re in this situation. Many organisations, including Policy in Practice, are urging the Government to reconsider the benefit cap due to the reasons that you raise here.

      The first thing for you to do in this situation will be to check whether you can access additional support toward meeting your housing costs via a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) (or any other support available from your local council). Your local council’s website will have more information on this, you can check your council here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council. DHPs tend to be targeted to households such as yours where benefit income is insufficient to cover housing costs and that are affected by welfare reforms (the benefit cap is one of them, as is the two-child limit – you are affected by both). You can also search for local support via grants https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/ and by contacting your local food bank – they might be able to arrange food to be delivered to you so that you can keep to your obligation to shield.

      In the meantime it is worth discussing with your Work Coach why the cap has been applied if your partner was working previously. For the first 9 months that you claim Universal Credit, there is what’s called a grace period during which you will be exempt from the benefit cap. To qualify for the grace period you and your husband will need to have earned at least the equivalent of 16 hours each week at the National Living Wage over the last 12 months (£8.21 if you’re both aged over 25, which would come to around £1,138.45 per month). This rule applies to the self-employed and employed. Those in receipt of ESA and placed in the higher support groups (called ‘Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity’) are also exempt but this doesn’t include individuals that are shielding. If you want to pursue a reconsideration further, Citizen’s Advice can provide advice and assistance. You can contact them here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Raja Yousaf
    May 12, 2020 15:26

    Hi, I came for holidays to pakistan on 18 march and I am working for an agency on a construction site my holidays was finished on 10 april but I am stranded abroad because of flight suspension due to corona virus, I spoke to my agency and they are not putting me on furlough because our job was still running, I dont even know when these flights will start again and I didnt have travel insurance

  • Hi,
    I work as a supply teacher for an agency and have done for the past 7 yrs, last year I was ill and lived off my savings, so they are now depleted. I am paid by an umbrella company so spent 2 working days applying for UC in March after the schools closed. It was a long time later when we found out that we could be furloughed.
    I didn’t qualify for UC because partner wage and had £0 income since 20th March.
    When I didn’t get the UC they advised I applied for JSA. I signed up to be furloughed and misunderstood that unlike UC which you can get at same time JSA was different. I applied for JSA, then within 10mins of sending it realised my mistake.
    I contacted the agency and asked them to make sure no changes were made to my employment as I was cancelling the JSA.
    Then I got confirmation from local job centre that JSA was cancelled, so I thought this meant no application would be processed.

    Today I received a P45 and P60 and letters detailing benefits. I spent a frantic hour 10mins on hold and contacted job centre UC team and employer (agency again rather than umbrella) after several hours the job centre got back to me assured me it was all cancelled on day it was claimed (28thApril) and the P45 was from them.
    Meanwhile my agency were contacting umbrella co. I signed into umbrella co. Online and discovered they have issued a P45!

    I am very concerned as at no point did I think I had left the company and presume this means that I will not receive the scheduled furlough payment for May, putting me back at £0.
    I am genuinely sick with fear and don’t know what to do.

    Have contacted agency and umbrella co. And had no response from either.

    Please help.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 14:29

      Hello,

      It sounds like you’re in quite a stressful situation, and I am sorry that you are not able to get answers from your employer.

      Unfortunately, we cannot provide employment law advice- you should definitely reach out to your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau to see if they can advise you further if you haven’t heard from your employer. Link: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/search-for-your-local-citizens-advice/

      As far as I am aware, filing a JSA application should not cause your employment to be terminated. To understand whether or not you have been made unemployed or whether you are on furlough or not, you have to get that answer from your employer.

      If it turns out for unrelated reasons they have made you redundant, you can then try again to apply for New Style JSA if you fit the other criteria.

      Just so you know, you can be on furlough and claim JSA if both the following apply:

      – you usually work less than 16 hours a week
      – you meet the other eligibility requirements for JSA

      Link: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/eligibility?step-by-step-nav=e7b3ea75-05d5-4341-b27a-be3b767b1e3f

      If your partner’s income has changed, or if you both have not yet received furlough pay, you can apply for Universal Credit and possibly Council Tax Support if you have less than £16,000 in savings. You might find our free calculator useful to see what your eligibility for support might be if things change: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      Take care.

  • Tori Pinney
    May 12, 2020 12:40

    Hello,
    I am currently on maternity allowance but it is due to stop next month. I do not feel this is a good time to go looking for work and out my 6 month baby into childcare. I no savings and will have no income. What am I supposed to do with bills to pay and put food onto the table.
    thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 14:26

      Hi Tori,

      It is a very difficult time for everyone- let alone for someone with a new baby!

      You may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You can use our free calculator to see how much you may get and what other help you may be eligible for: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Your Maternity Allowance is taken into account in full for Universal Credit, so keep that in mind when filling in the calculator.

      Hope this helps.

  • Nicole Hand
    May 12, 2020 10:53

    I had been working under PAYE and self employed but became fully self employed in November 2018. As the government grant is based on the tax year 2018/2019 and I earnt most of my income from PAYE, I am not eligible for the self employment grant. All I have been told is to apply for universal credit, which I am also not eligible for due to having savings for my childrens university funds. My self employment work totally folded just before lockdown and is now unlikely to build up again so I am at a total loss as to what I can do

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 14:26

      Hi Nicole,

      I am sorry for your situation. It seems that you have fallen into a strange gap.

      As you are already aware, if you have savings exceeding £16,000, you cannot claim Universal Credit.

      I am really sorry to say that the only advice I can unfortunately give in your case is that if you have to rely on these savings to get through this crisis, once your total savings dip below £16,000 you will then be able to apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support.

      Take care.

  • Hi,

    Sorry I know you must be very busy but I’m a little confused about ESA and worried as to whether I should or shouldn’t be able to claim it.

    I don’t qualify for UC as partner is working from home. I’m self employed and not able to work because I work in a tattoo studio and it’s unlikely we are allowed to open until at least July.

    I am eligible for the grant but needed some money to help towards rent and food in the meantime so I applied for ESA. I’d seen that if you’re self employed and can’t claim SSP or UC then you can claim it.

    I had a call from them to ask if I had a shielding letter due to the health conditions I’d listed and I have NOT had a letter. They only asked me about asthma, and naturally I am self isolating through choice as my asthma is seasonal and quite bad at the moment as I’m on two inhalers, so I am more at risk.

    Is this enough for me to claim it? She said I’d have to get GP to provide a letter to confirm my medical conditions which is fine.

    I’m just worried they’ll end up demanding I pay it back because I didn’t get a shielding letter and I’m really worried. Am I allowed to claim it? And at what point do I stop? When I’m allowed to return to work? Thank you so much!

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 15:37

      Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for getting in touch. It sounds like your case could be quite complex so first of all I’d recommend seeking specialist advice from Citizens Advice so they can give you more information on the specifics of your case: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/

      The government currently state there are three coronavirus-related reasons to claim new-style ESA: 1) you or your child might have coronavirus or you’re recovering from it, 2) you or your child are self-isolating because you came into contact with someone who might have coronavirus) or 3) you have been told to stay at home for at least 12 weeks by the NHS because you’re at high risk of severe illness. So unfortunately (assuming neither of the first two apply) it seems you would need to be told to shield by the NHS to be eligible.

      You can request that your doctor adds you to the shielding list (and it sounds from what you’ve said like the doctor’s letter may work similarly, but again I’d recommend speaking to Citizens Advice about this) if you feel you meet the criteria detailed here by Asthma UK: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/shielding-advice-high-risk/#Who
      They also provide advice on how to request you are shielded here: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/shielding-advice-high-risk/#NoLetter

      Generally, if you can provide a fit note (sometimes called ‘sick note’ or ‘doctor’s note’) you will also be eligible for new-style ESA, so if your doctor is able to provide that (this will depend on their assessment) then it may be an alternative.

      If you are not advised to shield by your doctor and the DWP do decide you were not eligible for ESA, it is worth bearing in mind that currently because of the pandemic, benefit overpayments do not have to be paid back as the government has paused its efforts to recover them until July 2020 at the earliest. So you should have until at least July (and potentially longer if that is extended) if they do decide you were not eligible for ESA.

      If you were eligible for new-style ESA, once you receive your self-employment grant it is likely this may take you over the permitted work limit so you would no longer be eligible, but I’d also recommend speaking to Citizens Advice about precisely how your earnings would be calculated for this purpose.

      Best wishes.

  • Good afternoon

    Its not very clear about payment. My normal salary it’s 1800£ after tax, I started my job 17th of February and I ve been furloughed the 20th of march. At the end of April I receved the payment of furlough in 250£. So I asked the accountant and she said that it’s based in average of my working shifts. That’s why my payment was very low. There’s any conflict with people furloaghed in short-time hired before 28th of February?my partner started her contract on 10th March and she received her 80% of salary

    Many thanks

    Marcos

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 14, 2020 09:50

      Hi Marcos,

      It might help to read through the options on this page, as there are lots of different ways they can choose to calculate it, based on what they think fits your circumstances best: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#work-out-80-of-your-employees-usual-wage

      If you think they should have used one of the options here it might be worth suggesting this to your employer to see if they’ll change it for future months.

      If you are paid a salary, their advice is to calculate the amount using the following steps: 1) Start with your employee’s wages, which is their last pay period before 19 March. 2) Divide by the total number of days in the pay period. 3) Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period. 4) Multiply by 80%. But there are several other options which you might feel are more appropriate.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi My Partner was furloughed by his firm 7 weeks ago and has not yet received any money from them and they keep saying that they are waiting for the money from the government and cant afford to pay. I have now been furloughed and we have been living off my wages and using our savings to stay afloat. Can we claim any benefits? We do not think his firm will stay afloat and it may fold and not pay any wages and they may have received the monies but used them for themselves as its a family firm.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 21, 2020 15:39

      Hi Janet,

      I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, the government’s regulations for the Job Retention Scheme do not require employers to pay furloughed employees before receiving the reimbursement.

      In terms of benefits, you may be eligible for Universal Credit if you have less than £16,000 in savings. You can claim Universal Credit whilst furloughed (the support you receive through UC will be adjusted if you eventually start receiving furloughed wage payments). You can use our (free) online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free to check your eligibility for Universal Credit and see how much support you would receive. If you are eligible for Universal Credit you will also usually be eligible for Council Tax Support. Council Tax Support requires a separate application to Universal Credit, but you can find out more information about it on the calculator.

      If you are renting and having difficulty meeting your rent payments, you may also be able to apply to your local council for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help cover your housing costs in the short term. If this is the case, you should contact your local council directly to find out what they offer.

      Finally, if you or your partner do lose your jobs, you may be eligible to claim contributory Job Seekers Allowance if have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the past two years. You can claim this on top of Universal Credit.

      I hope this is helpful. You can find some more information about these types of support on our dedicated COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19. Please also do let us know if you have any other questions we might be able to help with.

  • Hi,
    I was furloughed from my job due to decrease of business and because I have a 1 year old and the nursery was closed. My husband is working full time from home and cannot work flexible hours, his workplace has been classed as essential. My child’s nursery is closed and we have no alternative childcare. I have been furloughed for the past month and my employer has requested I come back to work today and no flexibility was offered – I cannot work from home and there are set hours. Other employees with the same job role have not had the same request to return. As I have no childcare I had to refuse and was told I may have to take unpaid leave or use annual leave. Without my wage we will struggle financially. As I qualify for furlough, can my employer reasonably continue to furlough me and is it reasonable for me to ask them to do so?

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:52

      Hi Jackie,

      Unfortunately benefits in the UK are at a historically low level due partly to previous austerity measures. Due to COVID-19 many people are now seeing how low these levels are as I don’t think there was a general understanding of the amount that those that we’re unable to work due to illness or caring responsibilities were expected to survive on. Many advice agencies have provided evidence to the Government that the amounts are difficult to survive on but low levels of benefit are very popular with the voting public.

      Your neighbour is correct about the rent for under 35s – this age group only get support for a bedsit amount (the shared room rate). There does seem some discrepancy in your second Universal Credit payment as it appears that this should have been the full amount of about £409/month. You should contact DWP and ask for an explanation of why this has been reduced.

      You may also be eligible for support from your local council to help pay your council tax bill and if you (or your neighbour) have difficulty paying your rent, you may be eligible for a top-up from the council (a Discretionary Housing Payment).

      Best wishes.

  • Kerry Warman
    May 8, 2020 22:03

    My partner is a keyworker (refuse collector) on a zero hour contract. We have six children and due to circumstances he has not had a lot of work this month so his income was only 280. Universal credits has now applied the benefit cap to our claim and we are not going to receive any money from them at all this month. I have had a job for six years which I lost to redundancy a year ago and due to having a baby I stayed at home and my partner worked. I was about to start a new job but as schools closed I have been unable to due to childcare. The real frustrating part is my partner has travelled to work for 6am waiting around to see if he can get work and left with none during this month. So as well as putting himself at risk he has been trying to earn money and because he has been unable to we now have to live on nothing. We are homeschooling five children and our internet bill is not going to be paid nor our other bills or rent. I have queried with UC and they have said we get child benefit. This is ridiculous as there are 8 of us in our household and can not survive on this amount of money for a month. My partner has to get a train to work so if he cannot travel he will not be able to work this month either. I just don’t know what to do.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:16

      Hi Kerry,

      I am very sorry to hear about this. Firstly, the Benefit Cap should not remove all of your benefits, rather limiting them to £15,410/year outside of London and £23,000/year if you are living in London. If the DWP are stating you will not receive any benefits due to the cap, this sounds wrong. To add some context, you should be receiving about £90.80 per week from child benefits. This is a long way between the weekly cap amount (£296.35/week outside of London, £442.31/week inside London) so it does not make sense that you are only receiving child benefit.

      Second, there is a grace period from the Benefit Cap which you may be eligible. To be eligible, your household needs to have been earning more than £569.23/month from work before your change of circumstances (i.e. before the Covid outbreak began). If your households earnings were above this then you will not be affected by the Benefit Cap for 9 months.

      I would recommend going back to Universal Credit to find out exactly why the benefit cap has been applied in this way, it does not sound correct to me. If they retain their decision you may be eligible for support from your Council via Council Tax Support and a Discretionary Hardship Payment. You will have to make a claim for both of these on your council website.

      I hope this helps, and please do get in touch if you have any other questions. It may also be worth contacting your local Citizen’s Advice. They will be able to offer you more long-term support.

      I wish you and your family all the best.

  • Robert Dalgarno
    May 8, 2020 11:44

    Hi, My accountant has me set up as a Ltd Co for the last 16 years, with myself as the only employee/ director of my own taxi company. I have not worked since lockdown and have been trying to register as being furloughed. He has finally got a reply from HMRC stating I am not eligible as I dont comply with the system. He does the returns at end of year and puts me through at minimum wage but because it is not “paid” monthly, I cannot be furloughed as the computer system doesn’t recognise it. They have suggested that they are aware of the problem but dont know how to rectify it. They suggested Universal Credit instead. Does anyone have any suggestions. I have not worked elsewhere either as I was sure I would be able to qualify for being furloughed!

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:14

      Hi Robert,

      To be eligible for furlough you will have needed to have been paid through PAYE, which can be done annually. If your existing setup via your accountant means you are not paid through PAYE then you will not be eligible for the furlough scheme. I would recommend checking the “Company directors with an annual par period” section of this page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

      In the meantime I would recommend filling out our benefits calculator (linked to at the top of this page) and making any possible claims to help you through in case HMRC continue to state that you are not eligible to be furloughed. The calculator will show you any benefits you are eligible for and how much you can be expected to receive.

      I hope this helps.

  • Paul Williams
    May 7, 2020 19:46

    I started a new job on the 24th February but as this was past the company payroll cut off date my wages for Feb were rolled over into March. As the pay date is the 28th of each month my company didn’t register my RTI until after the 19th March. Originally I was told I was furloughed and did receive April’s pay at the reduced rate agreed in the job retention scheme but on the 6th May I was told I now don’t qualify for the scheme and have been temporarily laid off but with a note saying they want me back on a date of their choosing and 7 days notice of me back to work. Please advise what can be done as my rent is due next week?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:18

      Hi Paul,

      Really sorry to hear about your situation. Since you have now been laid off, you should be able to claim benefits during this period.

      if you have been working and paying National Insurance for the last 2-3 years, you may be eligible for New Style JSA. The rules are complex, but if you’re worked and paid National Insurance for 26 weeks in either of the last 2 financial years, you should qualify. More info can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa

      Depending on your household income and savings, you may also qualify for Universal Credit. You can use our online benefit calculator (linked above) to check if you’re eligible.

      All the best.

  • Jonathan barker
    May 7, 2020 14:55

    Hello my wife and I sold our guesthouse in November’18 and we have been looking for another business to buy without success. We have a small amount of funds in our account which we are living off each year. This year we decided to look for work locally to where we live as the sale of a business we were interested in fell through. We applied for a job but unfortunately covid 19 came about and we are back to where we started. I was just wondering if there would be any benefits that we would be able to claim? I appreciate that before covid 19 we were not entitled to any, however when the virus came out, this has prevented us from getting any work.

    Kind regards

    Jonathan

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:17

      Hi Jonathan,

      I’d recommend entering your household details into our online benefits calculator (https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free) – this will show you if you’re eligible for any benefits. The main benefit you might be able to claim is Universal Credit, however this depends on your level of income and savings.

      All the best.

  • My situation is if not unique then certainly unusual.

    I have a full-time (employed) job with a large-ish company, and also self-employed (SE) earnings. The SE earnings are much lower than my employed salary, but not insignificant. However, I also rent an office, at my *own* expense, for both the job *and* my SE earnings. This office is subject to business rates and relief. As such, I have therefore been invited by my local council to apply for a grant via the Small Business Grant Fun (SMGF).

    I’m not currently using the office, because of lockdown, but am still paying the rent. As well, my SE earnings have dropped a little. As a result, I am losing a few-hundred pounds each month.

    So my question is… I have no idea if I am entitled to claim for a grant under SBGF? I could do with some of the money, if not all of it, but it seems like it’s an all-or-nothing offer?

    Any advice appreciated!

    Phil

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 18, 2020 09:17

      Hi Phil,

      I’d recommend checking this with your local council. However, since they have reached out to you about the SMGF, it sounds like they have deemed you eligible for support. As far as I can tell, the fact that you’re not currently using the office shouldn’t matter since you are still paying the rent. The official eligibility criteria for the fund is that your property, as of 11 March 2020, was eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme; it sounds like you meet this condition.

      Best wishes.

  • Hello,
    I hope everyone is well. I have this problem. I applied for JSA when I was made redundant. However, a few weeks after, my employer found out about the Grant Scheme from the Government and put me on furlough. By this time, I had been paid my JSA. I have been trying to call the Job Centre to report the change, but no one is answering the phone. Do you have any idea what can I do in this case?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:53

      Hi Victoria,

      I would recommend you keep trying to get through to the Job Centre in order to report this change, as you will eventually have to repay the money you receive through JSA while you are also receiving furlough payments. DWP is not currently chasing money owed during the COVID19 crisis, so repayments could be held for the time being, but it would be best to stop payments as soon as possible to prevent further debts amounting.

      Best wishes,
      Megan

  • julie bridle
    May 6, 2020 17:53

    My son is a seasonal worker making a product and selling at events such as country fairs for six months of the year and working abroad volunteering for the winter. He does not pay tax as he earns under the tax threshold. He owns a house which he rents out to cover the mortgage but the tenants have left so he has a three month mortgage holiday, when he returns next week he will live in his house but will have no income. Please can you help with what benefits he is entitled to.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 11, 2020 11:08

      Hi Julie,

      If your son’s capital savings are below £16,000 (this excludes main home of residence, but would include the value of other assets such as a second home), he might be able to claim Universal Credit and/or Local Council Tax Support. He can check this using our online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit and it is not conditional on employment history but is reduced when the person claiming receives income from other sources (there are some exceptions to this rule). It is assessed based on current circumstances, so if your son doesn’t have a source of income he will need to report this as zero (and update this information if it changes).

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Dee White
    May 6, 2020 11:31

    My employer won’t furlough me and says if I want time off I have to take unpaid leave. Can I claim Universal Credit while I’m on unpaid leave?

    Thanks

    • Dee White
      May 18, 2020 11:52

      I can provide more information if you tell me what you need. Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:54

      Hi Dee,

      If you are taking unpaid leave due to high risk of COVID-19 and have received an NHS letter recommending you do so, or someone in your family has, you can receive Statutory Sick Pay so long as you are shielding for more than 4 days.

      You can also claim Universal Credit during this time, which is both an in- and out-of-work benefit, so you could continue to receive some support if your hours fluctuate in the coming months.

      Best wishes,
      Megan

  • Silas Kruszewski
    May 5, 2020 12:04

    I am the Director of my own PLC, but I am the only employee. I work in retail selling products for an Agency who hire my company. I have been out of work since the UK went into Lockdown. My annual income is less than a taxable amount. My accountant tried to claim furlough pay for me but was told I am not eligible because he works out my income annually rather than monthly. I am not earning anything since early March now. What should I do please?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 11, 2020 12:11

      Hi Silas,

      If you are not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or ‘furlough’ scheme, but your savings are below £16,000 you may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit or Council Tax Support. To check this you can use our free online calculator here:https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • I was a student and therefore only worked a couple of hours a week until September, when I then took on a significant increase in hours due to needing to pay bills without a student loan.
    I am a swimming teacher. Have 3 employers.
    I usually earn £1,200 ish a month.
    Employer 1: £550, Employer 2: £300, Employer 3: £350
    Employees 2 & 3 don’t meet any of the schemes (not PAYE etc) so we just aren’t getting paid which means I’m already £650 down.
    Employer 1 I used to do so few hours due to being at university my average salary was substantially lower until September, when it started building up. Since Jan this year I’ve averaged £550 a month. But my average over the year has worked out at only £200 a month which is actually less than 40% of my current income.
    So I’ve gone from £1,200 to £200.
    This is clearly no where near enough for my bills.
    What does someone like me do? I increased my hours for a reason – to be able to pay my bills! Yet I’m being penalised for hours I did over a year ago when I was still a student. I don’t meet the self employed requirements as I was a student during the tax years they’re using.
    Any suggestions?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 11, 2020 12:12

      Hi Linda,

      Really sorry to hear about your situation. The best thing to do will be for you to complete our online Benefit and Budgeting Calculator with this information: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. Essentially, if your savings are below £16,000 and your income is low enough (and £200 would certainly be considered low), you will be eligible for benefits like Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. Once you’re done with the calculation you will be able to click on ‘claim benefits’ to apply directly for benefits (for example, Universal Credit which is done online).

      Hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi I’m self-employed if I’m entitled to the grant and carry on working technically I’m getting paid twice is that correct i.e. 7 1/2 grand for three months from the e government and whatever I can earn in the three months myself please advise

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 11, 2020 12:19

      Hi Leigh,

      The grant is intended for those that have seen their business affected by COVID-19 and is taxable, but you can still work if you are able to during this time.

      If you apply for the grant after being deemed eligible you will need to declare that your business has been affected – some examples include when this is due to shielding, self isolating, caring for those shielding/self isolating, being on sick leave (or caring for someone who is), as well as business interruptions like supply chain impacts (eg reduced business), less demand from clients and staff being unable to come to work. You can find more detailed guidance and check eligibility here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

      Best wishes.

  • Chris Smith
    May 5, 2020 00:27

    Hi, I’m a full time employee but only work from September to May each year but my salary is paid in 12 equal instalments throughout the year. My employer has advised me they want to furlough me but given I am about to finish my work until September anyway can they still furlough me and make their claim even though it will be for work I’ve already done?

    • Alannah McGhee
      August 19, 2020 10:54

      Hi Chris,

      Since July the furlough scheme has not been open to new employees so your employer cannot now furlough you unless you were previously furloughed.

      Best wishes.

  • Both myself, and my partner are self-employed (I work online and my partner is an artist). Due to selling tickets for venues my income has dropped to virtually zero. My partner’s income has gone down but not fallen off a cliff.
    Today (4th May 2020), I logged on to check to see if we would be eligible for this 80% – my partner is and I am not… I now have to wait until the end of May to find out why I am not eligible – meanwhile, I am earning the best part of nothing from my online business. The only reason I can think of is that I have a small pension from being a teacher (I took the pension early) and because of this I am not eligible – unless there is some other reason.

    Any suggestions?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 16:57

      Hi Neil,

      It may be because you didn’t file a tax return for the year 2018/19? To be eligible for the Self-employed Income Scheme, you must have filed a retun for 18/19 and the majority of your taxable income must come from self-employment (though your profits cannot exceed £50,000).

      If you and your partner have savings below £16,000, you may eligible for Universal Credit, depending on how much your partner’s SEISS payment amounts to. You can assess this on our benefits calculator, at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Ive been a self employed apprentice for a month, now not working due to covid what can I claim ????

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 16:58

      Hi there,

      If your savings are below £16,000 then you can likely claim Universal Credit, so long as you are a ‘recognised’ apprentice under DWP guidelines, as follows:

      – have a named training provider
      – be working towards a recognised qualification
      – be paid at least the NMW for an apprentice

      UC is an in-and-out-of-work benefit, so your claim will continue while your earnings fluctuate in the coming months, provided they don’t exceed the threshold.

      I hope this helps.

      Best wishes.

  • My nephew is on a zero hour contract. His employer told him he can’t get wages for him because of the zero hour contract. Of course that’s not right. But my nephew doesn’t want to question him. Is there a way to find out if his employer is in fact claiming it for him while not passing it on?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 17:02

      Hi Claudia,

      Sorry to hear about that. As you say there is no reason being on a zero hour contract should prevent your nephew from being eligible for the Coronavirus Job Protection Scheme. I’m not certain what steps he might be able to take, but I’d suggest talking to colleagues to try and understand whether they are in a similar situation. If he does suspect they are abusing the scheme, he could report the fraud to HMRC, who will then be able to investigate further, using the links detailed here: https://www.cipp.org.uk/resources/news/scams-fraud-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.html

      I’d also recommend talking to either a trade union (if he or colleagues are members) or employment rights specialists, ACAS, to get further information about his rights and how to respond to this situation: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      While he’s not receiving his wages he may also be eligible for other support such as Universal Credit, so I’d recommend sharing our benefits calculator to double check he is getting all the support he is eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • James Riddoch
    May 4, 2020 18:26

    I work for a civil engineering company we have PAYE and Sub Contractors doing the same work our company has the PAYE on furlough but recently were allowed to carry out work on sites but they have taken back the Sub contractors and left the PAYE still sitting at home.
    Is this legal and good practice

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 17:02

      Hi James,

      Without knowing the full details of this case it’s difficult to say, so I’d recommend getting in touch with employment rights specialists ACAS if you want to know more: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact
      Generally, anyone who the employer has placed on furlough should not be working for that employer. If you are concerned your employer is abusing the scheme you can find details for reporting fraud here: https://www.cipp.org.uk/resources/news/scams-fraud-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.html.

      It’s worth bearing in mind though that some workers can be furloughed while others are not, so if those on PAYE and furloughed are not doing work, but others who are not on furlough (presumably in this case the sub contractors) are still working, that is not necessarily anything illegal. There might still be health and safety concerns for those who are in work though, so again ACAS or a trade union may be able to advise on rights regarding that.

      Best wishes.

  • Marilyn guy
    May 4, 2020 15:46

    My daughter was paid £200 weekly until the accountant set up her wage monthly on electronic payment however her first electronic pay went into her bank the day after the government cut off date so she is not getting any furlough money, she does have bank statement too prove her weekly wage is there anything she can do.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 17:00

      Hi Marilyn,

      The date when her payment arrived in her bank account should not be the crucial factor. What should matter is when her employer first made an RTI submission notifying payment for your daughter to HMRC. Often that submission would go in around a week before your pay actually arrives, so it may be that this was before the 19 March deadline, even if the pay only arrived just after. I’d recommend trying to clarify the date of that RTI submission with her employer, as that should be the crucial factor. Here’s the key section from the government’s guidance for employers, which she may want to share with her employer: “You can only claim for furloughed employees that were employed on 19 March 2020 and who were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020.” https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      Unfortunately, it will ultimately be up to her employer whether to claim for furlough pay. If her income is now lower, she can use our benefits calculator to see what support she might also be eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hi, I have been placed on furlough
    My pay day was Friday 24th April, to which my boss messaged myself and colleagues to say that we would only been receiving half of the 80% furlough money and once he had received the money from the government he would pay the remaining, we are still waiting for this! When looking at my pay slip on pay day it states the full 80%
    Is this right??

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:29

      Hi Kelly,

      It sounds like your employer received the furlough funding on time for your April 24th payment and paid the full amount as a result. Your employer will likely continue to pay you 80% of your wages following your normal payment times, though they can choose to stop furlough payments at any time after the initial 3 weeks, depending on the circumstances of the business. Do let me know if I have misunderstood the question.

      Best wishes.

  • Ayesha Kauser
    May 4, 2020 05:21

    Hi
    I’m was working in abeauty salon I started in fab time and by boss didn’t give me any contact but I was getting payed with payslip I was working 20-25 hours a week but place had to shut because of covid19 but he is not paying me 80percent can u help me find out if he is flaming those money and not giving me or I’m not getting payed
    Many thnx

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:29

      Hi Ayesha,

      Unfortunately, your employer is not obligated to use the employee furlough scheme, so he may choose not to pay you during this time. I would recommend asking him to furlough you as he has not yet done so.

      In order to receive the funding from the government, your employer and yourself would need to confirm in writing that you have been furloughed. So if he has not made you sign this, it is unlikely he has deceitfully claimed on your behalf.

      If you cannot be furloughed, then you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. Your savings must be below £16,000 in order to claim. You may also be eligible for Council Tax Reduction, which you would need to apply for from your local authority. You can use our benefits calculator to assess your eligibility across all benefits, at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • hi my dad recently got furloughed, however due to the date the government made he did not qualify, the date then changed to were he would qualify however the company had then let him go sent a p60 so he could sign on to universal credit for an income during these difficult times, he is 57 and worked all his life as well as raising me alone, he is looking for work but very disheartened and suffering severe hardship due bills, housing ect and like us all jjust worrying what the future has to hold for us all. hope you could maybe help thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:28

      Hi Jen,

      Your dad may be able to discuss with his previous employer being taken back as an employee and put on the Job Retention Scheme if the changed date means that he is eligible for the scheme. His employer could, in that case, apply for the funding to cover 80% of your dad’s wage (up to £2,500 per month), though this is to their discretion.

      If his employer does not rehire your father, it sounds like applying for Universal Credit is an option, so long as he and his partner (if he has one) have no more than £16,000 savings. In this case he would also likely be eligible for Council Tax Reduction, for which he would need to apply straight from his local authority. There is a five-week wait for Universal Credit from the date a claim is made, so I would recommend that your dad apply as soon as possible.

      If your dad has paid Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance payments over the past two years, he may also be able to apply for ‘new-style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance while he is out of work. He can claim this at the same time as receiving Universal Credit. There is usually a two-week wait for the initial payment in this case.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I’m currently self employed and filed my tax return for last year. Hopefully I will be entitled to some for my loss of earnings in June.
    My situation at home as changed drastically and I’ve asked my partner to leave the home. What I want to know is can I apply for Universal credits if I’m not actually working at the moment and due to get something back in June for loss of earnings.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:24

      Hi Louise,

      To receive the Self-employed Support Scheme, you must have filed a tax return for the year 2018/19.

      If this is not the case, you can claim Universal Credit so long as your savings are no higher than £16,000. You can enter that you are self-employed but not currently earning, and your award will be based on your income rather than your employment status. There is a five-week wait for the initial payment in Universal Credit. You can apply for an ‘advance payment’ (which is effectively a no-interest loan), though this would be repaid through deductions to your future payments.

      If you are eligible for UC, you are likely also eligible for Council Tax Reduction, for which you can apply on your local authority website.

      I hope this helps!

      Best wishes.

  • Hi,
    I’ve resigned in March and my new employment starts on 1/5/20. Will I be able to get any help from the government for the month of April?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:07

      Hi there,

      You may be eligible for support before your new job. If you have been working and paying National Insurance for the last 2-3 years, you may be eligible for New Style JSA. The rules are complex, but if you’re worked and paid National Insurance for 26 weeks in either of the last 2 financial years, you should qualify. More info can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa

      Finally, depending on your household income and savings, you may qualify for Universal Credit. You can use our online benefit calculator (linked above) to check if you’re eligible.

      All the best.

  • Hi
    Doed the furlong scheme start from date of letter in my case 24 april , I’m shielding for 3 months due to chemo or can employer stop it at end of June as that is current time limit.
    Thanks x

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:08

      Hi Jo,

      The furlough grant will start on the day you were placed on furlough. It will last for a minimum of 3 weeks, but the exact length will be decided by your employer. I would recommend checking with your employer about this – they should communicate this with you in writing.

      All the best.

  • I’ve still not been paid furlough money is there a way of checking to see if my boss has been given it?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:09

      Hi Paul,

      The decision about when to pay you the furlough money rests with your employer. The scheme opened to employees on April 20th, so we’d expect your first payment to be paid fairly soon after this date. if you haven’t heard anything, I would recommend getting in touch with your boss who should be able to clarify this for you.

      All the best.

  • Maria Mills
    May 1, 2020 21:21

    I hope everyone is staying safe and well.
    My son was phoned by the doctor in march, telling him to stay home as he is on the high risk list as he has Crohn’s. A sick note was given to cover him until his letter arrived. It came in the second wave of letters sent out. His employer is b&m and are refusing to backdate the letter to march so are saying any time he was off prior to the letter was self exclusion not NHS high risk. Are all employers supposed to backdate the 12 week high risk letter?

    Thank you and stay safe.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 5, 2020 11:52

      Hello Maria,

      Unfortunately, we can only advise you on benefits and not on labor laws, but from our reading of the regulations, the government has been clear that if an employee self isolates from March 13 onwards because they have been advised by a GP or NHS 111 to self-isolate, then they are deemed to be incapable of work and therefore are entitled to SSP from day 1 (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria (i.e. Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week).

      You may want to seek legal advice for your son or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to see how to move forward on this issue. Here is a link for more information on his rights and self isolating after March 13: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-sick-pay

      You can find your local CAB here for more specific advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/search-for-your-local-citizens-advice/.

      Hope this helps.

  • Attila Szarvas
    May 1, 2020 18:01

    Hi,

    I switched workplace at the beginning of this year. I started to work for a company through an agency. It meant to be a temp to perm work after 13 weeks but because of the current circumstances they can not take me on but I could keep working for them through the agency. The company was running with a reduced crew (the rest of the workers stayed at home and got 80% of their salary) in the last 5 week. I was working too. Today the company said they have to close down completely till 1 June.
    Are there any possibilities to get any payment from the agency or the company during this time?

    Thank you
    Attila

    he 13 week period just need this week. The company said

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 5, 2020 11:39

      Hello Attila,

      I am sorry to hear about your situation. You can be furloughed no matter what type of contract you have, even if working for an agency, as long as you are on PAYE, however it is up to your employer whether or not to put you on furlough. If they will not furlough you, and they are no longer giving you work and as a result you are not getting any (or low) income, you could otherwise apply for Universal Credit, council tax support and other benefits. You can use our calculator here to see your eligibility (enter your income as 0 or what it would be if they reduce your hours).

      Link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Hope this helps and best of luck.

  • Hi,

    I am an hourly paid tutor and the institution where I teach closed on 19 Marcj and cancelled all short courses until the end of June so far. Im on PAYE and I received my last salary at the end of April but this was for teaching carried out in March before 19 March. I told my employer that they should place me on furlough many times and they said they are still working on it. If they manage to put me on furlough would I be entitled to receive furlough payment from 1 April since my April salary was for work carried out in March? Also, if they continue doing nothing about it will I be able to claim JSA and backdate it to 1 May since it was my employer who didn’t act promptly and didn’t decide whether to furlouh me or not?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Tony

  • Sophie Downes
    April 30, 2020 18:35

    Hello,

    I am a full time student, however I am also registered self employed and have been since 2016. I have submitted a self assessment tax return for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 – will I be eligible for the self employed grant or will my student status effect this?

    I work part time as a self employed administration assistant to support myself through University and have lost all of my income due to the Covid 19 pandemic. My partner, who is also self employed full time and is not a student, received an email shortly after the grant was announced to tell him that he would be eligible and that he would be contacted again in May or June, I however did not receive this email and I’m anxious that my student status jeopardises my eligibility. I will not be able to survive financially without this support.

    Many thanks, Sophie

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:19

      Hi Sophie,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Your student status does not negate any eligibility for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), provided that you meet the other criteria, and HMRC should be in touch in the coming weeks. However, you can check your eligibility online here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference. This first contact from HMRC will involve directing you/your partner to the eligibility checker above, after which – if you are deemed eligible – you will be given a date on which to claim (this will be from the 13 May onwards).

      It is concerning that you say your partner received an email shortly after the announcement (SEISS was announced on 26 March). They should be cautious with this because HMRC has warned that contact made before this date is likely to be a scam. Your partner may need to report the email he received as they may have been subject to phishing. More information from the Government about this is available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme. There is also more detailed information on spotting a scam email here (see section 2) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/genuine-hmrc-contact-and-recognising-phishing-emails/genuine-hmrc-contact-and-recognising-phishing-emails . Importantly, HMRC emails will never:

      – notify you of a tax rebate
      – offer you a repayment
      – ask you to disclose personal information such as your full address, postcode, Unique Taxpayer Reference or details of your bank account
      – give a non HMRC personal email address to send a response to
      – ask for financial information such as specific figures or tax computations, unless you’ve given us prior consent and you’ve formally accepted the risks
      – have attachments, unless you’ve given prior consent and you’ve formally accepted the risks

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • I am a supply teacher who is employed by an umbrella company. 5 weeks into lockdown I and other employees of the company have received no furlough payments because the company is concerned about holiday pay. I have been told they can claim a grant to cover 80% of our pay including our holiday pay, but they are saying that they have to top up the holiday payments to 100% out of their own pockets. They say that they cannot afford this and that until it is sorted, they cannot furlough us. Is this true and if so, is there any chance of this wrinkle being ironed out soon so we can get paid?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 14, 2020 09:49

      Hi Linda,

      The key thing to note is that the decision to furlough is one that is taken by the employer – the employee receives the furlough payment but the employer applies for a grant to ensure that 80% of wages can be covered for selected and eligible workers. Employers can top this up, say to 100%, themselves.

      Taking holiday during furlough complicates this because employers need to provide 100% paid leave for 28 days for most workers (including bank holidays), and this means that if you go on leave during furlough the employer will need to pay you 100% of your wages. This would mean that the employer would have to cover part of your wages without the Government grant. And this is a disincentive for some employers to consider furlough. We are not aware of any intention from the Government to change this (for instance a waiver on the rule on holiday pay).

      Strictly speaking it is not fully accurate for the employer to say they cannot furlough you (from an eligibility perspective), since they are still permitted to top up wages. However from a practical viewpoint they may not consider this to be viable.

      You should however take this up with your employer to try and come to an arrangement. You could agree, for instance, to not take any holiday while on furlough, and this would prevent your employer from having to top up the 80% wage.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • I’m unable to go to work because I have to stay home and care for my children, but my employer won’t furlough me and says only that I can take unpaid leave. Will I be able to claim Universal Credit while on unpaid leave? I have no other income and rent to pay.
    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:20

      Hi Dee,

      Thank you for getting in touch. Your situation doesn’t stop you from being able to apply for or claim Universal Credit, but it will have bearing on what is expected of you once you start to receive Universal Credit payments in terms of fulfilling ‘work-related requirements’.

      ‘Work related requirements’ is the phrase used describe the actions that you will be expected to take in order to find (or improve) your employment situation. It will be a good idea to discuss with you Work Coach (assigned to you once you apply for Universal Credit) how your caring responsibilities mean you are unable to continue to work. What this means for your work related requirements depends on the age of your children: the guidance on the topic indicates that under normal circumstances, those caring for children below the age of 13 would be expected to work 25 hours per week. Similarly if the children are aged 3-4, this would typically be 16 hours. If any child is below 1 you will not be expected to engage in any work or work-related activity.

      Your work coach might mention that part of Universal Credit can cover the costs of childcare (up to a maximum of 85%) so you might want to check whether there are open and viable (i.e. affordable) options for you and make a note of (if) this is not possible.

      Depending on these factors it might be expected of you that you consider taking on a different job, or take steps towards this, but there is some discretion involved with this and advisors are urged to make such decisions on a case by case basis.

      Best of luck and kind regards.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 18:04

      Hi Dee,

      I just wanted to add to my previous message a note in relation to temporary measures related to work-related requirements: for 3 months from 30 March 2020, work-related requirements have been eased due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This means that there should not be a work search requirement imposed about you over this period and that you won’t be expected to search or take up paid work during this time. Of course this will only apply for 3 months (it may be extended but we are not aware of this intention).

      Best wishes.

  • Hi,
    Looking for advice for my elderly father.
    He works on a zero hours contract, (but usually does around 15 hours a week) and has been told to self isolate by NHS due to severe COPD.
    He gets his pension, but is struggling with paying the rent and bills etc.
    Would he be entitled to any help?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 17:14

      Hi V,

      Thanks for getting in touch. As his income has reduced, it is possible that he will be eligible for Pension Credit along with other benefits such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. If you would like some detailed information about Pension Credit, Age UK have a good explanation: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/pension-credit/

      I would suggest filling out our calculator on your father’s behalf. This will give the best indication of what he is eligible for and how much he should be able to receive.

      All the best.

  • If you are on an unpaid sabatical from work are you able to claim Universal Credit or any other benefits? The reason for the sabatical would be to avoid redundancy. ie keep your job and go on unpaid sabatical, or be made redundant.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 17:15

      Hi there,

      Yes, you will be eligible for Universal Credit if your savings are below £16,000. Universal Credit is both an in and out of work benefit so will continue to cover you should your income drop.

      I would check with your employer regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. If eligible, the Government will cover 80% of your normal wage so it may be possible that you do not need to take an unpaid sabbatical. There is more information about the scheme at the top of this page.

      All the best.

  • Mr. Rajaratnam
    April 29, 2020 17:58

    Hi,

    I made redundant Feb 2020 , I’m not not able to apply for for the Universal credit as have 16,000 pounds in saving. My savings will run out in few months due to mortgage payments and to cover family expenses. Due the to covid-19 situation, I’m not able to find new job as companies are not initiating new projects (I was working in IT sector) or hiring new people. What kind of help will be available for the people in my situation? Any changes made in universal credit eligibility criteria to help with people in my situation? also, if I cannot find a job in few month time am I able to apply for universal credit by back dating to 1st March 2020? Appreciate your advise /

    Thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 16:59

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately, as you mentioned you will not be eligible for Universal Credit until your savings fall below £16,000. There have not been any changes to the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit so until your savings fall below the threshold it is unlikely you will be able to claim. If this does happen you won’t be able to backdate to March. There are cases when backdating by a month is allowed but this is generally to do with illness so again it is unlikely that you will be able to backdate your claim.

      In the meantime you should be eligible for a mortgage holiday from your bank if you are struggling to pay. You will need to get in contact with your lender for this. Which have a good explanation of what a mortgage holiday is: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/coronavirus-how-to-apply-for-a-three-month-mortgage-payment-holiday/

      I hope this helps and all the best.

  • Hi my husbands company has furloughed their staff, today they have decided to open his depo but only with 3 staff members. They have told the staff that this is completely on voluntary basis, this would mean that the staff who volunteered to go back got full pay plus an extra £10 bonus per day, whilst the remainder with continue you get their furlough pay. He was told by his boss that because 3 people did not volunteer he was being chosen to go back, he refused due to me having an auto-immune disease and lung disease, his manager told him that if he didn’t then everyone would lose their furlough pay and they would have to claim for statutory sick pay.
    He is not volunteering he being forced to go back even though non of the other members of staff where told that. Is this blackmail and harassment by his boss legal??

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 17:14

      Hi Sara,

      Thank you for getting in touch. This sounds more like an employment rights question than one of benefits, for that reason it may be best to get in touch with ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) who can support you if you believe your husband is being treated unfairly. They have a fairly useful help page about not working due to shielding: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/vulnerable-people-and-high-risk.

      I hope this helps and all the best.

  • Hi,very sorry to trouble you,i did send a question before but i dont know if you received it or not, My wife receives WTA, recently every year its been going down in the total, this year from the begining of April its gone down by £5.61 pm,But because of Covid19 as we know the Gov has increased all benefits go up by £20pw , my wife gets paid every 4wks and she has just received the next payment this morning and its the new amount inc the minus £5.61 ,but then they haven’t increased the amount of an extra £20pw that we were told that everyone who’s on benefits will get,my wife has claimed WTA for many yrs and there hasnt been any change re job/hrs because of covid19 as she’s a Key worker ,could you plesse advise us re this, many thanks, PS please stsy safe and well 🙂

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:25

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for getting in touch, I hope you and your wife are well too. We have heard reports that some people are not yet seeing the rise in working tax credits yet. This may be because the payment covers a period prior to the rise on April 6, but if the payment is for a period after April 6, we recommend contacting HMRC to understand why your payment has gone down rather than up. You can also use the government’s tax credit calculator to see what amount you should expect: https://www.gov.uk/tax-credits-calculator

      Best wishes

  • hello we have recently bought a house on mortgage due to move in a couple of months still needs renovation doing i.e painting flooring kitchen the wholelot my buildrrs still need paying im not workin due to my work being closed my partner not workin due to sickpay is there anychance I could apply to help me financially .I work partime through public sector .

  • Karen Mcintyre
    April 29, 2020 13:22

    Hello,my name is Karen,i have been told to shield as i am classed as vulnerable,my employer said i am only entitled to ssp,is this correct?i have asked about being furloughed but they insist ssp is what theyre paying me.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 5, 2020 11:53

      Hi Karen,

      You could be eligible to be furloughed, but the decision on whether to furlough you will be up to your employer. As it sounds like they are not sure if you are eligible, you could point them to this advice from the government, which states that “Employers are also entitled to furlough employees who are being shielded”. You can find that advice under the heading “If your employee is self-isolating or on sick leave” here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      Your employer will have to choose between giving you SSP or furloughing you (subject to the other eligibility criteria, which you can see above), but it’s likely that being furloughed would be better for you, so they may be willing to if you show them that you are eligible.

      While you are receiving less income, you may also be eligible for Universal Credit – you can use our benefits calculator to see how much you might get: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free There’s a section where you can input SSP under “Other income”.

      Best wishes.

  • Hello, I recently became unemployed in December and was current,y looking for work before the lockdown. I applied for new style jsa but due to not paying enough national insurance credits while being at uni in 2018 I was unable to receive payments. My partner works full time as a skilled engineer and due to his wages I’m not entitled to UC. Is there anything I can get to support myself as my partner is paying for all bills and he also has debts which eats up a lot of his money so we are struggling as I am trying to find work even in this time but it is very hard. Thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:10

      Hi Rebecca,

      I’m really sorry to hear about your situation – you seem to have fallen through the net. Unfortunately you are not eligible for the main sources of support. I’d recommend checking if you’re eligible for council tax support – this will vary depending on your local council.

      I would also recommend checking if you qualify for any grants- this Turn2us tool may be able to help: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/

      Finally, I’d recommend looking at the advice at the top of this page about help with paying for your rent or mortgage and advice around debt.

      All the best.

  • Hi,
    I have been placed on furlough and on my pay date (25th April) I didn’t receive all of my 80%, I only received about 40% of my wage. The company hasn’t contacted me we’ve had to get in contact ourselves and they said they would pay the rest by the end of today (29th April), but it’s not fair as people have bills to pay and the stress of not knowing when we will received our pay is horrible. Is there anything I can do about this, do I have any rights in regards to not being paid correctly or on time.

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:16

      Hi Jessamyn,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. Your employer should be paying you 80% of your wages soon after they received this grant from the government (on 20th April). If they have still not paid you or confirmed when you will receive the money, I’d recommend contacting employment rights specialists ACAS – https://www.acas.org.uk/advice

      All the best.

  • For the past three tax years I was on both PAYE and self-employment but the self-employment income was less than 50% of total income in all those three years. My PAYE job finished in October 2018 and I have been self-employed since then until my freelance contract terminated early on 9 April 2020 due to Coronavirus. Am I entitled to the 80% self-employment income support?

  • Paul Robinson
    April 28, 2020 17:47

    Hi. I Am self employed and have a small business with 2 f/ time and 1 p/time employees . They have been furloughed. I was hoping to cain some money through the 80% taxable grant. Problem is due to expansion and investment in my business my returns for 16-17,17-18 show a loss. 18-19 I returned to profit of nett £27 k. Will I receive anything from the scheme. Further more I am 60 years old and have had sarcoidosis & am shielding and not expecting to be able to return to work in the near future if ever. I am now facing redundancy payments which I cannot afford unless I return to work. Is there any help from the government.
    Many thanks. Please reply.

  • Hello
    In a situation where husband and wife are both self employed and cannot conduct their businesses due to Covid-19, are they eligible to apply for the ‘New Style’ JSA?
    They do not qualify for Universal Credit.
    Both qualify to claim Carer’s allowance, but haven’t in the past due to their level of earnings.
    They are currently home schooling 3 children, one of whom is in receipt of DLA.
    They will qualify for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, so need to be careful not make any benefit claims that might affect that.

    Thank you for your guidance, the Government website is unclear on the subject of the self employed and the New Style JSA

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:18

      Hi Pat,

      Unfortunately they cannot apply for new style JSA – this is only available to employees who have paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions.

      I’d recommend filling out our online benefit calculator (https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free) to see exactly what they’re eligible for. If they are eligible for carers allowance now they have lower earnings, they can apply here https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance

      All the best.

  • Nicola Gannon
    April 27, 2020 12:54

    Hi I have been shielding from end of march (12 weeks due to poor immune system) and I work at a Gp practice as a receptionist and my employer is saying the cannot furlough me as they are publicly funded. I have read that if wages are fully funded they should “continue to pay staff in the usual fashion” but what does this mean? They have put me on sick pay. My contract says I’m entitled to 1 month full pay and 1 month half pay (which is less than SSP) and I had 2 days sick paid in the last 12 months so that also comes out of my allowance. After which I will be placed on SSP. Is the right?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 11, 2020 10:41

      Hi Nicola,

      As SSP has been extended to those who are shielding, you may be able to receive this for the duration of your time shielding, after your full payment. This is something to discuss with your employer, as the extension was only announced over the past week and it may not be applicable to your contract.

      Best wishes.

  • Hey, what happens if you work in a mixed NHS & Private dental practice and have been furloughed? How do we claim please?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 09:01

      Hello,

      If your employer has put you on furlough, it is up to your employer to claim the government grant and you should be paid by your employer as normal, getting up to 80% of your salary. If you have not been notified of the details of your furlough, you should refer to your employer to find out what to expect. You can see if you are also eligible for council tax support or other support due to having a lower income by entering the amount you will be paid while on furlough into our calculator. Link: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Hope this helps.

  • Hi,

    I am applying for UC due to being out of work at this time and I have to complete a joint application with my partner due to us living together. With my partner’s normal salary I would not be eligible for UC however he is currently furloughed due to covid so is not receiving any pay at this time and is yet to receive the 80% furlough payment. The form asks how many hours a week he currently works and what his normal salary is, as he is currently furloughed should we put that he currently works 0 hours and earns £0 per month or should we put his normal hours and salary when not furloughed? I am worried that putting his usual salary and working hours, which he is not getting at the moment, will mean the application is rejected.

    I hope you can help and thanks!

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 29, 2020 09:03

      Hello Liz,

      I am sorry about your situation. If your partner is not getting paid at the moment, when you fill out your application for Universal Credit you can list his normal working hours but 0 salary. The income that Universal Credit generally takes into account is all income from five weeks on from the date you apply.

      Hope this helps.

  • Miss p I have stopped self employment from beginning of march doing permitted work, for the last 2 yrs and claimed 2 tax returns in the last 2 years, wil I be entitled to the 50% grant bnow extended to 50%of all income including benefits.. Please advice
    ss

  • Anthony grey
    April 25, 2020 21:35

    Hi, I’ve recently started a new job within the last 3 months and I’m wondering if I’m entitled to being furloughed? My partner is a key worker on night shifts and is in high demand during these times, she sleeps during the day which leaves me having to stay home and care for young child. The company is still in business and other employees are continuing to work even though it is, to my knowledge not classed as ‘essential’. Also it is not possible to work from home. Does my employer have to place me on furlough? My worry is if they don’t have to so chose not to, knowing I’m unable to work, I will struggle financially

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 08:55

      Hi Anthony,

      Unfortunately, the decision on whether to place you on furlough will be up to your employer. It might be worth explaining your situation to your employer and letting them know if you think you are eligible to be furloughed. All of the costs should be covered by the government’s grant so they shouldn’t lose out from furloughing you, and you would of course be more likely to continue working there after the pandemic if they furloughed you now, so it might be in their interests to furlough you.

      Whether you are eligible will depend on when you started working. You need to have been employed on 19 March 2020 and also on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 (you’d usually be added around a week before your first payment if you are paid monthly). Because you have caring responsibilities resulting from COVID-19 you are eligible to be furloughed if you meet the other criteria. You can check the full criteria above and in more depth here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme If you think you meet all the relevant criteria, it may be worth sharing this with your employer.

      In the meantime, I would recommend using our benefits calculator to see what support you might be eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free If you are eligible for Universal Credit, we’d recommend applying ASAP as this will mean your first payment will arrive sooner (5 weeks from the date you claim).

      Best wishes.

  • I’m a seasonal worker in the UK, i usually work March – August with a single employer then go away travelling for the rest of the year.

    My Furlough pay has been calculated by avaraging my income over the last 12 months, the issue is i’m only working 6 months of the year, so when my pay is avaraged over 12 months the avarage is left very low, especially after an extra 20% is removed.

    Is there any way my avarage pay can be calculated from only the months i was employed and in the UK?

    My employer is happy to do this IF the Government mentions that its a possible avanue for us to take.

    They said they will keep their eye out for any new infomation on my suituation but if i do find something to send it their way.

    Let me know if you know anything, stay safe!

  • Hi am I entitled to 80% of my wages if my employer doesn’t have me on his books or sick pay ?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 30, 2020 09:10

      Hi Carol,

      Without knowing the full details of your situation or why you are not on your employer’s books, it’s difficult to know what your rights are, I’d recommend getting in touch with ACAS to ensure you are getting all your rights at work: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact I’d also recommend reading the advice here if you think your employer might not be paying Income Tax or National Insurance: https://www.gov.uk/report-cash-in-hand-pay

      More generally, to be eligible to be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme you will need to have been on your employer’s PAYE system on or before 19 March 2020. If you are classed as an employee you should be eligible for SSP, if you also earn enough and have been ill, self-isolating or ‘shielding’ for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days): https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/eligibility You can read about who is classed as an employee here – unless you are self-employed, you are most likely an employee: https://www.gov.uk/employment-status/employee

      Best wishes.

  • Can I claim uc whilst receiving weekly furlough payments will this effect any wages or any repercussions for my employer who are applying for the jrs

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 08:53

      Hi David,

      Yes, the two can be claimed together. The two claims will be totally separate – one claimed by your employer and the other claimed by you. All you need to do is report your income when you apply for Universal Credit. If the furlough pay is your only source of income, you can just report that (80% of your usual wages) as your income and it will be topped up with Universal Credit – you can use our calculator to calculate how much you might be eligible for http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Your employer should not take any other sources of income (such as Universal Credit) into account when applying for the job retention scheme – it is solely based on how much they pay you.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi im currently receiving furlough payments weekly could I apply for universal credit whilst on the jrs or will benefits effect my employer being able to claim back wages

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 30, 2020 09:13

      Hi Sophia,

      Claiming Universal Credit will not affect your employer’s ability to put you on furlough. You will, however, need to let your work coach know of this change as your Universal Credit will likely be increased because of this.

      Best wishes.

  • Chloe Brown
    April 25, 2020 11:38

    I was hired by a charity to do support work for the elderly in February and I began training but had not begun a first shift before the coronavirus hit. My contract is casual and where I have not began my work I have no previous hours behind me and so am not sure what, if anything, I could be entitled to. My employer has told me that the support workers cannot work unless providing emergency help (a category which I do not fall under) and are not entitled to pay. Please help.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 30, 2020 09:11

      Hi Chloe,

      Eligibility for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is at your employer’s discretion, provided that you meet the criteria of having been a PAYE employee with them on 19th of March. You should speak to your employer about this.

      When it comes to benefits, eligibility for the main benefit Universal Credit, this is not conditional on your work history. It is only certain contributory benefits (which run alongside Universal Credit) that depend on your work history. To see what help you might be able to get through benefits, the best thing to do would be to complete our online calculator (you want to choose the option for ‘Universal Credit’ (unless you are in receipt of a Severe Disability Premium)).

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi there,
    I have quite important question, not asked yet, I think:
    I’m gladly receiving 80% furlough pay from my employment, but I am self-employed as well. As a self-employed I’ve started selling my products recently (about a week ago) – small profit but it is something.
    I was employed and self-employed and I was getting my needed salary from both sources.
    Is it fine to continue getting 80% furlough pay from employment and getting small profit from self-employment? (profit around £1000)
    Money from both sources are crucial for my business survival, rent, loan etc.
    Please help.
    Thank you!!!

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 30, 2020 09:12

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your question. There is nothing in the regulations relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that says you cannot undertake other forms of work. However of course, your other employment will need to be permitted by your current employer (i.e. the employer that has placed you on furlough).

      Hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi
    I have worked as a school exam inivgilator for the last 15 years. It is a major part of my income. Obviously all exams have been cancelled. Can i claim

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 09:02

      Hi Nicola,

      Were you on a PAYE payroll? If so, your employer may be able to place you on furlough and pay 80% (or more) of your normal wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. I’d recommend asking your employer about this. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      If this is not possible, you may be eligible for benefits. If you’re now out of work, but have been working and paying National Insurance for the last 2-3 years, you may be eligible for New Style JSA. The rules are complex, but if you’re worked and paid National Insurance for 26 weeks in either of the last 2 financial years, you should qualify. More info can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa

      Finally, depending on your household income and savings, you may qualify for Universal Credit. You can use our online benefit calculator (linked above) to check if you’re eligible.

      All the best.

  • Jack Norman
    April 24, 2020 13:30

    Hi
    I work 32 weeks a year. But am paid my wages over 52 weeks. I work at a university. I was due to be off 27 March to 20april which my wages cover. But my company furloughed me on 1 April. Are they allowed to do this, as I have already had my wages reduced while I am in to cover me for my time off. But yet they are claiming this off the goverment.

  • I’ve been on ssp for approximately 2 months and now they decided to furlong me due to shielding ,is it back dated or from now and how will this affect my mortgage protection as they were paying mortgage.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 29, 2020 09:03

      Hi Jo,

      You must stop receiving SSP before you receive the furlough support, so I think the furlough is likely to start now rather than be backdated.

      The government also announced measures to provide mortgage owners with a three-month holiday from payments, so I would recommend speaking with your provider about this option if you are concerned about your mortgage payments.

      Best wishes.

  • I retired from working full time in nhs (admin) in September 2019 (after 39 years) and returned in November 2019 on a zero hours contract. I have been working continuously (I pay national insurance also) since beginning of November 2019 for 12 hours per week until 30th March 2020 which was the day I received my government letter asking me to shield for 12 weeks as I am immunosuppressed. Terms and conditions in my health trust have told my manager I will not be eligible for SSP or any other payment whilst I am off. I would earn over the threshold of £118 per week in relation to SSP. health trust are not furloughing any staff. Can you offer any advice. Kind regards. Jane

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 27, 2020 08:53

      Hi Jane,

      I would recommend clarifying with your employer why they do not think you are eligible for SSP. From the information you’ve shared, it sounds like you would be eligible – the key criteria would be that you are classed as an employee, earn over £120 per week on average and have been shielding for at least 4 days in a row. It is worth bearing in mind that the government’s advice now says those shielding could start getting SSP from 16 April 2020, so it may be that your first few weeks of shielding would fall outside that: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/what-youll-get

      The government’s advice if you do not think you are getting the right amount of SSP is to first talk to your employer, and then if you’re still not happy, to call the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enquiry line: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/national-insurance-enquiries-for-employees-and-individuals
      I would also suggest getting in touch with employments rights specialists ACAS as they may be able to give you more detailed advice on your rights: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      While you are not receiving sick pay, I would recommend making sure you are getting all the benefits, such as pension credit or attendance allowance, you might be eligible for. You can use our calculator to see what you might be eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      I hope that helps – let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

      Best wishes

  • Hi
    I am a self employed taxi driver an my work an earnings have been massively affected by this … I know I have to wait for HMRC to get in touch etc my question is

    If I take up a full time empolyed role with a company will this affect my grant money I would receive from the government???

  • Hi there, I hope you can help me, I’m looking for information on my difficult, complicated situation,

    I was previously employed for 7 years as a Dental Hygienist and Therapist working in a mixed dental practice carrying out treatment on the NHS and privately. However on December 12th 2019 the practice was taking over as my employer had sold the practice to another practitioner.
    The new owner explained to me that she could not afford to keep me on as an employee and that I would need to go self employed to keep my job.
    Unfortunately I was now only seeing private patients since January this year in the practice, my diary wasn’t getting booked up for one of my days, therefore I applied for another job for this day, I got the job to work one day a week in another practice. I was supposed to start work at my new job on the 20th of March 2020. This didn’t happen as all non emergency dental treatment and any aerosol was revoked due to Covod-19 outbreak.
    Me and my partner had planned to travel and take a 6 week trip to America Las vegas to elope and get married the end of April 20, My new employer agreed to let me take this time off as it was already planned with my previous employer.
    However when I informed her that I had taken another job for one day due to my bookings being low at my current practice. I was told me she could not keep my Job open for me on my return from American. Even though it was her Idea for me to look for something else on that day!

    My issue is I have effectively only been self employed for 2 months so I have not completed a tax return, when I have tried to see if I am entitled to any benefits It says that I am not on the benefit calculator. I can not get through to HMRC on the phones.
    Obviously because of Covid – 19 I can not work because of the nature of my job being in dentistry.
    I have some savings and my partner still has a job thankfully, however once my mortgage holiday ends we are going to be in difficulty.
    I know many people out there have fallen into this category.

    TIA
    Kindest regards
    Sarah

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 24, 2020 09:05

      Hi Sarah,

      Really sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately you have fallen through a gap in the provisions since as you have only been self-employed for 2 months, you do not qualify for the self-employment support scheme.

      However, you are likely to qualify for New Style JSA. This is a benefit for people who have been working and paying National Insurance for some of the last 2-3 years – it sounds like this is the case for you. You can qualify for this even if you have savings. You can find the exact eligibility criteria, and a link to apply, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-jobseekers-allowance

      You may also qualify for Universal Credit, though this will depend on your and your partner’s income and savings. You can use our benefits calculator (linked above) to find out if you’re eligible.

      I wish you all the best.

  • I am currently furloughed through my employment. I am also self employment and within the limits to receive SEISS. Can I receive both?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 27, 2020 08:51

      Hi Simon,

      So long as you meet the criteria that 50% or more of your income is made through self-employment and that you filed a tax return for the year 2018/19, you will be invited to apply for the self-employed income support by HMRC. You can be furloughed for more than one job, which extends to self-employment and PAYE employment.

      Best wishes.

  • Peter Rigler
    April 22, 2020 14:00

    Hi there, My employer has said that the furlough maximum payment is £500 per week.From this my income tax and national insurance and pension is deducted.He arrives at this figure by saying the maximum
    monthly cap of £2500 is then multiplied by 80% which gives the figure of £2000 which divided by the 4 weeks gives a sum of £500 per week.I say he’s wrong as it is £2500 gross which is the figure and dividing that by 4 is £625. Whose is right?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 27, 2020 08:55

      Hi Peter,

      £2,500 per month is the maximum gross figure. You do not need to apply a further 80% deduction if this is 80% of your normal monthly salary (or lower).

      Best wishes.

  • Tracy Kennedy
    April 22, 2020 08:25

    I am self employed but also have a small PAYE contract that i work on. I have been told on PAYE i will be furloughed and I am not sure if I should just be claiming the self employed element as this is the bulk of my work and if being furloughed will affect this.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 27, 2020 08:52

      Hi Tracy,

      So long as you meet the criteria that 50% or more of your income is made through self-employment and that you filed a tax return for the year 2018/19, you will be invited to apply for the self-employed income support by HMRC. You can be furloughed for more than one job, which extends to self-employment and PAYE employment.

      Best wishes.

  • Jackie watson
    April 21, 2020 22:23

    Hi iam a dental nurse my employers are asking me to sign a new contract stating I may have to go to work in Hospitals I live in Letchworth and will have to travel to London I’m my own bread winner have no husband and don’t drive they are a private run dental surgery and said they won’t pay my wages if I don’t do this the practice was taken over by new owners 2 years ago where do I stand on this I’ve worked there 15 years

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 27, 2020 08:56

      Hi Jackie,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s anything in any of the new COVID-19 measures that would prevent your employer from doing this. If you do find yourself out of work as a result of this action by your employer, you may be able to claim contributory Job Seekers Allowance if you have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the past 2 years. You may also be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support if you have less than £16,000 in earnings. Also if you are renting, your local council may be able to provide you with a Discretionary Housing Payment to help cover your rent costs. We have information about these forms of support on our Covid-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I’m sorry that we cannot be of more help in the immediate situation with your employer. If there are any other questions you have that we might be able to help with please do let us know.

  • Deborah Cook
    April 21, 2020 21:15

    Can i claim loss of wages i went travelling and was on unpaid leave was due to stat work again on 30 th March but unfortunately got stuck in India and had to wait for a repatriation flight returned home on then doing 14 day self isolation so have lost 4 or 5 weeks wages

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 24, 2020 09:04

      Hi Deborah,

      You may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay for the period in which you were self-isolating. You are eligible for SSP if you are earning more than £118/week, and it is paid by your employer at the statutory level of £94.25/week (though some employers choose to pay more).

      As for the remaining lost wages due to waiting for a flight, I’m afraid I don’t think there is anything in the set of COVID-19 measures that would cover earnings lost in this way. If you are having financial difficulty as a result, you may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax support if you have less than £16,000 in savings. If you are renting and having difficulty covering rent costs, you can also contact your local council about the possibility of receiving a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with this. We have some information on these types of support on our COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I hope this helps, and am sorry I cannot offer more direct suggestions regarding your earnings lost due to flight delays. Please do let us know if you have any further questions we can help with.

  • Hello
    I’ve been an agency care worker for the last 4 months and have had regular work
    (3/4 shifts) a week. I have no work this week and am worried this will continue as Corona sadly hits Care homes.
    Am I entitled to any financial help from the Govt if I have weeks of no work?
    Thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 24, 2020 09:03

      Hello Fiona,

      Thank you for your important work in our care homes. I am sorry to hear that you are having your hours cut back. If your employer does not want to furlough you (this would mean you cannot work for a minimum of three weeks while on furlough) you can try to see what benefits you may be eligible for while your income fluctuates. You can enter your new income or anticipated income into our calculator (https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free) to see if you can get a reprieve on your Council Tax or Universal Credit.

      Hope this helps.

  • I submitted the tax year 2018 2019 as self employed . I started as self empoued in december 2018.
    Is it going to devide for 12 or for 4 as i worked that tax year 4 monthes

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 24, 2020 09:02

      Hello James,

      I’m very sorry about the unfortunate timing of you starting your business. If you have not submitted Self Assessment tax returns for all 3 years, the 80% of your average trading profit will be based on the tax year 2018 to 2019 only, and divided by 12 despite you starting in December.

      You may need to see what other support you can get, such as Council Tax Support and Universal Credit, due to the large drop in your income. You can use our free Benefits and Budgeting Calculator (LINK) to do so. If you are eligible for help we advise applying as soon as possible.

      Hope this helps.

  • Hi,
    Can you apply for job seekers allowance if you are being furloughed?
    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 27, 2020 08:55

      Hi Jess,

      You cannot receive JSA while furloughed, as you are technically employed. You could, however, claim Universal Credit if your furlough payments are low enough and your savings (combined with the savings of your partner) are below £16,000. You may also be eligible for Council Tax Reduction if you are eligible for UC. You can test your eligibility across all benefits by using our benefit and budgeting calculator: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      I hope this helps!

      Best wishes

  • I worked for a charity who receives funds for staffing from public money. I left the role on 14th if March to start a new job that has fallen through. The charity are wary of being accused of fraud if the re employ me and furlough.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:28

      Hi Adam,

      There’s a section on the government’s website which now directly addresses these circumstances, so I’d recommend directing your employer to this for reassurance. If you look under the section “If you made employees redundant or they stopped working for you after 28 February” on this page you can see their advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      As you stopped working for them after 28 February, if they re-employ you you should fall into this category, assuming you also meet the other main criteria.

      Best wishes.

  • I work as a exam invigilator and my college is unable to furlough me as my role does not meet the DfE furlough rules i.e exam work is publicly funded. I do not qualify for other benefits. Should the college still pay me for work agreed out of their budget as they have already received this funding? Do I have any legal rights?

  • Shaun Palmer
    April 20, 2020 20:40

    Hi. I work for a Local Council as a sports coach, working different hours as the work comes in from schools. We have been told by the council boss that non of the casual staff will be furloughed and they cant even offer another jobs in other departments. My issue is that I was scheduled to do a set amount of work for the next 4 months, paying National Insurance and being on PAYE, so think I should be furloughed. Is this the case or can the Council just lump us all together as some casuals were not working at the time or even scheduled for work? Any advice gratefully received thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 23, 2020 08:08

      Hi Shaun,

      It is up to the employer who they apply to place on furlough, so generally they will have the final say on whether you are furloughed or not. As your employer is a council though there is a chance the government’s advice to them might be different – their page for employers status that if “employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. This also applies to non-public sector employers who receive public funding for staff costs.” https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme It might therefore be worth raising this with your employer to see how they are taking this advice into account, as though they may not be expected to furlough you, they might still be expected to employ you. There is also a whole page here about specific advice for certain circumstances of those working in education, some of which might apply to your situation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#sector-specific-guidance Again it may be worth discussing any of this with your employer, though the decision on furloughing is likely to be up to them in the end.

      It is also worth bearing in mind that to be furloughed you would need to have been on their PAYE payroll before 19 March 2020, so your eligibility would depend on whether your contracted work over the next 4 months was a continuation of ongoing work (so you would already be on their PAYE system), or new work.

      While your income is lower you might also be eligible for some benefits, so I’d recommend using our calculator to see what you might be eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      I hope that all helps, do get in touch if you have any more questions.

      Best wishes.

      • Sorry for the delay. Thank you for the reply and advice.
        Shaun

  • Hi I’m on weekly pay and haven’t been paid for 4 weeks. When I recieve the 80% do I have to wait another month to get paid again or will I get paid weekly? I’ve had to borrow left right and centre and will have to pay bills once I recieve payment. Don’t want to go another month borrowing off family. Surely I should be getting paid weekly as I’ve always been. Really hard times. Thanx!

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:36

      Hi Gillan,

      This decision rests with your employer – I’d recommend getting in touch with them to ask about how they plan to pay you the furlough money. They should confirm the details of the furlough scheme with you in writing.

      In the meantime, you may be eligible for Universal Credit, depending on your income and savings. You can use our online benefit calculator (linked above) to check your eligibility.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi,
    I am 68 years old Norwegian citizen and I have been in the UK for a bit over 2 years. I started a part-time job in January but I left work in late March to self-isolation due to my vulnerability to COVID-19 and I dont have an income now. Will I be eligible to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme? if so, how can I apply? Will the money come directly to me or does it have to go to my ex-employer? Also will I be eligible for pension even when I have only worked 2 month?

    I don’t have much expenses as I live with my son, who pays everything.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:31

      Hi Karim,

      As long as you were on your employer’s payroll on 19 March 2020 and were paid through PAYE, you may be eligible. However, you would need to discuss this with your old employer and ask for them to put you back on their books. We’d recommend that you write to your employer asking them to rehire you. Explain that the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme says if they rehire you, they can treat you as a ‘furloughed worker’ and claim money to pay you. The scheme works through your employer – they would apply for the money, then you would receive money from them like when you were in employment.

      I hope this helps – all the best.

  • Elise Williams
    April 18, 2020 17:04

    my question is. I claim income suport on the old system before UC i have not been moved over yet by dwp because iv had no change in circumstance. But i was informed by dwp that us on the old legacy benefits will not recieve the coronvirus payment of the extra £20 pw only people who claim UC old and new claiments will recieve this! How is this even right and will this be revisisted by the goverment? Its utterly disgraceful

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:35

      Hi Elise,

      Yes, currently the £20/week increase is included only within Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claims. Those claiming the old style housing benefit have benefited from the increased local housing allowance. However, if you are only claiming income support then unfortunately neither measures will benefit you.

      It might be worth checking if you would be better off claiming Universal Credit, which you can check on our benefits calculator, here: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free
      However, do also consider that there is a five-week wait for the initial payment of Universal Credit, during which your income support would not be paid.

      I hope this helps! Best wishes.

    • Hi! I I asked my employer if we are possible to apply for furlough as I can’t do it by my self. And I never know they already applied And waiting for paid. If I didn’t ask them they might not be telling?

      • Alannah McGhee
        May 5, 2020 11:39

        Hello Lena,

        You are correct that you cannot apply to be furloughed yourself. It is up to your employer to furlough you and to pay you your wages for the period that you were furloughed. However it sounds like your employer has not been paying you and not been clear with you if they have furloughed you or not. You need to check with your employer to see what to expect. In the meantime, you should not wait to apply for Universal Credit and council tax support if you are eligible to be sure that you can get some kind of support if you do not get furloughed and paid by your company. There is a five week wait for Universal Credit payments so you can always cancel your claim if your employer decides to furlough and pay you. You can use this calculator to see what help you may be eligible for.

        Hope this helps.

  • Hi, I’ve recently been put on furlough, and as I understand, I can make a claim for universal credit to help cover the costs. Upon going through the universal credit claim form, however, there is no option to state that I am a furloughed worker. What should I do? Do I put in or out of work, as technically I am employed?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:34

      Hi Bex,

      Yes, as you say, you should enter that you are employed as the furlough payments will be treated as earnings while you remain technically employed.

      Best wishes.

      • Great, thank you so much! 🙂

      • Hello, I have the same situation. May I ask also when it asks how many hours do i usually work would this be the 100% figure or 80% (furloughed amount of hours)?

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 27, 2020 08:54

          Hi Pandora,

          You should enter the 100% figure for hours you usually work. It will just be your income where you have to enter the 80% amount.

          Best wishes.

  • Carole Bland
    April 18, 2020 15:45

    I am in the extremely high risk group and cannot get out. I normally shop and look after my 93 year old mother. I have now had to employ a full time carer for her rather than the care that she had before which was just three hours a day through an agency plus myself. Can she claim anything towards the cost of this?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:32

      Hi Carole,

      Attendance Allowance is designed to support those over state pension age who require care. You can read more about this support and how to apply here: https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance

      Your gran may also be eligible for pension credit, housing benefit and council tax support, depending on her circumstances. It is likely worth checking her eligbility for all benefits on our calculator, using the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      The results page of the calculator will direct you to the relevant application processes, through the ‘click here’ blue buttons.

      I hope this helps but do get back in touch with any follow up questions.

      Best wishes

  • Yvonne Barber
    April 18, 2020 13:49

    I have been an exam invigilator at a local Academy for 2 years now. I was booked in to work from end March through to end of June. With the cancellation of all exams I am told I am no longer needed. Can I be furloughed?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:50

      Hi Yvonne,

      Unfortunately we’ve not seen specific advice for seasonal workers, but it is likely to depend on your contract. To be eligible for the scheme you need to have been employed by and on your employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. So if your contract ended last year, and you then sign a new one each year, which begins after 19 March, it’s likely that unfortunately you wouldn’t be eligible. If however, your contract is rolling and you remained on your employer’s payroll, you might still be eligible.

      The decision to apply for furlough is up to your employer, so I would recommend speaking to them to see if they think you will be eligible.

      Best wishes.

  • hi I work 15 hours lunchtime supervisor my school has closed I get child tax my partner is in sick leave due to injury we are struggling to pay mortgage and bills are we entitled to anything .

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:30

      Hi Sally,

      Your employer may be able to furlough you. You can see the full criteria for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme above, but it sounds like it would be worth you discussing with your employer to see if they will place you on furlough.

      Beyond that, you might also be eligible for Universal Credit and several other benefits – you can use our calculator to see what you might get: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free You should bear in mind that once you move to Universal Credit you will not be able to move back to claiming child tax credits, so you may want to use our calculator to compare how much you’d get on the legacy system (ie tax credits) and on Universal Credit (the results page will help you make this comparison).

      Depending on his national insurance contributions over the past two years, your partner might also be eligible for contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). There are details on this in the calculator, and you can also read more about it above.

      I hope that helps – if you have any more questions after using the calculator please do let us know.

      Best wishes.

  • Hello. I was working for 5 months in a temporary job in a business paid via PAYE through a large agency. My contract there finished on 20 March. I’ve signed on for New Style Jobseekers’ Allowance. The agency I worked for is currently looking at whether I could be furloughed and receive the CJRS. If I do eventually get paid the CJRS, I assume that I’ll have to pay back the Jobseekers’ Allowance? Also, I have just been offered a new temporary role starting 29 April working for a different agency, Could I get the CJRS after my new job starts, or would I have to then drop out of receiving the CJRS at that date? Thanks, Dave.

  • Hi Alannah,

    At first stage my company made me redundant, then I applied for Jobseeker’s Allowance. One week later it was reverted and I was placed on furlough.
    I totally forgot about my application to the job scheme, and now I just received the first payment. It is legal to keep this 70 pounds a week or I should contact them?

    Kind Regards

  • Hi – I am a full time single parent and over the last few years have only brought in income through short term lets of a flat in Scotland as I’ve been busy parenting. I had used it part of the year so had been paying council tax, not business rates – I didn’t even realise until this situation happened I maybe could have been paying business rates and getting rates relief. I’m now in the situation where I have no income from short term lets for the foreseeable future, large expenses to keep pay for the empty property, and don’t seem to be eligible for any help from the government, not even universal credit. I ended up having to restart my self employed work a few years ago after escaping an abusive relationship and totally relied on the small income from the flat. Within a couple of weeks I will have no money to feed my son or pay any bills, in fact will be in growing debt, as I don’t earn huge income anyway from the lets, just enough to get by and raise my son. I really don’t know what to do and would appreciate any advice please.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:27

      Hello Tom,

      I am very sorry to hear about the difficult situation you find yourself in. Unfortunately, the value of your rental property does count as savings, so you will not be eligible for Universal Credit. As the flat is currently empty, you may be eligible for different rates of Council Tax, so it is worth getting in touch with the local council to explain your situation and seeing what rates you may be eligible for.

      You mentioned being self employed at one point, but it is unclear if this is ongoing. If you are self employed but not currently trading due to Coronavirus, you could be eligible for the self-employment support scheme. The details and criteria for eligibility can be found higher on this page.

      In order to be eligible for Universal Credit or other support as you are not working, you may need to put your rental flat up for sale to free up your savings. While you are waiting for your property on the market to sell, its value can be disregarded for 26 weeks if you need to apply for Universal Credit in the meantime.

      Hope this helps.

  • Dean Orchard
    April 17, 2020 22:40

    i am a sole trader i run my own cleaning business of which i have lossed a great deal of money due to not being able to enter peoples homes ive had countless cancellations aswel my business has been running over 7 years what am i entitled too ?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:19

      Hello Dean,

      I am sorry to hear your business is struggling. You may be eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. You can find out the full criteria and more details higher on this page under the ‘If you are self-employed’ tab. You must have submitted a self-assessment tax return for the year 2018/19 and have been trading as self employed in the tax year 2019/20. These grants will be available from the beginning of June.

      In the meantime, while you wait, if you have less than £16,000 in savings you may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You can use our calculator (LINK) to see what help you may be eligible for. We advise applying as soon as possible as there is a five-week wait for Universal Credit.

      I hope you find this helpful.

  • I am a frontline worker, 3 children and receives tax credits. Due to COVID-19 I need to work extra hours to help care for covid patients. This is due to the volume of patients. Will my tax credits be affected this year or next year?
    I dont want to be penalised for doing my job or struggle financially once this is over.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:20

      Hello Amy,

      You are in a very difficult situation and I sympathise. The only good news I can give is that for the moment, to acknowledge the fact that many people’s changes in working hours are temporary due to the crisis, Tax Credit hours and self-employed rules are suspended for 8 weeks. So you do not need to report your change in hours for eight weeks (rather than four) since they changed. This period may be extended, but we don’t know whether it will be yet.

      I hope this helps.

  • Hi I’m just wondering how do I find out if my employer is being honest about not being able to pay me during this pandemic, I’m a zero hour contact worker, I work for a small independently run company and my contract started on the 1st of March

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:20

      Hello Lin,

      I am very sorry to hear your employer won’t furlough you. Employees of any type of contract, including zero-hour contracts, can be furloughed. The cut-off date for being on a PAYE payroll has also very recently been changed from February 28th to March 19th. You should point out these changes to your employer to see if they will agree to furlough you in light of these developments.

      If your employer will not furlough you, and your income drops as a result of not having any work, you should see what benefits, such as Council Tax Support and Universal Credit, that you may be eligible for using our calculator (https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free). We recommend applying as soon as possible if your income has reduced and if you find you are eligible.

      Hope this helps.

  • Hi there I was working for an agency for 9 months , and obviously got laid off the middle of March because of copid 19, so I applied for job seekers allowance,but never heard nothing for 4 weeks , my agency has rang me and told me they are doing the furlough and I’ve been accepted as I will b going back to the job when the time is right, but today a payment from jsa has gone in my bank ,so I need some advice what do I do , I obviously want furlough but don’t know if that’s been gonna mess up cus jsa gave me a payment do I cancel jsa now ?? Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:27

      Hi Clinton,

      The best thing to do in this situation is to get in touch with the Job Centre to let them know of your change of circumstances. You will likely be asked to repay all or some of the JSA payment credited to your account, since it is not possible to claim furlough and contribution-based JSA at the same time (this is because technically you are still employed as a furloughed employee). The exact situation will depend on your circumstances – if you were unemployed when you applied for JSA you will be able to keep the amount credited to your account. In any case it will be best to confirm with the Job Centre: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/report-a-change-of-circumstances.

      Best wishes.

  • I am a 65 yo director of my own Ltd Co. I work from an office at home. I cannot furlough myself because of obligations under the Financial Conduct Authority which mean i must respond to clients. The company’s income in March dropped to £50 (but I was paid) and in April will be £0 and I won’t be paid. It would appear I cannot claim the Small Business Grant of £10,000 because I work from home and we pay domestic rates only. I have accum;lated £20,000 in savings but still have a mortgage. Is there any support I can get ?

    • Alannah McGhee
      May 7, 2020 09:24

      Hi Richard,

      You are right that there are restrictions to most furloughed employees which means they cannot undertake work for the company. Since the scheme was announced, however, there has been further clarification as to what this means for company directors. Specifically:
      “Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, i.e. they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.” (see the section titled ‘Company Directors’ in this link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme).

      In terms of benefit support, if your savings are above £16,000 you will unfortunately not be able to receive benefits support. If your savings drop below £16,000 you might be able to claim benefits if your household income is low (something you can check with our online calculator, here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free)

      Best wishes.

  • Hi,just asking a quick question i started my new job in 13th of march and the boss said to me on the 18th after i work the night said because of whats going on their going to have to let you go.not just me a couple of people and they have been there longer…..just want to know if i can get furlow?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:28

      Hi Chris,

      Your employer can claim furlough for you if you were on PAYE on or before 19th March 2020. The decision to furlough is at your employer’s discretion, however, so you will need to take this up with them.

      In the absence of furlough if your savings are below £16,000 and your income is low you may be able to claim Universal Credit or Council Tax Support (you can check this using our online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free).

      Best wishes.

  • I applied for Universal credit as I lost my job, no longer work since 16 of March. Been waiting for payment as of today for the period from 16 March-17 April. The UC said your payment is 0 for this period as they calculated as if I was still at work and getting salary paid. I informed them that I no longer working and had interview on the phone. The appeal for the decision info page given me a phone number to call, I was not able to get through although calling all day long today. Totally frustrating. Cant pay rent or buy food.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:51

      Hi Anna,

      I am very sorry to hear about your situation. One thing that you could try is contacting your local council about getting a Discretionary Housing Payment. These are allocated by the council to help people cover their rental costs, so could potentially help with your situation. We have some basic information about DHPs on our COVID-19 FAQ page here https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/, but you can also contact your local council directly about this. If you are able to get through to UC, you may also be able to take out an advance loan to cover your costs while you wait for your first full payment. However, since would need you to actually get through to UC, a DHP via your local council might be your best bet.

      I hope this helps, but let us know if we can help further at all.

  • Dean Henderson
    April 17, 2020 17:02

    I have received a letter from the NHS. The NHS has identified me as someone at risk of severe illness if I catch Coronavirus. They have advised me to stay at home for 12 weeks. Will this make me eligible to be furloughed?

  • Lorraine young
    April 17, 2020 16:26

    Have a state pension but still work part time have been furloughed should my employer pay me 80% of my wages

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:52

      Hi Lorraine,

      Yes, if you have been furloughed your employer can receive reimbursement for 80% of your normal wage through the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

      Best wishes.

  • steven campbell
    April 17, 2020 13:23

    Hi, I’m confused as to what I can claim for, I only became self employed in the middle of January and was told by HMRC that I didnt need to do my books this year as it was only 2 weeks or so before they were due. But the government scheme claims that you have to have been self employed for at least a year and have to have done a tax return. None of which I have.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:59

      Hi Steven,

      Unfortunately since you only became self-employed this year, you won’t be eligible for the HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. If you have savings under £16,000, you should be eligible for Universal Credit. You can use our free online benefit calculator (linked above) to see if you are eligible.

      All the best.

  • I am self employed and waiting for the 80% grant. I have just been offered a temporary job 2 days a week which I will be paid via PAYE just so I can make ends meet until I receive the grant and work returns back to normal. Will this be okay or will this cancel the grant out?

  • I have been on a temporary work assignment which is being brought to an end. There is no other work lined up for me at present as a result of the impact of Covid-19. Am I entitled to claim anything?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:56

      Hi Andrina,

      If you have been employed through PAYE, your employed may be able to place you on furlough. You can read more about this at the top of this page. This decision rests with your employer, so I’d recommend discussing this with them.

      If this is not an option, you should be eligible for benefits. You may be eligible for New Style JSA. This is a benefit for people who have previously been working and have paid national insurance in the last 2-3 years. You can find out more information to see if you’re eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa. If your savings are below £16,000 you may be able to get support from Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You can check this using our online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      All the best.

  • Hi,

    I am a supply teacher and before the furlough scheme was announced I applied for new style JSA as schools were being closed and I had no childcare for my daughter, so would no longer be able to work. Then they announced the retention scheme which I am eligible for. However I have now just recieved a JSA payment, will I now not be able to claim the 80% in the retention scheme? As I woukd receive more than the JSA payments. I cannot get through to any helplines for JSA.

    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:56

      Hi Marie,

      Yes, if your employer agrees to put you on furlough then this should not be a problem. I would recommend making sure your employer has agreed to this and ask them to confirm this with you in writing, and then try to get through to JSA to let them know of this change in circumstances.

      All the best.

  • I was a teacher on a temporary contract covering a maternity leave. The contract ended on 3 April. I had registered with an agency but have not worked for them and was due to start after Easter. The school I was working with are unable to furlough me as my contract was ending anyway before Coronavirus and I have not worked for the agency so they can’t either. My husband works so can not claim Universal Credit. I have apples for JSA over 3 weeks ago but have not heard anything back. I have a disability for which I receive standard rate PIP and have an 11 year old who I’m now homeschooling. I am receiving no financial assistance as all. Is there anything available for me?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 09:10

      Hi Julie,

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. If you haven’t already, I would fill out our benefits calculator (linked to at the top of this page). Universal Credit is both an in and out of work benefit so it is possible that you and your husband are eligible, but this will depend on your husband’s income and your joint savings.

      From the information that you have given it sounds like you will not be eligible for the older version of JSA (now known as income-based JSA). This is because you are not in receipt of a severe disability premium. You may be eligible for new-style JSA but this requires you have paid enough National Insurance over the last two years. As I mentioned before it is definitely worth checking our calculator to see whether or not you are eligible for Universal Credit.

      The calculator will also show any other benefits that you are eligible for such as Council Tax Support.

      I hope this helps.

  • Hi,

    My Dad receives his state pension and still works. His employer has advised they may have to furlough staff. Would this have any effect on his pension?

    Many thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 09:09

      Hi Sharon,

      Firstly if your Dad is still contributing to a pension then the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover his usual pension contributions.

      Otherwise, this is only likely to have an impact on his pension if his income falls below £167.75/week (or £255.25 if he is part of a couple). If this happens then he should be eligible for Pension Credit. If he does receive Pension Credit then he will also be eligible for a range of other benefits. You can find more details about Pension Credit here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/pension-credit/

      I hope this helps and all the best.

  • Hi,
    I’m a British Citizen who has lived abroad for 8yrs and had recently relocated back on March 2nd but my job hunt has ground to a halt due to Covid-19. I currently live with close family in a home they rent but I do have other expenses I need to be able to pay for and have no idea how long this situation will last for us all.
    I’ve been reading about returning citizens being ineligible for any sort of Universal Credit/JSA etc until 3 months of habitual residency has passed. Is this true? If so, has this requirement been lifted for Covid-19? I’m not sure what I’m eligible for and am in need of some guidance.

    Thank you!

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 09:08

      Hi Fifi,

      To pass the Habitual Residence Test you need to pass two elements:
      – Have a legal right to reside in the UK
      – Pass an assessment of evidence of habitual residence

      As a British citizen you have a right to reside. The second element will be decided on by a benefit decision maker and so there is some subjectivity regarding it. However given that you have already been in the UK for two months, and you have the intention of staying then you should be able to pass this element too.

      Assuming you pass the test then it is most likely that you will be eligible for Universal Credit and not JSA. This is because Universal Credit has replaced most forms of JSA.

      I hope this helps and all the best.

  • My sister is stuck abroad. The country is in lockdown and airport closed. All flights cancelled. She was due back at work this week and has let her work know. She is at habitat and they are refusing to furlough her. What can she do about pay

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:30

      Hi Nancy,

      So sorry to hear about your sister’s situation. If you think your sister would qualify for the furlough scheme and that her employer is not acting fairly, it may be worth speaking to employment specialists ACAS to clarify her situation and see what her rights are: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact.

      I wish you both all the best.

  • Niome linfitt
    April 16, 2020 18:11

    Me and my partner are both full time students, however since Covid 19 we have been struggling with money for food etc because all our student finance went in the last four months bills and rent, I can not risk going back into work as I have asthma and I used to work in security so high risk can I claim benefits or would I have to wait until I’m not classed as a full time student

  • Hi. I Want to cancel my Universal Credit request on gov.uk site but can’t find how to do this. Any ideas?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:30

      Hi Serg,

      Have you created an online Universal Credit account? If so, you can report this by logging into your account and going to your journal. Otherwise, I’d recommending calling the helpline on 0800 328 5644, though there may be a bit of a wait during this busy period.

      Best wishes.

      • I loss my job 18 February but I paid NI & Tax from March 2019 to 18 February 2020. Am I eligible for 80% wages?

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 22, 2020 09:22

          Hi,

          Unfortunately the furlough scheme for employees is only available to those who lost their work after 28th February, in which case employers can agree to re-employ them and receive the funding.

          If your savings are below £16,000, you will likely be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction. If you would like to check your eligibility for these and some smaller benefits, you can use our benefits calculator at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free
          The results page of the calculator will direct you to the application sites for the relevant benefits.

          I hope this helps but do get back in touch if you have further questions.

          Best wishes.

  • Hi, I was made redundant on 26th Feb 2020 and started a new job on 16th of March 2020 and have recieved my first salary payment on 28th March but I have been told I am unable to get furloung payment.
    Please can you help me please.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:21

      Hi Susan,

      If you were on your new employer’s PAYE scheme before the 19th of March, then you should be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme. If you were added to the PAYE system after the 19th, then you would not be eligible to be furloughed.

      If your employer is not able to put you on furlough, and your income is reduced, you may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support if you have less than £16,000 in savings (you can check your eligibility using our free online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free).

      I hope this helps, but do let us know if you have further questions.

  • Fiona Davis
    April 16, 2020 15:21

    Hello I work in the TV industry and work freelance contract PAYE and on an Invoice basis. The industry was incredibly quiet at the beginning of the year and I like many people in the industry were out of work waiting for the busy period to kick in, which was beginning to happen at the front end of March as budgets and commissions started coming in. Then the industry went dark and nearly all productions ceased and no new commissions were followed through.
    I was already on UC from the beginning of February after my last payment in the middle of January. Is there any other money that I can apply for because Universal Credit of £335 a month is not enough to live off when I include my outgoings of various bills, this comes down to £12 a day ! I am definitely falling through any cracks that could give help any advice you have would be fantastic.
    Thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:23

      Hello Fiona,

      If you are not already claiming Council Tax Support then that would definitely be worth looking into (most of those eligible for Universal Credit will be eligible for CTS also). You can check your eligibility for CTS (and other forms of support) using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. If you made sufficient National Insurance contributions in the past two years, you may also be eligible for contributory Job Seekers Allowance (which is paid on top of Universal Credit). Finally, if you are renting, you could contact your local council about the possibility of receiving a Discretionary Housing Payment to help cover your rent costs.

      You can find out some more details about these forms of support on our COVID-19 FAQ page https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I hope this helps, but do let us know if you have any further questions.

  • I have recieved a doctors letter to isolate for 12wk I work in a supermarket will I still get paid my worry is 12 was with no money

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:26

      Hi Looby,

      If you have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you should shield for 12 weeks and you were a PAYE employee on 19 March, this means your employer can choose to put you on furlough (also known as the ‘COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme’). You will need to speak to your employer about making arrangements for this.

      If this is not possible, you might be able to claim Universal Credit or Council Tax Support, provided that your savings are below £16,000.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi, me and my miss are working for a outsource company.
    We decided to self-isolate about 2.5 weeks ago and today we got back to work because we just get sick pay 94£ and we can not survive with that, we thought we gonna get 80% help from gov.
    What’s happening now is that one of our housemate has symptoms of COVID19 since yesterday and he self-isolate himself.

    My question is: WE MUST SELF-ISOLATE AFTER TODAY BECAUSE OUR FLATMATE HAS SYMPTOMS AND WILL WE BE ABLE TO GET NOW THE 80% HELP FROM THE GOV BECAUSE OF THIS SITUATION?

    Vasile

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:29

      Hi Vasile,

      My understanding of NHS guidance about self-isolation is that you would indeed need to self isolate. However we are not health specialists so please do check the NHS guidance on this. Here is Government guidance reported by the BBC for your reference:

      “– If you, or someone you live with, develop symptoms, the entire household needs to isolate for 14 days to monitor for signs of COVID-19
      — If someone else does become ill during that period, their seven-day isolation starts that day. For example, it might run from day three to day 10 – when that person’s isolation would then end. It would not restart if another member of the household fell ill
      — But anyone who fell ill on day 13 would have to start a separate seven-day isolation from that day (meaning they would spend a total of 20 days at home)” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51506729 – their page is updated regularly to reflect Government guidance)

      The second part of your question relates to the 80% Job Retention Scheme. To receive the 80% your employer must choose to do this by applying for the grant. Unfortunately, it is not an automatic payment that employees can apply for themselves.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • David Chapman
    April 16, 2020 13:40

    Hi
    I started my new position 2nd March and unfortunately could not be furloughed. With the government changing the date up to 19th March I was hoping I am now eligible.

    I have been in touch with my employer and the finance team believe it is still not possible due to them not submitting an RTI (it is done monthly).
    I have proof I’m on the employment software from 2nd March and a payslip for March. Is there any way I can receive CJRS?
    Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:20

      Hi David,

      Unfortunately now the government has published the full regulations it does seem your employer would need to have made a payment to you which is recorded via RTI on or before 19 March 2020. RTI is usually submitted a week before the payment date, so if it wasn’t submitted or before 19 March in your case you would not be eligible. You might try to clarify when RTI was submitted to double check. You can see the government’s updated advice (see heading “Employees you can claim for”) here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      We’d also recommend using our benefits calculator to see what income you might now be eligible for if you haven’t already: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I have a question

    My brother has just bought a house with his soon to be wife.
    Now my brother wife she’s getting full pay from her work place but my brother ain’t working atm. I see there any benefit that my brother could claim?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:43

      Hi Theo,

      There might be. He can use our benefits calculator to see what he might get: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. Depending on how much his wife earns and their other circumstances, he might be eligible for Universal Credit. If he’s been in work in the past two years and made a certain level of national insurance payments he might also be eligible for contributory (sometimes called “new-style” JSA).

      Best wishes.

  • Colin Lampard
    April 16, 2020 11:53

    Hi I am wondering weather to claim universal credit as have been sent home from work since 23 March by my employer due to government advice ! I am self employed and I’m hoping I will be eligible for 80% wage scheme ! I seem to fit the criteria for such grant I hope but won’t no until contacted by HMRC ! My question is if I claim universal credit will it be deducted from 80% wage scheme when I get it ????? Many thanks Cecil

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:42

      Hi Cecil,

      If your savings are below £16,000 you are likely eligible for Universal Credit and this will not impact your furlough payments in the future.

      However, if you do receive support through the HMRC-administered scheme, then your Universal Credit award that month will likely be £0 due to high income from the scheme.

      Best wishes.

  • Rebecca Rowley
    April 16, 2020 11:26

    Hi, I’ve recently been put on furlough, and as I understand, I can make a claim for universal credit to help cover the costs. Upon going through the universal credit claim form, however, there is no option to state that I am a furloughed worker. What should I do? Do I put in or out of work, as technically I am employed?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:41

      Hi Rebecca,

      You should enter in your claim that you are employed. Your income will then be assessed for the four weeks following your initial claim date. If you are not earning over that time, you will likely receive your maximum Universal Credit (unless you receive certain types of other income).

      When you do eventually receive your furlough payment, this will taper your Universal Credit award down. You may not receive any Universal Credit the month/s you receive furlough payment but your previous UC awards will not impact your furlough package.

      I hope this helps, best wishes.

  • My employer, a not for profit org, has agreed to pay me the jobkeeper allowance as long as I keep working full time and make a tax deductable donation to the equivalent to two days pay each week. Can they do this?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:39

      Hi Dave,

      I’m not sure if you mean Job Seeker’s Allowance or the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) payments which the government have made available during the COVID-19 crisis.

      Job Seeker’s Allowance is not funding through which your employer can pay you. JSA is a benefit administered directly by DWP, which has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people. You could claim Universal Credit while working if your earnings are low enough. However, this does not excuse your employer from paying you and provides no basis for them to alter your contract with them. Your employer also has no basis for enforcing you make a donation to the organisation.

      If you mean the Job Retention funding, then your employer cannot ask you to continue working while paying you this way, as the scheme is specifically for employees who are no longer working but who have been retained as staff.

      I would advise you contact employment rights specialists ACAS to see what your rights in this situation are: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      Best of luck, I hope this helps.

  • Hi, I’m currently self employed with earnings around £600 a month and in receipt of UC with Housing Benefit element. I just wanted to find out how Benefit Cap is affected during Coronavirus when my earnings are much lower ? Will the Benefit Cap be applied or it has been lift off. I contacted UC via journal but no reply being sent for over a week .
    Please advise .
    Regards

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:38

      Hi Tanya,

      The benefit cap has not been increased but the Minimum Income Floor has been temporarily suspended. This means that your lower earnings should lead to a higher benefit award but this is capped at the relevant threshold (£20,000/year outside of London, £23,000 inside London).

      Best wishes.

  • Josephine Patten-Walsh
    April 15, 2020 23:00

    Hi, I am a self employed Pyschotherapist working from home on a one to one and face to face basis with my clients. Due to the lockdown it is not possible for my clients to come to me or me to them and so I have tried a few online sessions with some of them but most do not want to do this because of the lack of privacy when other members of their family are around. This is causing great financial hardship to me and great harm to the people that, at this time, need even more help in their lives. Is there any government help for me in this situation ?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 28, 2020 09:06

      Hi Josephine,

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. As you are self-employed, if your profits were below £50,000 per annum then it is likely that you are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. If you are eligible you will receive 80% of your average earnings. HMRC will contact you at the beginning of June to begin payments and you will receive backdated payments from March.

      This of course does not help in the short-term. I would recommend filling out our benefits calculator if you haven’t already. It is possible that you are eligible for Universal Credit if your savings are below £16,000 and this could support you until you begin receiving the grant. Depending on your income you may continue to receive Universal Credit once you begin receiving the grant.

      I hope this helps.

  • jonathan hodges
    April 15, 2020 22:41

    Hi
    My granddaughter who is 4 1/2 weeks pregnant, has been given a termination of employment & 4 weeks notice. The reason given was financial losses from the covid outbreak.Her employer has kept the business open but refuses to furlough her but can’t give her a reason & as she has only worked there less than 2 years doesn’t qualify for redundancy. I am already seeking advice for the legal aspects as it appears to be constructive / discrimination but can you advise on what benefit she could apply for as she is very stressed about losing her private rented flat with her boyfriend & they will be left with very low income within a few weeks
    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:47

      Hi Jonathan,

      If your grandaughter’s partner has a low income and their combined savings are below £16,000 then they can likely claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction. Universal Credit includes an element to cover at least part of an applicant’s rent.

      If she has been paying Class 1 or 2 National Insurance while in her job, she is likely also eligible for ‘new-style’ Job Seeker’s Allowance, irrespective of her savings. I hope this helps.

      All the best.

  • I’ve be made unemployed because of the Coronavirus on the 20th March
    My wife works for the NHS and we have more than £16.000 in savings
    can I claim anything

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:46

      Hi Colin,

      I’m very sorry to hear that. If you have paid Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions over the past two to three years, you can claim ‘new-style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance. The application for this can be made here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa

      All the best.

  • My company were unable to furlough me due to me not being there for long so they laid me off without paying a notice period (again said it was because of how long I had been there) I applied for JSA as I have bills to pay the day after and I still haven’t heard anything that was 3.5 weeks ago. Any idea what I can do, every time I try and call I am unable to get through.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:45

      Hi Kim,

      As the self-employed support is based on tax returns for the financial year 2018/19, you could take a temporary job while waiting for the payment in/by June.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi, This might sound stupid, but I’ve been furloughed this afternoon and I am busy applying for UC, do I put in my existing unfurloughed salary or my soon to be furloughed salary?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:37

      Hi Richard,

      Not a stupid question at all! You should enter the income you expect to receive during the assessment period (the first four weeks after you claim) which is your furloughed income.

      I hope this helps.

  • Amalia Gestaldi
    April 15, 2020 14:28

    Hi guys,

    Hope you all safe 🙂

    I was on a 0 hours contract and all my shifts got cancelled as the virus started to spread in March (my last shift was on the 13th).

    I applied for Universal Credit after being informed I would not get hours anymore, and today I got the confirmation my request has been approved.

    In the meantime, my employer decided to furlough me for the time being ( I was not expecting it at all), and I will get 200 pounds per week, since they calculate an average of the hours I worked before February the 28th and at the time I was doing fewer hours.

    Ergo, my salary has been reduced as effect of being furloughed and anyway I am on a low income and I have housing cost.

    Just think my rent is 600 a month and with the furlough I will get 800 a month.

    Is HMRC informing directly the UC of how much I earn or should I speak with UC about this?

    My understanding is I am not doing anything illegal because I am on a low-income even if I have been furloughed and also I believe they approved my request after doing all the checks with HMRC.

    Thanks so much for your help.

    I appreciate it!

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:37

      Hi Amalia,

      This is absolutely fine. UC is designed to be both an in and out of work benefit, so you having earnings while on UC is completely fine.

      HMRC will inform the DWP that your earnings have changed and your UC award will be updated to reflect this, there is no need to inform the DWP yourself. I would double check that you entered on your UC claim that you are employed, however, as being furloughed is technically a form of employment and this is the kind of change which must be reported in your UC journal.

      If you would like to check how much you will receive you can fill out our benefits calculator (linked to at the top of this page).

      Kind regards.

  • Just a quick question I work at a supermarket and have for many years, however, due to symptoms I am unable to work and I am self-isolating. I am on minimum wages around 17,000 a year and I am struggling to make ends meet, is any help available?

  • Hi
    I am sixty nine and have been a self employed composite technician for over thirty years. All accounts are up to date. I have deferred my state pension, and do not have a private pension. I earn more than i would get if i took my pension. ( I net around £16,000 after all expensed) . Am I eligible for the 80% Corvid 18 grant?

  • Hi i hope you can advise me my employer has put me on furlough I heard second hand through a colleague not from my employer directly, I have had no correspondence from my boss I thought you had to sign a letter or at least be sent an email or txt so it’s in writing. Received my first payment as I am paid weekly and found that I am being paid 80% of my contracted 16 hours. I actually work between 27 and 30 each week (would this be varied hours?) and have done for a couple of years. Is this right as if so I’m not getting 80% of usual working hours in fact I’m receiving less than 50% is this allowed? Do they have to follow government guidelines or can they pay less if they choose. Employer said they have sought legal advice and can pay on contract hours is that correct.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 17, 2020 09:28

      Hi Jane,

      You’re right – your employer really should let you know about this. The government guidances says that ‘your employer must confirm in writing that you have been furloughed to be eligible to claim. Contact your employer if you do not receive confirmation.’. So I’d recommend getting in touch with your employer as soon as possible to ask about this. If they are not cooperating, it may also be worth speaking to employment specialists ACAS to clarify your situation and what your rights are: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      About whether they can base the 80% on your contracted hours, the government advice is that the 80% can be based on your ‘regular’ wages. They say that if your pay varies month to month, this means the 80% can be based on the higher of: a) the amount you earned in the same month last year, or b) an average of your monthly earnings from the last year. You should discuss this with your employer and again, if your employer does not cooperate, ACAS may be able to help. You can find the full government guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      All the best.

  • Hi, I am a small business owner and have been given the grant for small businesses under the COVID-19 grant, my question is do I have to pay tax on this and also do I declare this on my self assessment as income? bit confused.
    Thanks
    Tracey

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 15, 2020 17:39

      Hi Tracey,

      The grant for small businesses is taxable. The grant is considered as part of your self-employment income so I would assume that this should then be declared during your self-assessment.

      I hope this helps and all the best.

      • Cheryl Stonehouse
        April 17, 2020 15:26

        Hi I am employed by large chain supermarket and I am Type 1 Diabetic so I have decided to self isolate as I cannot work from home. My company has told me I cannot be furloughed but will get SSP. I have not received a letter from Dr but my friend has who has a pace maker fitted and they are paying her 100% wages. Could you just tell me please if this is correct.
        Thank you….

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 21, 2020 10:47

          Hi Cheryl,

          Unfortunately the Job Retention Scheme that allows workers to be furloughed is at the employer’s discretion. Statutory Sick Pay is supposed to be a short-term cover for absence due to illness, and the government guidance points out that it should not be seen as an alternative to furloughing employees. According to the government website, “Short term illness/ self-isolation should not be a consideration in deciding whether to furlough an employee. If, however, employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are eligible to do so, as with other employees. In these cases, the employee should no longer receive sick pay and would be classified as a furloughed employee.” In case it is of use to you or your employer this guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#employees-you-can-claim-for, but given that they are a large chain store I would expect they have a company-wide policy that is being applied in your case.

          Your friend who has received 100% will have done so because the government is encouraging employers to top up the 80% of wages covered by the Job Retention Scheme.

          If the income provided by your sick pay is not covering your costs, you may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support (depending on your overall level of income and savings). You can check your eligibility using our calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free (which also includes information and links on how to claim). If you rent and are having difficulty covering your rent payments, you could also contact your local council about the possibility of receiving a Discretionary Housing Payment. You can find more info about all these types of support on our COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

          I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any further questions.

  • HI Really hope you can help as I’m struggling for answers on this one,
    Basically my wife was employed during 2018-2019 financial year But became self employed childminder for the last three months of that year, However the business made little profit (under £1000), so was told NOT to bother with the self employed tax return for that year. This year 2019-2020 trading profits were £14000 Approx, but because she didn’t submit accounts for the year before she is currently not eligible for The Self-employment Income Support Scheme Grant!!!
    Is it worth me submitting a return for 2018-2019 now, any idea what she maybe entitled to on the above figures? if its a low amount as the profits for 2018-2019 will reduce any proposed payments, I can’t really see its worth the paperwork!

    Thanks in advance

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:33

      Hi Leon,

      She can still submit her tax return for the year 2018-19, but she will need to do it by 23 April 2020 if she wants to claim the self-employed scheme.

      The crucial question for whether she will be eligible for the scheme will be whether her profit from the childminding during 2018-19 made up more than half of her income for that tax year. If her earnings from her employment were more than her earnings from self-employment then it’s likely she wouldn’t be eligible for the scheme – you can see the full criteria here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#who-can-claim

      If she is eligible for the scheme, what she receives will be worked out based on her average trading profit in the tax year 2018 to 2019. The grant will be 80% of her average trading profit for that year, divided by 12 which will give a monthly amount. So for example, if her profit for that year was £1,000, she would be eligible for around £66 each month (£1,000 multiplied by 0.8, then divided by 12). As your first payment wouldn’t come in until early June, you might receive several month’s payments at once (currently it is planned to last for 3 months, though the scheme might be extended).

      You can also see what other support you might be eligible for with our benefits calculator: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishesm

  • Tom Venables
    April 15, 2020 07:57

    Hi,

    My wife is self employed, and has filed an 18/19 return. However she has been on statutory maternity since October 19, due to finish May 20. Will she be able to get the 80% help? Struggling to find any info on this!

    Thanks
    Tom

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:34

      Hi Tom,

      We’ve not seen any specific advice for this situation either unfortunately. The relevant guidance is likely to be how to interpret these criteria: “You must have been trading as self-employed in the tax year 2019-20, are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19, and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21.”

      I would suggest that as it stands she is not trading so could not apply. However, after May 20 if she returns to trading (or would if not for the impact of COVID-19), if she then applied for the scheme she would meet the criteria that she is trading when she applies. So it may be that after her maternity finishes she will be eligible. As the scheme is not expected to pay out until early June anyway it could be that her maternity makes little practical difference, but as there’s no specific guidance at this stage it’s difficult to say. You can see similar guidance from Maternity Action here (note particularly the final sentence about asking the government for clarification): https://maternityaction.org.uk/covidmaternityfaqs/maternity-pay-and-benefits-for-self-employed-women/

      We expect the government to publish more detailed guidance soon and will update our information as and when this is announced, so please do check back for more. In the meantime, you could also use our calculator to check you’re getting all the benefits you’re eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free You can enter statutory maternity in the “Other income: savings, investments, pensions and other benefits” section.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi , I was working part time as childminder since November 19 and in March my employer told me to stay off as they have less children due to Covid 19 and I am still off . My employer is not ready to give me 80% wages as the Government announced. But she mentioned this to rest of the employees except me . She has not gave me any wage slips since November . What should I do know? Please advise , thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:44

      Hi Sara,

      I’m sorry that you are in this situation with your employer. Unfortunately the 80% Job Retention Scheme is available at the discretion of the employer – so they do not have to place you on ‘furlough’ if they do not wish to. Whether this decision has other legal implications (for example in terms of unfair or discriminatory treatment) is a more complex matter that we are not able to advise on. Other organisations might be able to help if you wanted to take this further though – you can search for advice here: https://advicelocal.uk/ – and Citizens Advice Bureau have also written useful guidance in relation to problems at work: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/what-help-can-i-get-with-a-problem-at-work/.

      If your savings are below £16,000, and your income is low, you may also be able to claim Universal Credit and/or Council Tax Support. You can check this using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I work 22.5 hours a week but my partners boss has said he is making them redundant rather than furloughing them! We currently receive tax credits what can we do next ?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:32

      Hello Jo,

      I am very sorry to hear you may become redundant.

      You may be eligible for some other benefits because you have no income, like Universal Credit and council tax support. You can calculate your eligibility using our free calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      If you have been made redundant, you may be eligible for contributory or New Style ESA/JSA. The criteria for eligibility are on this page. This is a separate application process from Universal Credit.

      Keep in mind that if you decide to apply for Universal Credit you will lose your tax credits, and there is a five week wait for the first payment, so don’t delay if you are eligible.

      The hours rule for working tax credits have been relaxed for the COVID-19 period and has been extended to 8 weeks, and may be extended further so do check these pages for any updates. This means that even if your hours have dropped, you don’t need to report this to HMRC for the before 8 weeks, and you’ll continue to be paid based on your old working hours.

      I hope this helps.

  • nichola english
    April 14, 2020 18:34

    Hi I’m currently self employed with no income at all just tax credit at a reduced rate due to the DWP on the 14th Feb 2020 taking away my disability payments (PIP) I have been disabled for 18 years and in receipt for that payment until now. I’m currently going through the process of a reconsideration, as you can image along with a disability that effects my walking, I’m feeling very vulnerable right, I don’t think I qualify for the government grant as per my account. What other benefits can I claim that won’t effect my tax credits. Any advice would be appreciated

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:33

      Hi Nichola,

      The main thing you can do is report to HMRC that your income is now zero due to loss of PIP. HMRC are now ‘ignoring’ change of earnings as a trigger for migration to Universal Credit, so your future tax credit payments should increase.

      As for other forms of support, you may be eligible to claim Council Tax Support (if you are not already claiming it – you can check your eligibility using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free). If you are in rented accommodation, you could also contact your local council to see if they can provide you with a Discretionary Housing Payment to help cover your rent costs in the short term.

      I hope this helps, but please do let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

      • nichola english
        April 23, 2020 12:40

        Hi Alannah Thank you for the reply will get in touch with tax credit to speak to them about this .

        Thank you
        Nichola

  • Hi Im employed on 0 hours contract. Not been at work since 23.03 because of lockdown, I was earning about £650 Per month- depends on biznes so I earn bellow my personal tax allowance, ( on my payslip it’s saying PAYE 0.00 and NIN 0.00 ) I have spoke to my company about gov support- the answer was- we don’t know if u will get it so thats my question- will I and many of my colleagues in very similar position will be able to get this 80% gov help? Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 15, 2020 17:38

      Hi Ann,

      Employers on zero-hour contracts can be furloughed through the new Job Retention Scheme. So long as you were on your employer’s PAYE system on 28th February of this year then they can claim reimbursement for 80% of your wages. They can base this claim on either you average earnings for the 2019-20 tax year, or your earnings in the same month last year, whichever is higher. If it is helpful to you or your employer, the official government guidance on the Job Retention Scheme is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#employees-you-can-claim-for (and is very clear that employees on zero-hour contracts are eligible).

      I hope this helps, but do let us know if you have any other questions we might be able to help with.

  • Hello,

    I work night shift, and as part of that get paid 30% uplift on top of my basic rate that is in my contract (also get the 30% uplift if we take annual leave). I have recently been furloughed and company have said they will pay us 80% of our basic rate, and we must take 1 day of annual leave per week which will be paid at basic rate instead of the usual uplifted rate, Therefore I am losing 30% wage plus a day of annual leave per week, which is being paid at a 30% lower rate than usual.

    Is this the correct procedure? Or should I be paid 30% of uplifted rate as this is what we always get paid (my work is consistent night work).

    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 17, 2020 09:31

      Hi Harry,

      If you entered in your claim that you are employed then you have not entered any incorrect information and if you receive no income over your initial assessment period, then you remain eligible for support to cover that month. When the furlough payment enters your bank, then you may no longer be eligible for support over the relevant assessment period. It would be worth making a UC journal entry about this payment when that day comes, just to be sure that you have informed DWP of all relevant changes to income.

      Best wishes.

  • John England
    April 14, 2020 16:24

    I’m currently getting 80% of my wages paid. I was working 16hours per week. Can I claim back the other 20% of my 16 hrs. As this is my wife & my only income.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 17, 2020 09:31

      Hi John,

      If your savings are below £16,000 then you will likely be able to claim Universal Credit to top up your income. This will not necessarily meet the 20% of your full earnings which has been lost but your income will be assessed against your joint claim with your wife, and your current earnings will reduce your award from the maximum level of support. You may also be eligible for Council Tax Reduction, which is awarded by your local authority. You can use our benefit calculator to assess your eligibility across the whole welfare system, at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      All the best.

  • Can i still appy for job seeker allowance even though i am receiving 80% pay from my employer?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 17, 2020 09:30

      Hi Vawana,

      As you remain employed while you are furloughed, you cannot claim jobseeker’s allowance. However, you may be able to claim Universal Credit to top up your earnings. Your combined income (with your partner if you have one) will be assessed against your household circumstances. However, if your savings are above £16,000, you will not be eligible. You can use our benefits calculator to assess your eligibility for UC and other benefits at the following link: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hi
    the furlough money that I am going to get from the Govt, will this be count as my annual income?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 11:00

      Hi Don,

      Yes, any income you receive while furloughed will count as normal income and you will have to pay tax on it.

      All the best.

  • Firstly, thank you, this website and these threads have been invaluable in navigating all this!

    I am a self employed actress/agent/teacher, I have completed self assessment for over 10 years and earn over 50% of my earnings through self employment. My self employed income has disappeared because of the virus but I intend to continue being self employed as soon as possible!

    In the mean time have taken a temporary, part time job in a supermarket to tide me over and pay bills/mortgage etc until the government provide support in June. (I am not eligible for universal credit as my spouse has savings). Will I still be eligible for the self employed government grant? Or will this be affected by my PAYE job?

    Thank you. Laura

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:36

      Hi Laura,

      I’m glad to hear you find the page helpful. We will continue to update it with the latest information as soon as it is released so do check back if you need.

      From the guidance we have available it should be that your grant will not be impacted. The key part is that you intend to be self employed this financial year once you are able to.

      I hope this helps.

  • Hi there,
    I am self employed and have been for many years, but I am due to start maternity leave soon (baby due 19th May). I haven’t been able to work due to covid since mid March. Does anyone know if i will still be able to claim all or a percentage of the self employed income support in june? I can’t seem to find any info anywhere on how maternity pay may affect the self employed income scheme. I wonder whether it is worth me holding off and not applying for maternity pay as the self employed income would be much more. Many thanks ,

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:36

      Hi Alice,

      From my understanding of the rules, as long as you intend to technically remain self-employed this financial year you will be able to claim through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. The amount you receive will be 80% of your average monthly salary from the last three years

      This may be subject to change, I know that Maternity Action has asked the Government for clarification, so it would be worth checking back with this question seven on this page as they will post the response they receive: https://maternityaction.org.uk/covidmaternityfaqs/maternity-pay-and-benefits-for-self-employed-women/

      I hope this helps.

  • shaun allen
    April 14, 2020 12:26

    hi im a ltd company director and i applied for universal credit a couple of weeks ago before it was made clear i could claim through the furlough scheme.
    Today ive furloughed myself back dated to march, my question is do i need to inform UC of this?
    I told UC that i wasnt earning anything which is correct but my accountants have told me i should declare that im earning £712 per month through PAYE (which is my monthly average for the last tax year) is this correct? if i use that number on your calculator it says im not entitled to any UC! im so confused.
    I havnt actually worked since October and all work in my field has dried up. any advice would be appreciated. thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 15, 2020 14:00

      Hi Shaun,

      If you entered in your claim that you are employed then you have not entered any incorrect information and if you receive no income over your initial assessment period, then you remain eligible for support to cover that month. When the furlough payment enters your bank, then you will no longer be eligible for support over the relevant assessment period and it would be worth making a journal entry about this payment when that day comes, just to be sure that you have informed DWP of all relevant changes to income.

      Best wishes.

  • LINDSAY DILLECE PIEKARSKI
    April 14, 2020 11:27

    Can i get a temporary job while waiting for the self employed scheme to kick in?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 11:14

      Hello Lindsay,

      We have found some guidelines regarding this:

      “For those self-employed persons whose trade is heavily impacted by coronavirus, it is possible to take on a different job. Though it is important to stress that eligibility for the scheme does require that self-employed persons are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus, and that they intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21.”

      Link: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8879/

      As long as you don’t close their business and are still trading, according to this, you should be okay.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi. I have an employee who has relatives at home who are shielding due to long term illnesses. He has self-isolated for 2 weeks and has now asked to be put on the Job Retention Scheme. My issue is that we have work for him. The project he was working on is still ongoing and we have been asked to provide tradesmen there. We have work available and as such I do not want to make him redundant. However, I appreciate he does not want to work in order to shield his relatives. Can I place him on the Job Retention Scheme?

  • Hi,I received my tax credits payments last week but there was no increase payments it was same amount as before,I thought we supposed to get increase in tax credit.i get paid every four week thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 15, 2020 13:59

      Hi Shally,

      It is possible that the payment you received last week was intended to cover a period before the 6th April, since payments are made in arrears. This is the most likely scenario if you are paid 4-weekly. If this is not the case and the payment covers a period from the 6th of April and you have not seen an increase, it will be worth getting in touch with HMRC so they can explain to you why the increase hasn’t been applied, or rectify things if an error has been made.

      Best wishes.

      • Elise Williams
        April 18, 2020 17:01

        hi, It depends if your wtc is from the old system or if you get it through Universal credits! Because people on the old legacy benefits and old system will not be getting the increase only universal credit claiments!! Its amazed me how the goverment think its remotly acceptable to increase uc claiments because of coronvirus but us on the old system have been told we wont be getting it!! And there is nothing or has been nothing since on this matter! Its disgracefull because benefits are benefits wether its old or new system but were being penalised! The goverment still right now are throwing money left right and centre but they are just not revisiting the old legacy benefit sitiation for some reason!

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 22, 2020 09:34

          Hi Elise,

          Working tax credit within the legacy system has seen an increase of £20/week within the basic element. More details of this can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/increase-to-working-tax-credits-what-this-means

          You are right, however, that there are now differences between Universal Credit claimants and legacy claimants who do not receive WTC. Unfortunately, we have no reason to believe the government will change this.

          Best wishes.

  • Hi I’m currently on maternity leave, receiving statutory maternity pay and due to return to contracted hours in June (24 hours a week). My partner is no longer in full time work , he joined the company after 28 February so can not benefit from the government furlough scheme. He has managed to secure 14 hours a week at Tesco. Is it solely Universal credit we can apply for?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:36

      Hi Maisie,

      You can use our calculator to see what other benefits you might be eligible for: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free On top of Universal Credit, you might be eligible for Council Tax Support, as well as potentially (depending on your circumstances) several other smaller benefits such as warm homes discount for non-pensioners and free school meals. On the calculator’s results page, if you look at the green “Information about your case” box on the right hand side it will suggest what other support you might be eligible for.

      Depending on your partner’s national insurance contributions over the past two years, you may also be eligible for ‘new-style’ JSA. As he’s working less than 16 hours a week on average he could be eligible. You can see details about eligibility for it here too: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/eligibility, and there’s specific info on how much you would receive in your situation in our benefits calculator.

      You could also look into the recently announced Turn2us Coronavirus Grant fund, which you can find details for here: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/get-support/Turn2us-Funds/Turn2us-Coronavirus-Grant-Fund

      One final thing to mention is that the government’s furlough scheme has been extended to include those who entered work and were on their employer’s PAYE system by 19th March. This may include your partner, in which case he may wish to discuss being furloughed with his former employer. He should check his previous employment contract, as it may bar him from receiving furlough earnings at the same time as working at Tesco if a second job is not permitted within the contract terms.

      Best wishes.

  • Jayne Warburton
    April 13, 2020 20:42

    Hi I was told not to come into work 3 weeks ago today as workplace was closing temporarily because of covid 19, thought we would be getting the furlough payment but not received any payment for 3 weeks my boss has only rung me once which was today said he has no cash flow to pay me, and doesn’t know how to go for the furlough were do I go from here thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 10:44

      Hi Jayne,

      I’m sorry to hear that. While your boss is unable to pay you, I’d recommend claiming Universal Credit. Your claim will be assessed based on your income over a one month period starting the day you claim, so if you continue not being paid for that month you would likely receive a significant level of Universal Credit. You can get an estimate of what you might be eligible for using our calculator (if you state you are in work but your hours of work are 0 that should reflect your current situation): http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free If you are eligible, we recommend applying ASAP so that one month assessment period can begin immediately (and you may also be able to receive an advance sooner).

      In the short-term, you might also want to look into Turn2us’s new Coronavirus grant scheme: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/get-support/Turn2us-Funds/Turn2us-Coronavirus-Grant-Fund

      You should also try to get further clarification on whether your employer will be applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It might help to share the key details of that scheme with them which you can find here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/ and the more in depth notes for them here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. They should be able to apply for the scheme through that website when it’s launched towards the end of April. Before then, you could ask them to confirm in writing that you will be furloughed. From the details you’ve shared here it sounds like you might be eligible for the scheme, but you (and your employer) can check more in depth using these links.

      If you are concerned that your employer might not apply for the scheme and says they can’t afford to pay you, you might also want to contact employment rights specialists ACAS to see what your rights in this situation are: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      Best wishes.

  • Andy Watson
    April 13, 2020 19:10

    Bit of a dilemma. I have been furloughed, normally paid weekly. Last pay over 3 weeks ago, next pay would be under furlough agreement around the end of April or sometime in May. I have been with the same company over a year, no other income, live on my own, no financial support available from friends or family and no savings. Is there any help for people in a similar situation? Thanks in advance

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 14, 2020 17:36

      Hi Andy,

      It sounds like you might be eligible for Universal Credit (as well as possibly some other benefits). You can use our calculator to see how much you might get: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free If you are eligible, you should apply ASAP as there’s a five week wait between the date you claim and your first payment (but you may also be able to receive an advance). Your eligibility will be assessed over a one month period from the day you claim, so how much you are eligible for will depend on when your furloughed pay finally arrives. If your pay arrives during the assessment month you might be eligible for less Universal Credit, but as there’s a chance it could arrive after, you might be eligible for a significant amount, at least for one month.

      As your employer has stopped paying you, you might want to clarify precisely what your status is with them and when they will resume paying you. The furlough scheme is intended to be used to refund your employer for the reduced wages they pay you and can be backdated to the start of March, so they should be paying you now and then receiving the government refund towards the end of April. If you are unsure about your rights at work you might also consult ACAS: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      You could also look into the recently announced Turn2us Coronavirus Grant fund, which you can find details for here: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/get-support/Turn2us-Funds/Turn2us-Coronavirus-Grant-Fund

      Best wishes.

      • Hi,

        I get e-mail today that probably I will not get a paid as normal (at the end of the Month ) because my Company still didn’t get anything from goverment. Is there anything what I can do with that? I am guessing that my Company havent got enough money now to pay me (recruitment Company, I work for them 1year)

        Thanks,
        Ewa

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 21, 2020 10:44

          Hi Ewa,

          I think you are referring to the 80% Job Retention Scheme (also referred to as the ‘furlough’ scheme). Unfortunately the decision to furlough is left at the discretion of the employer. The first payments to employers were received yesterday and they will continue to be paid by the Government in the coming weeks, depending on when the employer applied/applies. It may therefore be worth checking with your employer if they have claimed and if they have not, to encourage them to do so. I hope this helps but if you have a more specific question please do let me know.

          Best wishes.

  • I an a 73-y-o female working part-time in a Residential Home – 25 hours per week. I am self isolating – shielding – in line with govt advice to people over 70 with underlying health conditions, I am type 2 diabetes. The problem is my employer will not give me sick pay without a doctor’s note, which I can’t obtain as my doc isn’t available. My employer will not furlough me so in effect I have no income. What can I do?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:45

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’m sorry that your employer hasn’t been clear with you on this.

      A formal doctor’s note is not required in order to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first 7 days. For these 7 days, you can ‘self-certify’, meaning nothing is required from anybody other than yourself. After this period (or, if you prefer, before) you can provide an ‘isolation note’, available here: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/. However, there does seem to be a distinction between self-isolating and shielding in terms of eligibility for SSP. SSP covers those that are self-isolating, but not those that are shielding. If you do not qualify for SSP, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance if you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions (or earned enough credits) over the last two financial years (details of this are at the top of this page).

      You may also be able to claim Universal Credit if your savings are below £16,000 and income is low. This would be in addition to any SSP or Employment and Support Allowance. You can check your eligibility using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi

    I’ve previously been on Universal Credit and had started a new job for about a month, but my claim has now been closed as my last earning was enough that my claim after the taper rate was £0. I just wanted to know now that I’m on furlough and my income with the 80% from the government would still come up to about £1000, am I still eligible to receive anything from Universal Credit if I was to re claim. I’ve checked using the calculator and I don’t think I can but just wanted to confirm with you. Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 21, 2020 10:46

      Hi Ree,

      As you mention, using our calculator is the best way to check this before making a claim. The calculator takes into account the means-tested nature of Universal Credit, as well as aspects of your personal circumstances (which dictate the threshold over which your earnings are tapered, also referred to as the Standard Allowance and other elements of support such as the ‘housing element’).

      The Standard Allowance – as well as the amount of support for households in rented accommodation – was increased with effect from 6th April, so depending on when you completed a calculation, you might want to do this again. If you completed a calculation after the 6th April, it is unlikely that you would be able to claim when our calculator indicates otherwise. If you completed the calculation before the 6th April, I would recommend you do this calculation again.

      Do also keep in mind that, unlike legacy benefits, Universal Credit claims continue to roll for six months while you receive no award. Only after six consecutive months of receiving no UC will your claim actually close. Until then, DWP will continue to assess your income and you will receive an award if your income is below your relevant threshold.

      If when using the calculator, you are concerned about entering the information correctly, please do get in touch via our Live Chat function and we will be able to assist you with any calculator-related queries.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

      • Hi

        Thank you for your reply

        I noticed you said that UC claims will continue to run through six consecutive months of recieving no UC but mine closed straight after my first pay from my employer and I was told to re claim if I feel affected by Covid-19, by the time I logged into my account again all my previous information had gone so I reapplied as I was unsure about my furlough payments. I have now been paid this months furlough, which is above the rate, should I inform UC or will they automatically be notified and close my account again

        Thanks

        • Alannah McGhee
          May 7, 2020 09:27

          Hi Ree,

          Thanks for letting us know – that’s not something I’ve come across before. The government states that if it’s within 6 months of your claim being closed you “usually just need to log into your online account and confirm that the details you gave before are correct” to restart your claim. It may be worth ringing one of the numbers listed here if you’re not sure why your previous information was removed: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/claiming/reapply-for-universal-credit/

          You might need to notify them of a change in your circumstances now you are receiving furlough pay. It may depend on whether in your claim you said you were employed or not – you need to inform DWP when you move into work, so if you initially told them you were out of work, you should let them know now you are back in employment. If they already knew you were employed, they should automatically be informed of your change in earnings. How it impacts your claim will also depend on when your assessment period started (on the date you claimed) and when your first furlough pay came in. For instance, if you receive your furlough pay weekly and it only came in towards the end of your assessment period, you might still be eligible for some Universal Credit, because your income in that month would be lower.

          Best wishes.

  • Hi there

    I received a letter instructing me to isolate for 12 weeks, I am a mental health nurse for a healthcare company not the nhs, they have said they will only pay me for 2 weeks sick pay, and that all. And I have to apply for universal credit, of which I will only receive just over £500 monthly, this doesn’t even cover my rent. Can you please advise? I thought I’d be covered with the governments 80% job retention grant?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 20, 2020 09:18

      Hi Mandy,

      I’m sorry about the stressful situation you are in at the moment. There are a few separate things that you’re asking about – I will answer these separately. First, in relation to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): it sounds like you are required to shield, rather than self-isolate, due to COVID-19. Only those that are self-isolating will be able to claim SSP. The guidance issued so far suggests that those that are shielding are not automatically eligible for SSP.

      In relation to UC, the maximum amount of support was increased on the 6th of April so if you checked your eligibility before that time it would be a good idea to check again as it may have increased. You should also get in touch with your landlord (or indeed any service providers) if you think you are not able to meet the costs of your rent, as they may be able to accept alternative arrangements.

      Finally, unfortunately receiving the Government 80% Job Retention Scheme (whereby employees are ‘furloughed’ ) depends on whether your employer decides to do this or not. Your employer can choose to furlough you if you are shielding or self-isolating, so you may want to bring this up with them if they have not considered this an option. Being furloughed is likely to be the best way to maximise your income (compared to claiming only Universal Credit, for example), so it is worthwhile asking your employer to consider doing this.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi my partner was self employed on 28th February and went to a PAYE job on March 9th. He was almost made redundant due to him not being eligible for furlough but they agreed an 80% paycut. Can he claim anything from his previous self employment roll?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:21

      Hello Deb,

      I am very sorry about the unfortunate timing for your partner in their career change.

      We have found some guidelines regarding this:

      “For those self-employed persons whose trade is heavily impacted by coronavirus, it is possible to take on a different job. Though it is important to stress that eligibility for the scheme does require that self-employed persons are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus, and that they intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21.”

      Link: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8879/

      As long as they didn’t close their business and are still trading, and fit all the other eligibility criteria for the scheme listed on this page, they could still be eligible.

      Otherwise, you can enter your household details into our free calculator (link) to see whether you can be eligible for other support in the meantime with him having such a sharp cut in income.

      Hope this helps.

  • Do employees have to payback furlong?

    • Janet Harkin
      April 14, 2020 09:09

      Hi Jack,

      No, you won’t need to pay this back, it is a replacement for your earnings.

      Best regards

  • Michael Kilby
    April 12, 2020 18:59

    Hi there,

    I have a question to ask that no one so far has been able to clarify for me.

    I am an offshore worker about to be furloughed.

    My annual wage is based on a salary AND a daily rate of pay for each day i work offshore in a month, i work on a 3 week rotation, so some months i earn more than others. I am contracted to work 140 days a year, and my holidays etc are based on this number of days worked.

    My employer is about to furlough me, and they are claiming that my furlough payment will be based purely on my base salary, and are not taking into account that my average monthly wage is well above the 2500 threshold, this means that they awill be furloughing me on roughly 1750 before tax, as opposed to the max of 2500, a considerable difference.

    I have looked at the gov guidelines and it is confusing, it sometimes uses the word “salary” , and sometimes uses the word “wage”. I beleive that due to my contract i should come under the guideline for people whos wage varies, but my employer is stating that they are using my base salary.

    Can you advise me as to who is right, and if i am right, and i should be getting the maximum gov grant, how best to demonstrate this to my employer.

    Many thanks

    Mick

    • Janet Harkin
      April 14, 2020 09:11

      Hi Michael,

      From the situation you describe, I would think that you should count as an employee with variable wages. Even though you have a regular base salary, your total earnings vary. As such, your employer can claim reimbursement for either your average earnings in the 2019/20 tax year or your earnings in the same month last year, whichever is higher. If your average monthly earnings in 2019-20 were above £1750, then your employer should be able to claim (80% of) that higher amount through the scheme. In the end, it is up to the employer how much they claim for. It may be useful to discuss this further with your employer.

      I hope this helps, but do let me know if you have further questions

      • Michael Kilby
        April 14, 2020 18:14

        Hi Janet

        Many thanks for your reply.

        I received a telephone call today from my employer informing me that i am to be placed on furlough from 15th April.

        I have voiced my concerns as to how they have come to the decision to base my furlough payments on purely my basic salary, as opposed to the average of my monthly wage as per the guidelines.

        I was informed that the decision was made by their lawyers who have interpreted the guidelines and advised them to claim on the base salary.

        During the telephone conversation i explained to my employer that i did not object to being put on furlough, however before that is to happen i would like to see some correspondence between my employer and HMRC with an explanation as to what HMRC agree to as the amount they will grant my employer.

        Is there anything further i can do at this point. I am not wanting to paint a target on my back, the company has already stated that if not enough people agree to furlough then redundancies may occur, which does appear to be a very thinly veiled threat in my opinion.

        I am not the only employee of the company who is pushing back against the furlough figure, some people are speaking to the UNITE union, but as i am not a member i cannot approach them myself.

        I’d be happy to pay for advice, but i do not have a huge pot of cash reserves at this time.

        Any further advice would be appreciated.

        Michael

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 15, 2020 17:38

          Hi Michael,

          I am very sorry to hear about the situation you are facing. Unfortunately the government guidance around the Job Retention Scheme places very few (if any) requirements on employers regarding what they have to claim, if they furlough workers. I’m not sure there’s much more that can be done without changes to the official guidelines to place more requirements on employers. One possible option could be to write to your local MP. There have been some questions to the government about the role of employers (e.g., https://twitter.com/MartinSLewis/status/1247208455330545664?s=20) so adding more pressure to that line of questioning could perhaps help.

          In terms of your immediate situation, if you find your income reduced by being furloughed you can still apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support (if you have less than £16,000 in savings). You can check your eligibility for UC and CTS using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

          I hope this helps, and am sorry we cannot offer more direct avenues to change your employer’s decision. We are keeping a close eye on the government’s position on this, and will update our FAQ if there is any change in the official guidance (https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/).

          In the meantime, do let us know if we can help with any other questions you might have.

  • Hi I am on a fixed term contract as a teaching assistant in a school which ends 19th April. 2020 Paid by the council Due to falling numbers for the school role in September my contract was not to be renewed. This would normally not be an issue as I could get work in other schools but due to Corona obviously this is not the case. Also as I had a stroke 18 months ago I have to be careful during this time. I have spoken to the school to see if they could furlough me until schools return and I can get further work.. Unfortunately they have refused sending me this reply . Thank you for your email regarding furlough. We have sought guidance on this from HR and unfortunately we are unable to furlough you during this time, as the furlough scheme is aimed towards private sector companies. Schools are not furloughing employees as they are a public sector organisation where funding has not changed, and therefore the scheme does not apply. I have since found evidence on the internet about a school in Gloucester that have done so ………….. Could you please tell me where I stand ..

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 22, 2020 09:22

      Hi Sue,

      The official guidance around the scheme (available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#who-can-claim) says that public sector bodies are expected to continue paying staff wages, and not furlough them, if the staff wages are paid for with public funds. It may be that the Gloucester school you mentioned received private funding for staff wages. For most publicly funded school staff it appears that the guidance is to continue paying their wages as normal, but since your contract has ended unfortunately that may not apply.

      If you need financial support and your school is not able to furlough you, you may be eligible for ‘new-style’ Job Seekers Allowance if you have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the last two years. You can find out more about ‘new-style’ JSA (and other types of support) on our COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/. You may also be eligible for Universal Credit if you have less than £16,000 in savings (you might find it helpful to use our free online calculator https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free to check your eligibility for UC and other forms of support).

      I hope this is helpful. I’m sorry that we can’t currently give a more concrete answer about the Job Retention Scheme and schools, but we are looking into the questions and will update our FAQ as soon as any new information is released. In the meantime, do let us know if there are any other queries we might be able to help with.

  • i have been self employed as off OCT.1 BEFORE THAT AGENCY BUT LEFT THE AGENCY AND WORK AS A SELF EMPLOYED CONTRACTER MY FIRM SENT ME HOME AS WE CAN NOT WORK THE COMPANY IS GO ON FURLOW BUT HAVE NOT PAY ME BUT I HAVE NOT LOST MY JOB SO WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET PAY

    • Janet Harkin
      April 14, 2020 08:58

      Hi Darren,

      Unfortunately, it sounds like your situation might fall outside of both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. You can see the full criteria for both above. For the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you need to have been furloughed by your employer and have been paid via PAYE on the 28th February 2020, so if you left your agency (or another employer) before that date you wouldn’t be eligible. For the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, you will need at least a tax return for 2018/19, which it sounds like was before you started work as self employed, so again you may not be eligible.

      There is other support available though. Now your income is lower, you might be eligible for benefits such as Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, so long as your savings capital is less than £16,000. You can check this using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. You’ll need to complete this for your household so if you have a partner, adult children, or dependent children, their details should also be included.

      There’s also further extra support, such as the Turn2us Coronavirus grant, which you can read about above.

      Best wishes

  • Hi there I was hired on the 26th February in line with the companies paybill which runs from 26th to the 25th the following month . The paybills are organised by their accountant and after induction and training I was placed on the March paybill not the February. Can I be furloughed having been hired before the 28th February

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:31

      Hi Barry,

      Yes I believe that you should be able to furloughed so long as your contract began on the 26th February. If you haven’t already then it would be worth making a claim for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You can see which benefits you are eligible for by filling out our calculator which is linked to at the top of this page.

      I hope this helps and happy Easter.

      • Hi

        I was employed on the 16th March 2020 and dont qualify to be furloughed. However I am still employed by company Would I be able to receive any payments from employer?

        Thank you very much

        Kind regards

        • Alannah McGhee
          April 22, 2020 09:26

          Hi Khalid,

          I’m sorry but I’m not sure if I’ve understood your question (please do reply if this is the case). The first thing to note is that the deadline to furlough has been moved forward and is now 19 March. So your employer would be able to furlough you on that basis, provided the other criteria mentioned on this page are met.

          The second thing to note is that furlough is done at the discretion of your employer; they need to let you know if you are being furloughed and equally if you want to know what their intentions are in relation to furlough it is something you need to raise with your employer.

          I hope this helps and best wishes.

          • Hey Alannah

            Thank you so much for getting back to me

            So my employer has placed me on lay off on the 19th March 2020. I was employed by them on the 16th March 2020. They have said that as part of job retention scheme i must have started on or before the 28th February 2020 but i still remain employed by the company and instead remain temporaly laid off in accordance with the relevant provisions of my employment contract.

            So as the government changeed this my employer would be able to furlough me on that basis?

            Thank you very much as always

          • Alannah McGhee
            April 24, 2020 09:05

            Hi Khalid,

            Yes, you should still be eligible. The government guidance says that as long as you were employed and on payroll on 28 February (as you were), you can qualify for the scheme if your employer re-employs you and puts you on furlough. So I’d recommend getting in touch with your employer to check that they agree to this. If so, they should then follow up in writing to confirm that you’ve been re-employed and placed on furlough.

            All the best.

          • Hi Alannah

            Thank you very much for getting back to me again

            I was employed and put on pay roll on the 16th March 2020. I didn’t start working on the 28th February 2020, my first day was on the 16th March 2020. Can i still be furloughed? I was only paid £150.00 total which was a guaranteed payment of £30.00 per day for five days for the month of April by my employer. Can i still ask my employer to be furloughed even though i started work on the 16th March 2020

            Thank you so much as always

            Kind Regards

          • Alannah McGhee
            April 29, 2020 09:02

            Hi Khalid,

            The government has adjusted the regulations so those on the PAYE system in their job by 19th April can be furloughed. I would double check with your employer that this is the case for you, but from what you have said it sounds like you were. More details can be found about this at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

            It is at your employers discretion whether they furlough you, and you must be furgloughed for a minimum of three weeks.

            I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any follow-up questions.

            Best wishes.

  • Hi I work for agency and from agency I worked for a company for 1 and half year.the company got rid off agency people due to covid 19.i dont have any contract with the company.my agency doesnt know if I will get 80 percent from government scheme.can my agency put me as furloughed as agency cant give me any work now.thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:31

      Hi Maisie,

      Yes you should be able to be furloughed. It sounds like you are paid by the agency. If this is the case then your agency will be able to furlough you as long as you were paid through PAYE.

      If you were paid by the company, then you would have to request that they take you back on and furlough you straight away.

      In the meantime, it would be worth making a claim for benefits if you haven’t already. You can see which benefits you are eligible for by filling out our calculator which is linked to at the top of this page.

      All the best.

  • Hi
    I am a self-employed dental hygienist, now with no income (since 17 March due to COVID-19)
    I am a single mum to 3 kids, less than £16 000 savings.
    I am due to receive the Self-employed Income support grant in June, which is great, in the meantime I need some support – I believ that I can claim Universal credit (I’ve applied already)
    My question is how does the grant affect the Universal credit claim, as in theory the grant is to replace income from March/April/May?
    I’m hoping that I’ll get 2 months of Universal credit (April and May) and then my Grant paid in June will be declared and the Universal credit will stop? Is this right or would I have to pay back the Universal credit?
    Also am I entitled.to claim JSA or ESA?
    Thanks so much.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:32

      Hi Louise,

      Great to hear that you’ve already claimed for Universal Credit (UC). In general, before you receive your grant you will be awarded the maximum Universal Credit that you can. In the month that you receive the Grant you will need to inform DWP and your UC will end or reduce, depending on the level of the grant. If your UC ends then it may be a couple of months before it restarts. This is because large amounts of income in a particular month are expected to be used to live on for the next months. The calculation of how this works is complex. I would advise you to keep re-applying every month following the month you get your grant so that your UC will start again as early as possible.
      As you were previously self-employed you cannot claim contributory JSA. If you fall ill, you could claim contributory ESA if you have paid sufficient national insurance contributions. Further information on these benefits is on this page. If you claim these your UC would be reduced by the same amount so you would not be better off.

      You may also qualify for Council Tax Support (see links on this page) and free school meals (worth £15/week per child).

      Best wishes.

  • Hi , just looking for a bit clarity. Me and my partner have both been put on furlong from work. I am a student so my income was low anyways. I have applied for universal credits and have received a phone call to say that we are eligible. Will this effect our furlong or are you going allowed to get both ? Thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:32

      Hi Brooke,

      Yes you will be eligible for both, the two systems work side by side as when you are furloughed you are technically still earning. Any earnings that you and your partner receive through being furloughed will be used to calculate your Universal Credit award.

      All the best.

    • I am self employed and likely to get the government grant of 80% of my self employed income in June . I cannot work due to the lockdown because my work involves travel and meeting people. I am married. My spouse is still working and earns around £45,000 pre tax. We have less than £16,000 savings. And we have a mortgage to pay. Should I apply for Universal Credit or will my spouse’s earnings rule me out?

      • Alannah McGhee
        April 20, 2020 09:27

        Hi S,

        Universal Credit is designed to support households on a very low income and unfortunately your spouse’s income would place you well above the threshold (although your savings do not rule out your eligibility). You may be able to get support via the Government backed mortgage holiday – you will need to contact your lender for that.

        I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hello,
    I am self employed but also carry out a very small amount of work and get paid through PAYE (around 4 hours a week) Would I be be entitled to claim furlough from both the job retention and self employment scheme?
    Thank you in advance

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:19

      Hi Simon,

      There is no reason that you cant get both if you meet both the criteria. it will be up to your employer whether they furlough you from your employment. If you meet the criteria for the self-employment scheme, HMRC will contact you. Further information on the criteria for both of these is given on these pages.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi, I’m Maths tutor at University and working on zero contracts. Before the Covid19 lockdown, I was offered 20hours per week but now I am being offered 6 hours per week. I have a 13 years old son and my husband is working 24 hours per week at Tesco. What kind of support that can I apply for?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:20

      Hi Priya,

      Depending on how much you and your husband get paid, and your housing situation, you can top up your wages with Universal Credit and get support towards your Council Tax with Council Tax Reduction You can see how much you could get by using our calculator at http://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk (link on this page). Further information on these benefits is also available on this page.

      Best wishes.

  • matthew olney
    April 10, 2020 13:02

    Hi
    Just wondered which category I fall into for a grant.
    I ,along with 2 partners ,formed a limited company in August 2019 of which I am now designated an employee ,recieving PAYE and dividends making up my total income but previously we were a partnership,trading for many years ,and the 2018-2019 tax return shows more than half my income from profits from said partnership and a small percentage from PAYE due to this being the transitional period from partnership to limited company.
    2016-2017, 2017-2018 tax returns show all income from profit of partnership which is less than £50k cut off point
    Can yo therefore tell me and my partners which grant we would qualify for

    Thanks so much Matt

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:20

      Hi Matthew,

      Although you meet the criteria for the self-employed tax returns from 2016-19, the guidelines state that you have to be self-employed at the time of applying for the grant and intend to be self-employed thereafter. HMRC may still contact you an invite you to apply but I think that once you state your current position you may not qualify. HMRC may also see that the partnership ended, and so not invite you to apply for the self-employed scheme.
      Since August 2019 you have been paid by your company as PAYE. You can, therefore, apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as an employee. Further information on this is given on these pages.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi, I’m a dental nurse self isolating due to a family member being very high risk and me working in a public environment and I have nowhere else to stay during lockdown. My work are not furloughing me but is their anything else I can do to still have an income each month?
    LM

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:21

      Hi,

      If you have under £16,000 in savings you could apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You should apply for these as soon as possible as they cannot be backdated. Further information is available on this page. You can also use our calculator (links on this page) to see how much you could get.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi
    I have been employed by my current employer for 32 years. I was on holiday leave abroad when the Covid 19 started and am currently still stuck abroad, due to flight cancellation. I am on the next available flight(if it doesn’t get cancelled again) but my employer stopped paying me after my holiday finished. I have asked if they can furlough me but am told because I am abroad they can’t do it. They also said because they are currently still open that I couldn’t get it either as if I was home I could go to work. As I am still stuck abroad with no money I can’t claim for anything as I have savings over 16000.00, I just wanted to know if my company are right that they can’t furlough me or are just choosing not to as they didn’t want me to go on holiday in the first place

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:22

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m sorry to hear about this stressful situation. You are correct about your access to benefits.

      Our understanding of guidance thus far is that, provided that you were a PAYE employee on 28th February 2020, your employer can apply to furlough you. At the moment there is no explicit reference to limitations based on where the employee is located. It would certainly be strange for the Government to exclude those that are abroad on a temporary basis, even more so for them to exclude those unable to return due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. So it appears that the employer acted at their discretion. You should discuss this with them and ask for clarification.

      If you were to get into a dispute with your employer about this, since we are not specialists in employment law, the best thing for you to do would be to seek guidance from a specialist organisation. Unfortunately we do not know at this stage whether the employer is acting lawfully or not, as there might be other aspects of employment law to consider. You can search for specialist organisations here: https://advicelocal.uk/

      Best wishes.

  • Mandy Davies pughe
    April 9, 2020 23:40

    Hello , I am self employed and lost my job due to the corona virus , i know in June hopefully I will get the 80% grant , in the mean time can I get a temporary job 0 hours to help me out.
    Kind regards
    Mandy

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:24

      Hi Mandy,

      One of the conditions for this grant is that you are self-employed at the time of applying (or would be but for Coronavirus) and intend to stay self-employed. If this is the case, which it appears to be, then the grant will not be affected by you working temporarily.

      Best wishes.

  • rajib uddin
    April 9, 2020 21:41

    Hi, I work in a supermarket and also live with my Elderly parents who have been told to self isolate for 12 week due to them both having underlying health issues. Now that I’m there primary Carer will I be entitled to furlough. My area manager said it’s unpaid leave. Please can you give me advice as I said I will have to stop coming in to work.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:25

      Hi Rajib,

      I’m sorry you’re in this situation. Government guidance is clear that employees that are self-isolating can be furloughed. However, the guidance is also careful to mention that this is left up to the employer’s discretion. In addition, there is some ambiguity about whether those living with vulnerable groups should officially self-isolate in order to protect other members of their household: the guidance states that vulnerable individuals need to shield for 12 weeks, but that other members of the household do not need to shield. Other household members should instead follow social distancing rules. Unfortunately self-isolation is not mentioned.

      I understand your very difficult situation but it is up to your employer whether to furlough you.

      If you find yourself out of work (or indeed if you are in work but your income is low) due to this situation you might be eligible to claim Universal Credit if your savings are below £16,000. You can check this using our free online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hi there
    I have recently been furloughed therefore I applied for JSA (around 2 weeks ago) I did not hear back therefore I figured my application was unsuccessful for JSA and was advised by friends to apply for Universal Credit. I’m awaiting a reply from universal credit but I have noticed that a payment has gone through to my bank from JSA… Will I be allowed to have both JSA and universal credit whilst on furlough or do I need to cancel one of them??

    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:26

      Hi Rachel,

      You can claim both Universal Credit (UC) and JSA at the same time provided that you meet the other eligibility criteria for UC. The main consideration is that your capital savings need to be below £16,000. Additionally, since UC is means-tested, the amount you will receive will be reduced because of your JSA payments. You can check your eligibility and estimate your UC award using our free online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      On a separate note, it might be a good idea to contact JobCentre Plus about your JSA application to check that everything is in order (if they have not contacted you by phone or email). Their contact details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/how-to-claim?step-by-step-nav=e7b3ea75-05d5-4341-b27a-be3b767b1e3f.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • I have been placed on furlough by my employer that is not doing any top up. I have a current universal credit and don’t know if they need informing by me that my wages are going to be lowered for a couple of months. Is it all automatic out do I need to contact universal credit to advise the temporary lower earnings?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:26

      Hi Elliott,

      The DWP will receive details of changes in your wages straight from HMRC. However, it is always best to inform them directly of any change through a journal entry.

      Best wishes.

  • Nicola whall
    April 9, 2020 17:52

    Hi.
    I recieved my tax credits today but was the same amount as normal. I thought it was increasing by £20 per week because of covid 19. Do I have to contact anyone?

    Thank you x

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 11, 2020 11:01

      Hi Nicola,

      Yes you’re right, it is increasing by £20. It is possible that the payment you received this week was intended to cover a period before the 6th April, since payments are made in arrears. This is the most likely scenario if you are paid 4-weekly. If, however, it covers a period from the 6th of April and you have not seen an increase, it will be worth getting in touch with HMRC so they can clarify why the increase hasn’t been applied or rectify if an error has been made.

      Best wishes.

      • i have also not seen my tax credits increase. i get paid weekly and can see my payments for the next 8 weeks online and it’s the same amount as I always get. both my sister’s also recieve tax credits and have seen no increase either.

        • Janet Harkin
          April 14, 2020 09:11

          Hi Sam,

          These will only have been changed from the 6 April and as they are backdated, you may not have seen the change yet. If the change still doesn’t occur, you could get in touch with HMRC to check why your tax credits have not been adjusted.

          Best regards

          • Hi, I was sent home from work on 24th March and told I was being put on furlough. I have heard nothing from my employer since. I have been paid nothing. I started this job on 16th March and my previous employer didn’t apply for furlough so won’t rehire me. What can I do?

          • Alannah McGhee
            April 21, 2020 10:31

            Hello Jim,

            I am very sorry to hear about your situation. The bad news is that if you started a job after February 28 2020, you are not eligible for the furlough scheme at all. You may be eligible for some other benefits because you have no income, like Universal Credit and council tax support. You can calculate your eligibility using our free calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

            If you have been made redundant, you may be eligible for contributory or New Style ESA/JSA. The criteria for eligibility are on this page. This is a separate application process from Universal Credit.

            Keep in mind that if you decide to apply for Universal Credit there is a five week wait for the first payment, so don’t delay if you are eligible.

            I hope this helps.

          • Yes I don’t know anyone who has had increase in working tax credit. I get paid weekly and no increase. Like the self employed grant farce. Only about 35 percent of people will qualify. As a small accountant bookkeeper I won’t qualify. So don’t get hopes up. It is taxable so you will pay it back and declare it as income. Chris

          • Alannah McGhee
            April 21, 2020 10:34

            Thanks for sharing Chris. If you do receive tax credit payments covering the period after 6 April which haven’t seen the increase you should raise this with HMRC. You can also use our calculator to see how your situation might change if you moved to Universal Credit: http://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

            Best wishes.

  • I worked at a golf club as clubhouse manager when we went into lockdown the company made me redundant but furloughed my to bar staff is this allowed do I have any rights

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 11, 2020 10:47

      Hi Dickie,

      This will depend on when you started your job at the golf club. If you started in February and were on the club’s payroll by 28 February 2020, you should be eligible for the furlough scheme. If this is the case, I’d recommend speaking to your employer. It is possible for them to re-employ you and place you on furlough even though you’ve been made redundant. If you think your employer is treating you unfairly, it may be worth consulting employment rights specialists ACAS to see what your rights are: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      If you cannot be furloughed, you should be eligible for benefits. If you’ve been working and paying national insurance for the last 2-3 years, you may be eligible for New Style JSA. You can find more info here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa. You may also be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, though this will depend on your savings and income. You can use our online benefit calculator to see what you’re eligible for: https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      Best wishes.

  • Christine Lyon
    April 9, 2020 13:19

    Hi,
    I’ve been asked to work a lot of overtime hours in NHS for next 8 weeks. I claim tax credits. If I earn more will this affect my tax credits award. I don’t want to work & put myself & kids at risk if my tax credits will be taken away because of my extra wage as I’d be basically working for nothing for 8 weeks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 11, 2020 10:44

      Hi Christine,

      HMRC will ignore this change to your working hours for 8 weeks and will continue to treat you as working the same hours as before COVID-19. If this overtime continues longer than 8 weeks or becomes permanent, you should then inform HMRC. But do check this site over the next few weeks – it is possible that the 8 weeks will be extended.

      All the best.

  • Hi there,

    I am a self employed actor and all my work has been cancelled. I will qualify for help through SEISS however that will not come through until June as far as we know so I have no income coming in until then. I also have asthma (not chronic) and rhinitis…does this mean I am eligible for New Style ESA or Contribution based ESA? I was told ESA is for people who are sick but I’m not sure if asthma is classed as an illness now or not as the government have advised people who have it are at high risk. I pay NIC Class 2 and 4 in my yearly tax return.

    Best wishes,

    Beruce

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 11, 2020 10:43

      Hi Beruce,

      You may well be eligible for New Style ESA since you have been paying class 2 national insurance contributions. You will also need a sick note from a GP (or similar) to confirm that you are too ill to work. You can find out more about how to apply here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance

      If you have savings of less than £16,000, you may also be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support – you can receive these as well as New Style JSA. You can check your eligibility and how much you can claim using our free online calculator (linked above).

      Best wishes.

  • Factory worker. Does a weekly and quality bonus count as my compulsory bonus. Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 11, 2020 10:43

      Hi Louise,

      This will depend if these are regular payments that your employer is obliged to pay. If, as you say, the bonus is compulsory, it should be included in the 80%. Any other discretionary bonuses or commission payments will not be included.

      Hope that helps.

  • Hi, I’m self employed and have earned on average of £10k a year for the last 3 years. Even though I have been below the tax threshold, I list my tax allowable expenses on my tax return as eventually I hope my business to grow and I need a record. They are usually £4-5k. Will that mean that my income is considered not in profit and I won’t receive any Covid-19 payments?

  • Hi there can you please help me on how much are my furlough entitlements, i have been working in my current employer for the last 11 months , im on a salary (not hourly paid) however my salary changed significantly in February 2020 can you please advise if im going to receive 80% of an average of the last 10 months or my last pay from February 2020 thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:27

      Hi Hugo,

      If you have a salary then the furloughed amount payable to your employer is 80% of your salary as at 28th February. Your employer will make this claim with HMRC so could clarify exactly how much they are claiming for you.

      Best wishes.

  • A Williams
    April 8, 2020 22:24

    Good evening,

    I am working full time from home but my employer has announced that as of 1st April they are temporarily reducing pay to 80% with a possibility of a bonus in a few months dependant on the companies performance. Please could you confirm if this is legal and if there is anything I can claim for loss of income? My husband is a director of a company and is unable to do any work due to Covid-19 but his account has advised he will get £500 per month. I’ve paid tax and national insurance since the age of 16 and neither of us have ever had to claim any payments so not sure where to start with it all. Also, is there any way of claiming working from home costs like electricity?

    I look forward to your advice in due course.

    Many thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:28

      Hi,

      If your employer is reducing your salary below your contract then you may wish to discuss this with legal employment specialists. You can look for these online. It will also be up to your employer whether they reimburse you for the costs of working from home.

      If your income has reduced drastically you may be able to get Universal Credit and Council Tax Support to top up your current income. You can use the calculator (links on this page) to see if you would qualify. If you do qualify, you should claim as soon as possible as these cannot be backdated.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi i was told i was too good at my job and told i owed it to myself to find a higher level job which i did. This was in a private children’s nursery. I left my job on 26th March they will not rehire me to furlough me and my new job start date has been postponed until all
    Of this is over as the new nursery only needs a few staff for key children at present. i was due to start my new job on 30th April now i am left with nothing. My partner has been placed on furlough but will not bring home enough for both of us. Will i qualify for any help and where from?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:08

      Hi Mel,

      Your eligibility for support depends on your combined earnings and savings with your partner. If your savings are below £16,000 and their furlough earnings are low enough, you may be eligible for Universal Credit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

      You can assess your eligibility using our benefits calculator. The results page of the calculator will direct you to the relevant websites to apply for support. Link here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hi there,
    If you’re a contractor with a limited company, and your salary has reduced by 30%, is there any benefit I can claim to cover the 30% I’m no longer receiving?
    Many thanks,

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:09

      Hi there,

      There is not a specific scheme to cover a reduced salary but if your monthly earnings are low enough (and your savings are below £16,000) you may be eligible to receive some Universal Credit.

      You can assess your eligibility against your reduced earnings by using our benefits calculator at the following link: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hi,

    I’ve been furloughed from my job. I’m not eligible for the JRS as I started work after the 28th. The company will still keep a job for me I will just not be paid. Does this mean I can’t claim anything because I’m technically still employed?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:09

      Hi Jodie,

      If you have savings below £16,000 (combined with your partner if you are in a couple), then you should be able to claim Universal Credit while you are not receiving your earnings. UC is assessed by your monthly income, rather than simply your emlployment status. You may also be able to claim Council Tax Reduction, though the criteria varies by local authority. You can use our benefits calculator to assess your eligibility, at the following link: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hello. My name is George .I am a dentist. I used to leave and work in in UK as an associate dentist for aprox 6 years until 2014. Since then I return every year and I work as locum dentist for aprox 1-2 months. My last locum dentist ended 30th of October . Am I eligible to claim any help?
    Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:01

      Hi George,

      Thanks for getting in touch. It is difficult to answer your question without more specific information. In general terms there are two strands of support available; one of these is through the benefits system and the other is through the emergency employment support measures announced recently for those affected by COVID-19. Support through benefits will typically be lower than via the emergency measures, and I will cover eligibility for both below for you.

      Benefits: If you are an EEA national with settled status (or a UK national), you will be able to claim support via benefits such as Universal Credit, if your savings are below £16,000 and current earnings are low. If you are an EEA national and do not have settled status then you might have limited access to benefits and it might be a good idea for you to seek further advice on this, as it can be complex and highly dependent on your circumstances (you can search for local advice here: https://advicelocal.uk/). If you are not an EEA national your access to benefits will be determined by your immigration status: if you have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ you will not be able to claim Universal Credit. You may however be able to claim contributory benefits (for instance ‘new style’ JSA. Eligibility for this depends on you having made sufficient national insurance contributions).

      Emergency measures: depending on the type of contract you are on, you may be able to claim support for your wages, either via the 80% Job Retention Scheme (if you are an employee paid via PAYE) or the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (if you are self employed). If the former applies to you, then the scheme will depend on whether your employer has decided to put you on furlough, so you might want to ask them about this. The employer would need to be the one to get in touch with HMRC to arrange this. Your access to either of these schemes does not depend on your immigration status, but you will need a UK bank account.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Cathy cramb
    April 8, 2020 17:47

    Hi 👋I am diabetic type1(high risk)work as a domestic in a care home. Today we had a meeting and we were advised to make a choice if the care home gets covid19,we either still go to work or stay at home(employer will not pay furlough)what help would I get financially

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:02

      Hi Cathy,

      If you are no longer able to work (for example, you are let go because the care home is affected by COVID-19 and it would pose a risk to you to continue) and see you have savings below £16,000 you may be eligible for Universal Credit or Council Tax Support. I am not a health professional but it certainly seems like you should be putting your health first here and not go to work if it poses a risk, and this is something you should discuss with your employer even though they have chosen not to furlough workers. You can find out how much support you can receive using our free online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      In addition, if you have been placed in the vulnerable group of workers and have received a letter from the NHS to confirm this, you should not go to work. You might also be able to claim contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or ‘new style’ ESA, if your doctor can confirm you’re not able to work. Eligibility for this depends on whether you’ve paid enough National Insurance Contributions over the 2-3 years. You will need to 1) have worked and paid Class 1 or Class 2 contributions in one of the years above; and 2) have paid, or been credited, 50 weeks worth of contributions over the two years. This would be in addition to your Universal Credit payment.

      If you are vulnerable and would like support in this difficult time, it is also a good idea to contact your local mutual aid group, which you can do here: https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/.

      I hope this helps but if anything is unclear just let me know.

      Best wishes.

  • Petrina Gaile
    April 8, 2020 16:47

    Hi I am a supply teacher and when the schools closed I was told to apply for universal credit straight away and did and that’s all sorted and my first payment is at the end of April but then my supply agency have said they might be furloughing me? I was just wondering what do I do? Can I be furloughed and still claim universal credit?
    Or what should I do then

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:02

      Hi Petrina,

      Yes, you can be on furlough and receive Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit though, which means that you will need to report a change of circumstances the next time you speak with your work coach if furlough payments have started to come in. At the moment it looks like furlough wages will be treated as earnings, which means your Universal Credit amount will be reduced by 63p for every £1 of earnings above your standard allowance (so you will get to keep some of your earnings). You can check this using our online calculator and adding your expected furlough earnings in the ‘income and earnings’ section: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      I hope this helps and all the best.

  • Angela Buchanan
    April 8, 2020 16:31

    Hi there I work full time 8-5 Monday to Friday and currently on the furlough scheme. I have just taken a job at weekends only, do I need to make HMRC aware Of this even though it is out with my normal working hours. My employer is also aware. Thank you for your help, this had been worrying me so much

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:03

      Hi Angela,

      Current guidance about the furlough scheme suggests this is fine, so long as this new job is with another employer to the one that has furloughed you, and as long as your contract with your furlough employer allows you to take other employment. You can check with your furlough employer that you are permitted to carry out other work (this will also be in your contract). There is nothing to worry about in terms of reporting to HMRC, but we are waiting for full details of the scheme to be published and will update our pages accordingly, so you may want to check back then.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Gillian Drillsma
    April 8, 2020 16:14

    My daughter applied for JSA online on 27th March because her Contract with TUI was terminated and she was told they could not furlough her as she was on a temporary contract. She has heard nothing back – should she reapply although that means any income will only apply from the date she re-applies

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:04

      Hi Gillian,

      I’m sorry that your daughter’s employer has chosen not to furlough (from a legislative point of view, those on temporary contracts can still be furloughed so long as they are paid via PAYE).

      As regards her application for JSA (it sounds like she applied for the ‘new style’ JSA, which is contribution-based and eligibility depends on National Insurance Contributions over the last two financial years). She should have had a reply within two days of the application, so it will be worth getting in touch with the Job Centre (0800 055 6688) to check up on progress and that the application was received.

      Aside from contribution-based JSA, or if you find that your daughter is not eligible for contribution-based JSA, there is support via Universal Credit. If your daughter’s savings capital is below £16,000 she may be eligible for this and Council Tax Support. This can be checked using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. The application process is different from new style contribution-based JSA and is done on this site: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • jade pearson
    April 8, 2020 16:01

    Hi I get Working tax credits but I did not get the extra £20 a week that started from the 6th, is it only for certain people please

    Thx jade

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:05

      Hi Jade,

      The £20 increase applies to all existing claimants. It is possible that the payment you received most recently was intended to cover a period before the 6th April, since payments are made in arrears. This is the most likely scenario if you are paid 4-weekly. If, however, it covers a period from the 6th of April and you have not seen an increase, it will be worth getting in touch with HMRC so they can clarify why the increase hasn’t been applied or rectify if an error has been made.

      Best wishes.

  • adam bishop
    April 8, 2020 15:11

    How does furlough work when paying child maintenance please

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:05

      Hi Adam,

      Furlough is paid via PAYE (like normal wages) and your employer needs to apply for the grant in order for you to receive this. It is separate to other payment arrangements you may have, such as child maintenance. I hope this helps.

      Best wishes.

  • Diamanta Puitel
    April 8, 2020 15:08

    Hi again, my employer(agency) has says that they cannot put me in furlough because the job where I was working, is not a guarantee that I will come back there, so what can I do? Thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 10:10

      Hi Diamanta,

      It will be up to your employer whether to apply for the job retention scheme. If they did use the scheme and put you on furlough, that would probably mean you were more likely to continue working there after the pandemic is over. That there is no guarantee you will continue working there should not affect their ability to furlough you, but unfortunately it will be up to them whether they decide to, so you can only ask that they do furlough you.

      If they are unwilling to, you should soon become eligible for Universal Credit. If you weren’t eligible in your first month due to your earnings, if your earnings have now dropped you should be eligible in your second month of assessment. You may also be able to apply for an advance payment of your Universal Credit, which would give you income more quickly. You can use our benefits calculator to see an estimate of how much you might be eligible for now your earnings have gone down: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:13

      Hi Diamanta, there’s nothing to stop your employer placing you on furlough in this situation,as long as you are paid through PAYE.

      Furlough should be agreed between the agency, as the deemed employer, and you. If you are employed by an umbrella company then that company can furlough you. Again, you must be paid via PAYE and both you and the umbrella company must agree to you being furloughed.

      Best wishes,

  • Irene Foster
    April 8, 2020 13:37

    I am a self employed contractor but also work for some companies under PAYE. Can I be furloughed by these companies and still get the 3 months self-employed grant? My self employed income is substantially higher then the PAYE income.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:40

      Hi Irene,

      You can receive support from both the new Self Employed Income Support Scheme and the Job Retention Scheme. Your employers who have you on their PAYE system can furlough you, and claim for 80% of your regular earnings. Since you receive the majority of your income from self-employment, you will also be eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme if you have submitted tax returns for the 2018/19 financial year, and were trading as self-employed in 2019/20. There are a few more criteria for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, which you can find on our COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I hope this helps. Do let us know if you have any other questions.

  • Help! My contract ended on 31/03/2020. I cannot move on due to COVID 19 ( I have registered to do supply work in schools as a TA) so have no income. My husband is a key worker and my son is a student with no income.
    I’ve checked on benefit calculators and they said I am not entitled to anything.
    Is there anything I could do?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:58

      Hi Anita,

      I am very sorry to hear about your situation – that is extremely difficult. The two main sources of support for you would be Universal Credit and CTS if you have less than £16,000 in savings, though these would depend on your husband’s income. You may also be eligible for contributory Job Seekers Allowance if you have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the past two years. However, if you have checked on other benefit calculators and not seen these then you may not be eligible. If it’s helpful to get another calculation for comparison (and you haven’t already), you could try our own free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. Do let us know through the built in help function if you have any questions or need help with the process.

      Beyond UC, CTS or contributory JSA, if you are renting, you might be able to get support with payments from your local council through the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme. We have some information on this and other forms of support for those affected by COVID-19 on our FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I hope this helps. If you are comfortable doing so, do let me know why the calculators you tried said you weren’t entitled to anything, as that might help us to provide some more specific advice.

  • I Recently started a new job on the 23rd of March and laid of on the 31st of March with immediate effect and i was told via a letter that that my employer was unable to offer me the Covid-19 Retention Scheme because the time served with them was less than the qualification time permitted by the Goverment as a way of retaining my emloyment.
    I also had a letter from my employer when not required and therefore asked to stop work, you will receive a minimum of 80% of your standard pay (up to a maximum of £2500 p/mth as the government support information.
    Can you please tell me where i stand.
    Thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:59

      Hi Nick,

      The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available for employees that were on companies’ PAYE systems on the 28th of February this year. For this reason I don’t think you would be eligible to be furloughed. Perhaps the second letter was sent out as a general statement or in error?

      If you have less than £16,000 in savings, you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. Also, if you made sufficient National Insurance contributions in the last two years you may be eligible for contributory Job Seekers Allowance. You can check your eligibility for these (and other) benefits using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. You might also find our COVID-19 FAQ page helpful (we are updating it regularly, and it includes information on other specific kinds of support, e.g., with rent payments): https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I hope this is helpful, but do let us know if you have any other questions we can help with.

  • Laura Fusella
    April 8, 2020 11:11

    A forloughed worker can apply for Universal Credit to help to pay the rent without loosing the access to the job retention scheme?
    If yes, in the application shall I insert my real hourly pay multiplying 32 hours per week that are 80% of my weekly contract hours?
    Thanks in advance.
    Laura

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:00

      Hi Laura,

      Yes, employees furloughed under the new Job Retention Scheme can still claim for Universal Credit (and Council Tax Support). What you suggest sounds like the right way to proceed for the application. Your eventual UC payments will be based on earnings information gathered directly from your employer’s PAYE system, so it will be adjusted automatically if your employer chooses to put you on furlough. However, for the application, entering 80% of your normal would be the right way to proceed.

      I hope this helps. Do let us know if you have any other questions.

  • I have been made a furloughed worker. Originally the plan was that the company would pay us until the loan from the government kicks in. Today I have been told the company can’t afford to do this. I have been left with no money at all and have bills due to go out any day. I don’t think I will be entitled to universal credit as I get paid weekly and have only just stopped receiving wages. Am I entitled to any help?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:00

      Hi Remi,

      You might be eligible for Universal Credit. Your first payment will be based on a one month assessment period, which begins the day you claim. So if your last weekly payment has already come in, and you’re not expecting any more in the next month, if you applied today none of the previous payments should be relevant. You can use our calculator to see how much you might be eligible for https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      You might also want to consult ACAS about your rights while your employer is not paying you: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      Best wishes.

  • Ashley Enoch
    April 8, 2020 09:24

    Hi ive been put on furlough by my company, can i claim universal credit aswell as being on the scheme?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:44

      Hi Ashley,

      You might be able to. It will depend on the level of your new income and your savings. If you input your new situation into our calculator it will tell you what you might be eligible for https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free When asked, if you select that you are in work and enter your gross income as what it will be now (ie 80% of your usual gross income).

      If you have any further questions please do get in touch.

  • We have an employee who is taking 12 weeks leave as her son is extremely vulnerable and requires shielding. Our company is continuing to trade and has no problems paying wages and no one is being Furloughed.
    Does this employee qualify to be paid either SSP or Furlough? (my understanding is Furlough is only for companies who cannot pay the wages)

    Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:43

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The government has recently updated its guidance to clarify that employees can be furloughed if they are in the “vulnerable” category that has been advised to shield, or they cannot work as they need to care for others (e.g. they need to look after their children). So from what you’ve said it sounds like you would be able to furlough your employer under these new guidelines.

      You can see the full government guidance here under the heading “Employees with caring responsibilities”: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      Best wishes.

  • hello
    I’m a key worker, working as mortgage advisor in a call centre setting, employed for 5 years. I’m a single parent and have 2 children between the age of 3 and 10 years. Because the schools are currently closed due to COVID 19, I cannot go to work and there isn’t working from home currently available with my employer. My question is – am I entitled to be furloughed by my employer or is it at the discretion of my employer? I have checked the HMRC guidance for people caring for children not able to work and it says ‘speak to your employer if they plan to furlough employees’. what ar the options I have so that I still get paid as I still have bills to pay. Many thanks Worried parent

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:39

      Hi Emma,

      Unfortunately the decision is down to your employer. However, the government has recently updated its guidance to be explicit that employees can be furloughed if they are in the “vulnerable” category that has been advised to shield, or they cannot work as they need to care for others (e.g. they need to look after their children). So from what you’ve said it sounds like your employer would be able to furlough you if they chose to. So it might be worth talking to your employer and making sure they’ve seen this latest guidance (particularly see under “Employees with caring responsibilities”), and asking whether they might consider furloughing you: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      If they are unwilling to, it may be worth consulting employment rights specialists ACAS to see what your rights are, particularly as you’ve worked there for five years: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      If you do lose your income from work, you can also use our benefits calculator to see what extra support you might be eligible for: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free and Turn2us have also launched a grant program for those who’ve lost income due to Coronavirus, so that may be worth bearing in mind too: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/get-support/Turn2us-Funds/Turn2us-Coronavirus-Grant-Fund

      I hope that helps and that your employer does decide to furlough you. If you have any more questions, please do let us know

      Best wishes.

  • Hi there. Both my partner and I have lost our jobs. We live in a rented house and we own a smaller property we rent out. I am under the impression we cannot evict our tenants right now due to the Coronavirus situation. That said am I right in thinking as we own that property we cannot claim any benefit support. I am homeschooling both my boys and have been a stay at home mum for years whilst my husbands career took off in software. We have been treated very badly and have a legal claim against some withheld Salary and bonus payment a from his American company. But with all our money tied up in the property and no way of accessing it – we have no income coming in. What are our rights?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 11, 2020 10:40

      Hi Sarah,

      In most circumstances a second property will be counted as savings, so unfortunately that may mean you are over the savings limit for means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit. However there may be some non-means tested benefits such as contributory JSA you are eligible for. You can use our benefits calculator to see how these rules might apply to your situation: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Hopefully your tenants’ incomes will be protected and will continue to pay their rent so that will remain a source of income for you, but as you say it is more difficult to evict tenants now. You can see a summary of the new rules here: https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/coronavirus

      In terms of your rights around your work, it might be worth getting in touch with ACAS to see if there’s any further protection you are eligible for: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      Turn2us has also launched a grant program for those who’ve lost income due to COVID-19, so that might also be a source of help for either you or your tenants: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/get-support/Turn2us-Funds/Turn2us-Coronavirus-Grant-Fund

      Best wishes.

  • Angie Halliday
    April 7, 2020 21:31

    My partners firm has put him on furlough but is not paying him until he receives grant money – as he will not be able to apply to end of April what can he do meanwhile he has signed form for furlough but will get no money for the foreseeable future .

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 13, 2020 10:28

      Hi Angie,

      If you have under £16,000 in savings you can apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support in the meantime. This will not affect your income from the furlough scheme. You can use the calculator (links on this page) to see if you would qualify. Further information on both these benefits is also given on this page. If you do decide to apply you should do this as soon as possible as these cannot be backdated.

      Best wishes.

    • Janet Harkin
      April 14, 2020 09:08

      Hi Angie,

      I am very sorry to hear that – we are hearing of a few employers doing this, and unfortunately there currently isn’t anything in the Job Retention Scheme regulations stopping it. If you have less than £16,000 in savings, you may be able to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support to help cover costs whilst waiting for the furloughed payments. If you are eligible for UC you may also qualify for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) from your local council to help with your rent. You can check your eligibility for Universal Credit using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free, and we have some information about DHPs on this page.

      I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any further questions.

  • Hi there,

    Just wondering but when exactly would we be getting this 80% of wages? Also when is the best time to speak to my employer about it? I spoke to him last week about it and he said he was going to speak to his accountant , put us on Furlough leave and get back in contact but he hasn’t got in contact. Any thoughts on this, would greatly appreciate your advice.

    Many thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:21

      Hi Met,

      The scheme is expected to start paying from the end of April. The government website where your employer will need to apply has also not yet been set up and is also expected to be ready near the end of April. We’d expect that the sooner your employer applies, the more likely it is that the grant to cover your wages will come through sooner. Therefore the sooner you can confirm with your employer that they plan to apply the better – but bear in mind that the decision on whether to apply is down to the employer, so it will ultimately be up to them to decide if and when they apply. If your employer does plan to furlough you, they should confirm it to you in writing.

      If you normally have contracted hours and you are not currently working or being paid it may also be worth speaking to employment specialists ACAS to clarify your situation and what your rights are: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      As there’s currently a delay where you may have reduced or no income, you may well be eligible for Universal Credit during this period. You can use our benefits calculator to see how much you might be eligible for: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      If you are eligible, we’d recommend applying as soon as possible. Your first Universal Credit payment will be determined based on a one month assessment period which starts on the day you first claim, so the sooner you apply, the less likely it is that you’ll receive your first furlough payment during that assessment period, meaning you are likely to be eligible for more Universal Credit.

      Best wishes.

  • Elisha Mills
    April 7, 2020 18:15

    Hiya wondering is
    Tax, National insurance and pension taken out of the 80% you recieve or is that covered too?
    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:22

      Hi Elisha,

      You will still pay tax and NI on the income you receive. You will receive the income in the same way as your usual pay, so your taxes will come out in the same way (although as you may be receiving less, you may not need to pay as much tax).

      Both you and your employer will also continue making pension contributions as normal.

      Best wishes.

  • Can the company you work for ppt out of the 80 percent payment

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:25

      Hi Paul,

      Yes, companies are not obliged to make use of the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.

  • I work shifts I get an allowance for my shift work will that be included in my 80% of my month pay

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:23

      Hi Christine,

      If you are on variable pay, your employer can claim for earnings based on either your earnings in the same month from last year, or for your average earnings for the 2019/20 tax year (whichever is higher). So, as far as we can tell from the guidance yes, your shift work allowance can be factored into your earnings for the Job Retention Scheme. If it helps (you or your employer), the government guidance on the Job Retention Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. We are also maintaining a regularly updated COVID-19 FAQ page, which we will update if any specific information is released about the handling of earnings from shift work: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/.

      I hope this helps, but do let us know if you have any further questions.

  • My daughter returned to work last November after being on maternity leave for 9 months. They are talking about furlough but this time last year she was just being paid maternity pay and her salary over the last 12 months reflects that. If she was to be furloughed then using either average salary over last 12 months or salary in march last year would mean she is on way less than her usual pay. Can her employer just use the months since she returned to work to calculate her average salary

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:24

      Hi Lynda,

      If your daughter has a regular wage or salary then her employer can use this to calculate the amount they can get reimbursed while she is furloughed. Calculating earnings based on the same month last year or the 2019/20 tax year average is only for employees whose pay varies. If your daughter’s pay does vary, then at present the guidance does not give specific information on calculating earnings for employees who were previously on maternity leave but have now returned. There is some guidance on what can be claimed for those currently on maternity leave, but it’s unclear whether those calculations would be used for prior maternity leave (the official government guidelines on the scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme in case this is helpful).

      If your daughter does find herself on lower-income whilst furloughed, she may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support if she has less than £16,000 in savings. She can check her eligibility and find information on how to claim on our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      I’m sorry we don’t have more concrete information on the specific treatment of earlier maternity pay. We are keeping a close eye on the government releases and will be updating our COVID-19 FAQ as soon as we see any new information: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/. In the meantime, do let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

  • Ruth Wheeler
    April 7, 2020 16:11

    I’ve worked at a state school for over 10 years as an exam invigilator and am paid through PAYE. I was due to work as usual during May and June when I usually would earn about £550 for the Summer exam period. There is no intention by my school to furlough. Are they entitled to apply? – and would I be entitled to 80% payment based on previous years earnings for this period? It’s a big loss to my income in the year. Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:25

      Hi Ruth,

      Under the Job Retention Scheme, employers can furlough employees on part time, zero-hour, agency or flexible contracts. For employees with variable earnings, employers can claim for either their earnings from the same month last year, or their average earnings in the 2019-20 tax year, whichever is higher. If it’s at all helpful, the official guidance on the Job Retention Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

      I hope this is helpful, but do let us know if you have any other questions we can help with.

  • I started work on 24th February as a salaried club manager I never got a month in for my payroll to be processed , how do I stand for furlough

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:27

      Hello Alan,

      What unfortunate timing for you. Whether you are eligible isn’t exactly clear, what matters is whether you were a PAYE employee prior to February 28. If your employer added you into their system after this date, but backdated your pay to your first day on February 24th, you could be eligible- but your employer will have to agree to furlough you and then take this to HMRC to explain. Your employer should be able to clarify this for you.

      Hope this helps and all the best.

  • Robert Cook
    April 7, 2020 15:11

    Hi there
    My wife is on the vulnerable list and therefore shielding. Can I claim ESA as I can’t find a new job?
    I am self employed and all work has dried up. I should get something in June, but feel that ESA should be payable as I have to protect my wife?
    The info here suggests not as my children are not self isolating and the info suggests I can only claim if they are self isolating?
    Furthermore I had symptoms, but they have now passed which also meant I couldn’t work while I had some self employed work. Have been calling the UC/ESA line for weeks and not been able to get through, ever!!

    Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 18:07

      Hi Robert,

      Depending on some finer details of your situation you may be able to claim Universal Credit and Council tax support. To check if you are eligible you can use our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator (link above). You can start the process online, verify yourself, and your income online without having to speak to them on the phone.

      If your wife cannot work as she has to self-isolate due to COVID-19 she can also apply for Statutory Sick Pay, she can find out more information here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.

      I hope that helps.

  • Hi I have been working in a leisure centre cafe since December and im only 17 years of age on HMRC (contracted) my pay varies each month depending on the hours i have worked. Will I still get the 80% allowance from the GOV?

  • Hi,
    My partner left a job before this all started to join a new one, they had to push back his induction date for his new job due to coronavirus. I work full time for the NHS as an admin, he tried to see if he was entitled to universal credit and he was only entitled to £15 a week. I cannot afford the household bills, my bills and his from my wage unfortunately.
    Is there any help for him in his situation? Money is becoming tight and he is unsure of when he can return to his new job to start induction. It seems as if we’re getting nowhere with this because of my wage – which is enough to cover the household bills and fold.
    Many thanks for all your help during this time.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:26

      Hello Jade,

      I am sorry to hear about the timing of your partner’s change in employment during this stressful time.

      In the meantime, you should try to receive all the support you can, including Universal Credit, and calling your local council to see if you can qualify for council tax support. It is important to apply for UC as soon as possible, as there is a five week wait for payments.

      If your partner is currently not working but has been working for the last 2-3 years, he may be eligible for contributory or ‘new style’ JSA/ESA. You can find the details of how to qualify and apply on this page.

      If you have a mortgage, discussing your new financial situation and coming to a revised payment plan with your lender is an important step, and the Government has introduced a 3 month mortgage holiday to help with these costs. Similarly with household bills and rent costs, it is a good idea to contact your providers to discuss your circumstances and if you are struggling to pay (evictions from rented properties have been suspended for 3 months, which can help if you would otherwise feel uncomfortable discussing your income and ability to pay with a landlord or agency).

      I hope this helps your situation.

  • I have bn advised that I am now a furloughed employee. I don’t know if I should apply for UC as I have no idea what my income will be going forward. I know it will be 80% of my wage but is that before or after tax? I have no proof that my income will change until the end April.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:36

      Hello Carol,

      The 80% is of your gross wage so you would need to pay NI and tax on it in the normal manner. You can estimate what your income will be and use our free calculator (Link: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free) to see whether you may be eligible for UC and other support. If you decide to apply for Universal Credit, the assessment period for your income begins the day you apply and lasts for five weeks, so whatever income you receive in that time will be taken into account.

      I hope this helps.

  • My maternity allowance is going to end of April but bases on last year’s earnings with maternity allowance and ssp I didn’t earn a lot, can me employer put me into furlough and what can they include on the 80% scheme has my employer keeps telling me that I should the extra unpaid maternity leave but I won’t be able to live with no money and it’s not the 80% is coming out of there pockets, can you furlough yourself and if they won’t furlough can that be classed has unfair dismissal?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:37

      Hello Kelly,

      Unfortunately, you cannot furlough yourself- it is up to your employer whether or not to furlough you.

      However the same discrimination and employee rights apply when employers are choosing who to furlough and who not to furlough. If they have furloughed all other employees but don’t want to furlough you when you return from maternity, this could possibly be discriminatory. You should reach out to your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau for more specific advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/search-for-your-local-citizens-advice/

      I don’t know if you have set date for your ‘return’ to work? You must give your employer at least 8 weeks notice if you want to change your return to work date.

      In the meantime, however, you should use our free benefits calculator to see if you are eligible for any other support to top up your maternity pay, such as council tax support, Universal Credit or healthy start vouchers. Link: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Hope this helps.

  • Hi, I’ve taken unpaid leave as needed to self isolate as living with my elderly 87 yr father who has heart failure… also a 13 yr old son, also no additional people are allowed in the home to help my father when I’m at work . I’m employed for 17 hrs a week as a driver for an independent pharmacy delivering medication to customers and collecting scripts from surgeries so in contact with the general public. The pharmacy isn’t struggling financially during this crisis. Would my employer be eligible to Furlough me under these circumstances, would I qualify. many thanks.

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:25

      Hello,

      The guidelines state that employers can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay home with someone who is shielding) if they are unable to work from home and they would otherwise have to make them redundant. Furloughing employees is up to the discretion of the employer, so you will need to discuss this possibility with your employer to see if they would consider it. Unfortunately, you cannot furlough yourself.

      Hope this helps, best wishes

  • Hi
    Please can you tell me if the 80% is worked out on gross or nett pay.
    I can’t find the answer anywhere and obviously it makes a difference. Thank you

  • Hi there what a very useful web page. I was put at risk of redundancy on the 26th March (when working from home, following the PMs announcement on Monday 23rd March) I had a consultation meeting on the 30th March when it was explained that the Company financial results were not good and now with the Covid-19 issue they are fighting for their lives and will have to restructure. I argued that me and my Department( who were also put at risk) should be furloughed but the MD said that the furlough thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and he still has to pay wages if he went down that route and then claim them back ….(?) I was asked if I had any alternate to being made redundant and on the basis that the reason given for my Department being at risk was that he said our work could be outsourced I said why don you outsource it to me They have accepted this offer and a legal agreement is now being drawn up for the Co. and myself to sign. There is tremendous risk attached to this from my end as it is an agreement based on winning them work ( Bids, Tenders etc) and no retainer. The more I think about what they have done and how i have been treated is tantamount to constructive dismissal. Meanwhile today I have received my letter confirming my redundancy from the Co. HR Manager and my 3 month notice period ( that I have to work) has been calculated from the consultation meeting date ( 30th March) not today’s date – 6th April. Is this correct? I was under the impression that Redundancy notice commenced on the date you were formally made redundant I have found the whole experience very unsettling as I have always far exceed my job performance and have been promoted twice in a year and now this ! Is there anything I can do please ? Thank you

  • Hi can you tell me where do I go for help please. I worked 11 years as a carer for an agency until February 2019. I started self employed as a cleaner for holiday cottages on 6th April 2019. I have today my tax ready to submit for 2019/2020 but lines are down.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:52

      Hi Sylvia,

      Unfortunately you will not be eligible for either of the employment or self employment schemes. For the former (called the Job Retention Scheme) you need to have been furloughed by your employer and have been on a payroll system on the 28th February. For the latter (Self Employment Income Support scheme) you will need at least a tax return for 2018/19, so before you started work as self employed).

      There is other support available though. Aside from the above schemes, you might be eligible for benefits such as Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, so long as your savings capital is less than £16,000. You can check this using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. You’ll need to complete this for your household (so if you have a partner, adult children, or dependent children, their details should also be included). Someone will be available on the Live Chat to help you fill this in if you have questions about filling the calculator out. If you find that with this support you will still struggle, please do come back to this page as it will be regularly updated when new guidance comes out.

      If what you need is to speak with HMRC about completing your tax return, then they are the best people to contact. It must be very stressful but I would suggest that you stay on the line, even if there are queues, as they are likely facing unprecedented demand.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Good evening,
    I was laid off the 20th of March which left me receiving only statutory payment from my company.
    I applied for Universal Credit after thinking in my sad situation and worried for my income ( never applied for benefits before in my life ) They will call me at the end of this month and they will tell me if I am eligible.
    My company had offered applying for me and rest of employees for the 80% salary scheme happily few days ago but there will be delay in our payments ( probably May ) . This month I won’t receive any income. My question is :
    Does this change of situation leave me with no right for UC or am I still eligible at least for only this month?
    I hope you can help me because I am really confused.
    Thanks a lot in advance

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 10:09

      Hi Victoria,

      Your first Universal Credit payment will be judged based on your income and circumstances during your first assessment period, which is a period of one month starting from the date you make your claim. How much your first payment will be will depend on your income during that month.

      So if you first made your claim in late March, and your 80% pay isn’t expected until May, you are likely to be eligible for Universal Credit, although it may depend when you received the statutory pay you mentioned, and how much that was. You can use our calculator to see how much you’re likely to get. If you set the date of claim to the date you first claimed and fill in your income for the assessment period that will give you an idea of what you might receive: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      If you urgently need income in the meantime you might be able to apply for an advance, though this would be deducted from later Universal Credit payments.

      Your eligibility for Universal Credit in future will then be judged based on your circumstances over each monthly assessment period. So when your 80% pay comes in in May you may be eligible for less Universal Credit or you may no longer be eligible at all (but this will not impact how much you were paid for previous assessment periods).

      I hope that helps. Do let us know if you have more questions.

      Best wishes.

  • I work in an infant school as a catering assistant. My employer was Luton Borough Council which lost its catering contract with the school recently. My contract was with the Luton Borough Council until 27/3/20. The headteacher accepted a private catering company to provide service and my contract is transferred to the new company on 29/3/20. I signed the new contract on 2/3. As it’s a transfer of contract and so all the terms and conditions are unchanged. The school is closed from 24/3 and I received salary from the Council until 27/3. My question is will I be eligible to get 80% of salary from the new company for three months? Please advise. Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 10:08

      Hi Emily,

      Sorry to hear about this. It sounds like quite a complex case and at the moment I’m not certain whether this would mean you would be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. I think it will depend on whether the government consider you to have started a new job on 29 March or whether they consider it the same job as you had previously (and crucially the same job you had before 28 February).

      As it will be your employer who need to make the claim for the scheme, I would recommend discussing with them whether they will make the claim for your job (and for any colleagues in the same situation). It might also be worth discussing the same with Luton council, depending on what your current employer says. On top of that, I would recommend getting in touch with ACAS or a trade union, as they will be able to give you more detailed advice on your situation and your rights: https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

      If at the moment you are not receiving any income, I would recommend seeing if you can apply for Universal Credit, and if you can, applying ASAP. You can use our calculator to see what help you might be eligible for with your current income: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Hi

    I have just spoken to tax credits directly but previously they have given me incorrect information so thought I would try here also and see what you thought.

    My hours are the same, my partner has been furlough until further notice. Our child care provider might not be charging, (waiting for her to reply) as we are not sending them. We receive tax credits for child care only. If I reduce my child care to zero I was under the impression we would come off the tax credit system but the person I spoke to seemed to think not. Once things get back to normal my children will continue at childcare and my partner will hopefully return to work as we are likely to earn less this year compared to last.

    Do I make them aware that we think our child care costs will go down to zero? If so, will we come off tax credits? Will we then be able to apply in the future for tax credits or will only be able to apply for universal credit.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 10:07

      Hi Emma,

      I’m afraid we’ve not seen any guidance clearly updating their usual position on changes to hours of childcare, but generally, they have said that changes to hours worked will be ignored for 8 weeks, so it is possible they may be similarly relaxing the conditions you mention.

      If you do decide to take the advice you received when calling them it may be a good idea to keep a record of when the call was and what was said (and who it was with, if you have that info), as well as any call record you might have, just so you have a record in future if needed. You could also get in touch with Citizens Advice to see if they are able to provide more detailed advice on your case: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/

      If you were to come off of tax credits during this period, any future application you made would need to be for Universal Credit. You can use our calculator to see how that might impact your situation: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      Best wishes.

  • Gary lewis
    April 6, 2020 15:09

    Hi, I changed jobs in February, starting a new job on 24th February so I assumed that I would be eligible for the 80% payment. I have now been told by my employer that I am unlikely to qualify because the company payroll for February was run 2 days before my employment commenced, so I was not on PAYE payroll on 28th February. I was actually employed and being paid from 24th February so is this correct? I’d be grateful for any advice.
    Thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 17:59

      Hi Gary,

      Unfortunately the current guidelines on the Job Retention Scheme require employees to be on the PAYE system on 28th February. We are monitoring the government releases around the scheme closely and will update our FAQ page (https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19) if we see any updates on this point, but at present, it looks like you would not be eligible.

      If you are not kept on by your employer as a result of this, you may be able to claim contributory Job Seekers Allowance if you have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the past two years (more information on contributory JSA can be found on the FAQ page). If you find yourself on low income as a result of COVID-19 and your savings are less than £16,000, you may also be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You can check your eligibility for these benefits using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      I hope this was helpful, but please do let us know if we can help with anything else.

  • Hi my son works at a professional stadium which has been closed due to Covid -19. He has not been put on Furlough but instead been asked to go and work at a factory (nothing to do with the stadium) which is an hours drive away and which operates shifts. The shift he has been given is 2 – 10pm whereas he normally works 9-5. His girlfriend he lives with is asthmatic, so he is also worried about what he could potentially take home. All other employees have been furloughed but my son was told he was not eligible as he had no family to look after. Can the Company do this?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 18:01

      Hi Gill,

      I am very sorry to hear about your son’s situation. Unfortunately the Job Retention Scheme relies upon employers offering it to their employees. It is at the employer’s discretion who to furlough. However, there is nothing in the scheme regulations that makes someone ineligible if they don’t have family. Any employee who was on the employer’s PAYE system on February 28th can be furloughed. If it is at all helpful, the official government guidance on the scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

      If your son’s employer does not choose to furlough him, and your son loses his job, he may be eligible for contributory Job Seeker’s Allowance if he has made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the past two years. You can find out more information about contributory JSA on our COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19. If he has less than £16,000 and is on lower or zero income, he may also be able to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. If this is the case, your son might find it helpful to use our free online calculator (https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free) to check his exact eligibility for these (and other) forms of support.

      I hope this is helpful, but please do let us know if there’s anything else we can help with.

  • Charlotte Heaton
    April 6, 2020 14:34

    Hi, I was recently laid off without pay. Im not sure which kind of benefits I am entitled to

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:24

      Hello Charlotte,

      I’m sorry to hear you recently lost your job. There are many possible benefits out there and listed on this page, but they all depend on your situation.

      – You may be eligible for New Style JSA. This is a benefit for people who have previously been working and have paid national insurance in the last 2-3 years. You can find out more information to see if you would be eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa.

      – If your savings are below £16,000 you may be able to get support from Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. These are separate benefits and must be applied for separately. We suggest applying as soon as possible, as Universal Credit cannot be backdated and there is a minimum five-week wait for payments.

      You can check this using our free online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

  • Hi I am currently working through an agency. My Manager has notified me that in by next week all staff will be furloughed, it is my understanding that they have asked the agency to put me on furlough and we are awaiting feedback. My manager feels I should not be discriminated against as he would like me to come back with the rest of the team when the company re-opens. Do I have to rely on the agencies discretion in this situation?

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:27

      Hello Mandy,

      As you work for an agency, who decides on whether or not to furlough you depends on your specific situation. According to the government website:
      “Furlough should be agreed between the agency, as the deemed employer, and the worker, though it would be advised to discuss the need to furlough with any end clients involved. As with employees, agency workers should perform no work for, through or on behalf of the agency that has furloughed them while they are furloughed, including for the agency’s clients.

      Where an agency supplies clients with workers who are employed by an umbrella company that operates the PAYE, it will be for the umbrella company and the worker to agree whether to furlough the worker or not.”

      You can see the full guidance here on the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#employees-you-can-claim-for

      When employers are deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

      I hope you are able to get the support you need, best wishes

  • Hi I work for an agency and I am paid by an umbrella company. I started work on the 24th February but the Umbrella company did not contact me for two weeks. In the end they backdated my pay to the 24th but I would not have been registered with PAYE until March due to their error. Will I still be furloughed? The contract was supposed to be until July so I have lost £10000 in wages. Thanks

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:32

      Hello Lisa,

      What unfortunate timing for you.

      If your pay was backdated so you were PAYE on the 28th sounds perhaps you may qualify. The employer would need to take this up with HMRC on your behalf. It is also up to your employer whether or not to furlough you.

      Best of luck and hope this helps

  • Wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction, My adult son moved to Spain October 19, stayed without luck of finding employment, came back to uk on February 12 th…his old employer asked him to start back to work on 16th February, moving forward to March when government closed cafes, my son was told for obvious reasons there wasn’t work, as the government announced furlough he didn’t worry….he’s now been told by his employer that he didn’t put my son onto his books until the 1st March…….meaning he isn’t eligible for furlough…..he’s tried to apply for universal credit but it’s asking for proof of identity…he only has 1 ( passport)…..he doesn’t have driving licence or utility bill……question I guess I’m asking is what does he do now……he’s staying with me but I only work part time and have a dependant son also so my money can only go so far.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:54

      Hi Helen,

      I’m sorry that you and your son are in this situation. One thing to do would be to speak with the employer to ask them if it is possible for them to backdate your son’s payroll start date so that he was a PAYE employee on 28th February. The employer would need to speak with HMRC on this. If this is possible, his employer should then be able to place him on furlough.

      Regarding Universal Credit – someone from the DWP should be able to get back to him via the phone to discuss his proof of identity. They are facing large demand at the moment so waiting times are longer than usual, but they have confirmed that they’ll be phoning people back to prevent you/ your son having to stay on hold for a long time.In the meantime, this citizens advice page explains exactly what he’ll need to make a UC claim: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/claiming/applying-for-universal-credit/

      I hope this helps, and best wishes.

  • Hi I quit my job on the 15th march and I started a new contract on the 16th.
    I would to know if I able to have the 80% of my wage with a contract full time in both of places. Thank you

  • Hi please could you clarify something for me I started a 2month contract on the 18th Feb 2020, & due to the coronavirus my contract ended on the 18th March, which the company paid me up until the 31st March, I asked if there was a chance I could be entitled to furlough as a difficult time recruiting . the company replied and have said The scheme will be subject to HMRC audits & there could be a question mark, if they where to place me on furlough,
    given the short time & nature and the impending end date of the contract , previously I was made redundant on the 24/12/2019 after 12years,
    Would I be entitled to any benefits my husband is working, , but I still have bills to pay. .

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 09:39

      Hi Debbie,

      Yes, if your capital is below £16,000 and your income is low, you may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. There are also other forms of support available such as Discretionary Housing Payments (to meet housing costs – you can apply for these via your local council) and mortgage holiday (you will need to speak to your lender about this).

      I hope this helps.

  • Linda Morris
    April 6, 2020 10:47

    I am not being paid (previous message)

  • Linda Morris
    April 6, 2020 10:43

    Hi I am a carer( paid carers allowance) for my partner who has pulmonary fibrosis and heart failure among other illnesses my GP said not to go to work at Tesco I had to shield and we both had to self isolate. Tesco are my paying my wages cos my partner is vulnerable not me. Would I be covered by furlough scheme

  • John Morris
    April 6, 2020 10:28

    Hi. I am a school mini bis driver, on a 0-hours contract,but paid via the PAYE scheme. What are my entitlements? I have been working for the school for over 12 months, and my monthly earning vary, dependent on the number of hours i receive? As i am already paid by the government, form the school budget, are my earnings protected? Any advice would be greatly received.
    Thanks
    John

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:30

      Hi John,

      You should be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme since you are paid via PAYE. This means you can get 80% of your wages paid by your employer. Since your monthly earnings vary, the amount you receive will be based on 80% of your earnings for the same month in 2019, or your average earnings in 2019/20. You can find more information about the Job Retention Scheme at the top of this page.

      Hope this helps.

      All the best.

  • Hi,

    I am currently in contract (working through an umbrella company in their payroll , not through LTD company)since March 2019 till 17th April 2020.

    I won’t be able to go for any other job after that and it will impact me severely to pay my bills.
    As the Chancellor announced that 95% of the people will be covered with the Government Scheme, please can you advise how much I will be covered and who to contact to ?

    Kind regards,

    Joyirc

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:45

      Hi Joyirc,

      Since you were on your employer’s payroll in February, you should be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme. However, I would recommend getting in touch with your employer to ask if they would consider if they would keep you on as an employee after 17th April so that you can stay on the Job Retention Scheme. Since the government would pay your employer a grant to cover 80% of your wages, this option should not leave your employer out of pocket.

      If your employer does not agree to this, you should be eligible for benefits. You may be eligible for New Style JSA. This is a benefit for people who have previously been working and have paid national insurance in the last 2-3 years. You can find out more information to see if your son would be eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa. If your savings are below £16,000 he may be able to get support from Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. They can check this using our online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free

      All the best.

  • Hello , can I clarify , if I am working from home due to corona virus my attachment of earnings will be suspended until July ?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:24

      Hi Lisa,

      Attachment of earnings to repay some types of debts have been suspended. These debts include DWP benefit overpayments, housing benefit overpayments, tax credit overpayments and Social Fund loans. These will automatically stop until July at the earliest. As far as we know, all other attachment of earnings will continue as normal.

      I hope that helps.

      All the best.

  • Please help…..I have worked For my present employers for 18 years, and recently had a pay rise at the end of January.

    I have a contract for 40 hours per week at 12 per hour, and get paid weekly. I am now furloughed and the accountant has informed me that I don’t get 80% of my current wage but 80% of my average earnings from last year, leaving me around £70 per week down.

    Is this correct?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:59

      Hi Ruth,

      Unfortunately if your monthly earnings fluctuate then the retention payment for which you are eligible will be calculated on your average monthly earnings over the past 12 months. It is possible for your employer to top this up if they choose to, but they do not have a duty to do so.

      Best wishes.

  • My employer has asked me to agree to be furloughed with payment only being made when they receive it from the government. Is it wise for me to accept this given I thought it was for reimbursement. My employer is basically saying they cannot afford to pay it out first due to cashflow.
    Thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:58

      Hi Amy,

      The funding for the Job Retention Scheme is expected to be available in the coming weeks. It is to the discretion of each employer whether they pay their staff before this payment comes through.

      I recommend asking your employer to email you the furlough agreement as soon as possible to safeguard the payment if you are concerned about whether to trust your employer. Once you have each signed the document, you will be guaranteed the payment.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi
    My husband started self employment in March 2019 as a private hire. He is not working at present due to covid 19 .Do we have to report tax credits about change of hours? Because we have tax and working tax credits.We also have child care payments from them.We are sacred of applying for housing benefit as we dont want to be transfer to UC.Please advice us what are our options?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:56

      Hi Maria,

      You do not need to report this change for at least the next 8 weeks. HMRC have confirmed that due to coronavirus, they will ignore changes to working hours and continue to pay tax credits as before. I would check this page before the 8 weeks is up, since it is possible that these 8 weeks will be extended.

      I would recommend using our benefit calculator to see how much income you would receive under Universal Credit, as it may be that the housing element within UC would mean you are actually better off applying. However, it is also important to consider the five week wait for the initial UC payment, as tax credits would stop over this time. (You may be able to apply for an ‘advance’ loan payment during this time, though it would need to be repaid over the coming year).

      Best wishes.

  • Hi,

    I put in a claim for JSA which I know that I qualify for about 3 weeks ago. I got my notification of my universal credits on 2nd April for this months payment but firstly, there was no JSA on there so do you know how long that takes and is it backdated? do I get it separately or does it add on to my next UC payment? Also the government said a few weeks ago that there would be an extra £1000 UC but this was not added to my April payment. Is this going to be in May payment as I have struggled to pay my rent which is due on 1st of each month. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:55

      Hi Louise,

      Firstly can I check that your JSA claim was for new-style JSA? To be eligible for this you need to have paid sufficient National Insurance over the last two years. You will only be eligible for the other forms of JSA if you are in receipt of a severe disability premium.

      If you are eligible then you should normally begin receiving payments within two weeks of your claim, this will go straight into your bank account and is backdated to the day that you claimed. Any JSA you receive is separate to your Universal Credit payments.

      Regarding the increase to your Universal Credit, this £1000 is spread over the year so it could increase your monthly award by about £80. You should notice this on your first payment after the 6th April, as the change was brought in at the beginning of the new financial year.

      I hope this helps, but please feel free to ask any further questions.

  • Hi

    I work in retail we sell some essentials and are staying open during all this.

    If I was to ask for the time off would I receive 80% of my salary from the government?

    I started my job on February 24th.

    I’m worried about taking anything back to my family as I’m the only one needing to leave the house for work.

    Looking forward on hearing back from you.

  • Hi

    I started a new job in a retail store on the 24/2/20 we sell very limited food, cleaning and medicine items yet we are classed as a key store and are remaining open during the scare.
    They haven’t put any protection for us in to place yet we have been given gloves we are due to get face masks and visors sometime next week.
    I stay at home with my family and I’m worried about bringing anything back.
    Where do I stand in time off work and would I be eligible for the 80% of my wage.

    Thanks

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:31

      Hello Anton,

      Unfortunately, if you want to ask to go on furlough and receive 80% of your pay, you need to ask your employer- and it is up to them whether they will approve it for you. When on furlough, you cannot do any work for the company for a minimum of three weeks. Otherwise, if you are sick or self-isolating in line with government advice, you can claim statutory sick pay instead. As you started before February 28, you should hopefully be eligible for this scheme if you were added to your employer’s PAYE prior to February 28.

      You can see the full government guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#employees-you-can-claim-for

      Best of luck

  • Hi, my husband and I are a self-employed partnership. Our total trading profits exceed £50,000; however, when split between us are below £50,000 each. Will we qualify? Many thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:56

      Hi Susan,

      For the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, partnership trading profits are included within your self-employed profits. This means you will not be eligible for support through the scheme.

      You may however be eligible for support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

      All the best.

      • Thank you very much for your reply. Just to clarify we don’t have any separate self employed profits, just our partnership share, which is under £50,000 each. Essentially my question is – is the £50,000 limit for the partnership as a whole (both of our profits added together) or is the £50,000 limit applied to our individual share of the partnership profits? Thank you

        • Janet Harkin
          April 14, 2020 09:13

          Hi Susan,

          If you are a partnership, the members of the partnership will each have submitted an individual self-assessment form with their share of the partnership profits. This is the amount that HMRC will use. If you shared your profits, then it will be your share that is taken into account.

          Best wishes

  • Hi there. I have a rental property and the tenants have stopped paying rent. It is my only income. The property itself is over £16K. Does that count as an asset which would stop me applying for Universal Credit?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 9, 2020 17:57

      Hi Elizabeth,

      If you are not living in that property then yes this will be included as savings, making you ineligible for Universal Credit. The amount counted as savings will be the current market value (‘surrender value’) of the property, minus 10% (this is disregarded due to the potential costs that would be involved in selling the property).

      All the best.

  • Stephen Rowley
    April 4, 2020 15:58

    Hi. I live in Northern Ireland but work in Republic of Ireland. My employer sent us home last week as I work on construction site. I got a letter from my doctor also to say I have to self isolate due to medical condition. Where do I claim – in Republic or UK and any idea what benefit I’m entitled to? My employer didn’t furlough me as he is Republic based.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 6, 2020 17:53

      Hi Stephen,

      Since you are resident in Northern Ireland you can claim benefits in the UK. If you have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the past two years you may be eligible for contributory Employment and Support Allowance, which is available to people who are self-isolating due to COVID-19.

      If you have savings of less than £16,000 you may also be able to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You can find out exactly what benefits you are eligible for, how much support you would receive, and information on how to claim using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      You can also find detailed information about the support available to those affected by COVID-19 on our FAQ page: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/#1584897416428-ee884a83-f33e, which we are updating regularly as new information gets released.

      I hope this is helpful, but do let us know if you have any other questions.

  • Ian Walker
    April 4, 2020 15:58

    I started a new job on the 9th March 2020, but i have been told that i am not entitled to furlong pay as i started after the 28th February 2020. What can i do?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 6, 2020 17:54

      Hi Ian,

      If you are on low income as a result of COVID-19 and have less than £16,000 in savings, you may be able to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. You check your eligibility for these kinds of support and find information about how to claim on our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free.

      If you lose your job as a result of COVID-19 and you have made sufficient National Insurance contributions in the last two years, you may be eligible for contributory Job Seekers Allowance. Again, you can find out more about this through the calculator linked above. You can also find more information about these (and other types of support you might be eligible for) on our COVID-19 FAQ page here: https://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19.

      I hope this helps, but let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

  • Hi I was just wonding if this 80 percent is before tax because my normal wage is 1090 after tax so will I’ll get 80 percent of that or 80 percent of 1250 i get before tax thank you

  • Hi, I am.working in a company the last 18 months with contract. Due to coronavirus I am in a furlough leave since 1 st of April and until.the end of May. Can I apply for universal credit to get some help to pay my house rent? If yes ,in the question “are you curently working?” What is the correct answer? Since I not working at the moment, but also I cannot search for another job since I am not fired yet
    Could you please help me?
    Thank you

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 6, 2020 17:58

      Hi Elena,

      Yes, you can apply for Universal Credit whilst furloughed, if you have less than £16,000 in savings. You can find out how much support you would be eligible for using our free online calculator: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. Just enter your income as it is under the furlough scheme. The results page also includes information and links for how to begin the Universal Credit claim process.

      I hope this helps – do let us know if you have any other questions.

  • What is the position for a sole director of a company who takes all their income as a dividend? Ie not on PAYE and no trading income on tax return? Many thanks.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 15:04

      Hi Anna,

      If you are only paid through dividends, unfortunately you won’t be covered by the self-employment income support scheme. However, if you also pay yourself a wage through PAYE, you should be eligible for the coronavirus job retention scheme. This means you should get 80% of the wage you pay yourself covered by a government grant. You can find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

      In the meantime, you may be eligible for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, as long as your savings are less than £16,000. You can use our online calculator (linked above) to see if you’re eligible.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi. I am self employed and have a cafe. As I am a sole trader and it is a newish business, I have yet to make a profit in the last three years. This year was hopefully going to be the turning point and i would be able to make a profit. The government says it will help the self employed by giving them 80% of their taxable profit, but what happens if you are yet to make a profit. I have had to close due to the virus, so am losing money as i still have to pay rent, electric etc. is there going to be anything for me? Many thanks

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 15:05

      Hi Debbie,

      This depends on the type of profit you are talking about. The terminology used talks about trading profits which are generally assumed to be gross profits. If you qualify then HMRC will be in contact with you. If you pay yourself as an employee through PAYE you will be able to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. If you need more immediate assistance you should certainly consider applying for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. Information about these is given on this page. You should apply as soon as possible as these cannot be backdated.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I’m self employed earning £10k per year plus £9k pension and have a portfolio of properties (not a limited company). Does the rental income count thus taking me over the 50% of income therefore making me unable to claim support for not being able to do my self employed job?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 15:05

      Hi Ian,

      If your rental income is not part of your business then you should be eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme as your profits are below £50,000. As the grant is only available from July, it would be worth applying for any benefits that you may be eligible for. To find out what benefits you could claim, try filling out our calculator, it is linked to at the top of this page.

      Best wishes.

  • hi i was hoping you could help me…I am a limited company (been set up since march 2019). I am the only person in my company and I have been effected by Covid-19. My company is mb transport ltd (11877115). I had work fully booked up to October 2020, but when the virus hit in March I lost all of the work literally over night. I am a professional driver for the music industry and I was working for a firm called Starsleeper as their main lead driver. I have been doing work for them them since I set up my own firm in March 2019. I invoice Starsleeper every month for my services to them. As I am not classed as self employed due to being a limited company, I am unable to claim anything that the government has put out there. I am not able to apply for a grant as I don’t have business rates. I have applied for a company loan with Barclays who I have my company account with, but that have turned me down due to my company never having a loan or credit card. is there anything than I can apply for he help me through this uncertain time?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 17:57

      Hi Michael,

      If you are self-employed through your limited company you will be eligible for Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. This will automatically be offered to you if you have submitted tax returns for the 2018/19 financial year, have less than £50,000 in annual profits, are trading in 2019/20 and intend to continue trading in 2020/21. Alternatively, If you have paid yourself as an employee through PAYE you can claim a grant for up to 80% of your PAYE income (up to £2,500). If you need more immediate assistance you should certainly consider applying for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. Information about these is given on this page. You should apply as soon as possible as these cannot be backdated.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I hope someone can help. My partner is a self employed construction worker and because of the virus is now not working. I work in a school and still on full pay (working 1 week out of 10). We will only have my wages coming in now, which only covers the rent (privately renting) and council tax. I have tried searching what benefits etc he could claim and nothing is coming back. We have no money to pay bills or buy food. What, if anything can we do?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 17:57

      Hi Lisa,

      If your husband is self employed through his limited company he could be eligible for the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. This will automatically be offered to him if he has submitted tax returns for the 2018/19 financial year, has less than £50,000 in annual profits, and is trading in 2019/20 and intends to continue trading in 2020/21. Alternatively, If he has paid himself as an employee through PAYE he can claim a grant for up to 80% of his PAYE income (up to £2,500).

      If you need more immediate assistance you should certainly consider applying for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. Information about these is given on this page and you can use our calculator to see what you are eligible for. You should apply as soon as possible as these cannot be backdated.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi all,
    I have a question about something I don’t seem to find an answer anywhere, not even on the government website:
    If I have work until April 9th (included), I get furloughed for the rest of the month (so my company meets the minimum 3 weeks required) and 80% of my wages are still above £2500 for the 3 weeks period, would I get paid in full from my company from 1 to 9 April plus £2500 from the government or would I get full pay from 1 to 9 from the company plus £2500×21/30?
    Thank you for your help,
    Alex

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 17:58

      Hi Alex,

      As the Government talks of a minimum furlough period of 3 weeks, we presume this is going to be pro-rata. In other words, the employer will give the dates of furlough and the monthly claim, and the grant will be calculated and passed to the employer on a pro-rata basis. If we hear any more we will update our website.

      It’s worth noting that this just applies to the grant the Government pays to the employer. The amount the employer pays you may differ (it will need to be at least up to the grant amount). So your employer may decide to pay full pay for the full month. You would need to clarify this with the employer.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi
    I work in FE and my contract finishes this week and I am due to start my new contract in another FE College on 20th April, I have signed my new contract, but feel it is unlikely the new place will be open, where would I stand?

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:23

      Hi Annie,

      This means you would not be eligible for the furlough scheme with your new employer. If this is something they plan to do you might want to mention your circumstances (as the employer has discretion over who to place on furlough or let go). It is permitted, however, for your previous employer to rehire you and then furlough you. You would need to contact them to ask whether they will agree to this.

      Best wishes.

  • Christine Carmichael
    April 3, 2020 15:08

    I have been advised by NHS to shield due to underlying health issues. My employer says I must apply for unpaid leave. I have checked all the government sites and I am unable to claim any money.
    1 I am not ill
    2. My husband works and has a small pension

    What can I do other than to go into work and take a chance

    Please help or advise on what I can do financially

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:22

      Hi Christine,

      Your employer may be able to furlough you, meaning you would not need to go into work, and your employer would get a government grant to cover 80% of your normal wages. The government have confirmed that this is a recommended option for people who are shielding due to health issues. I would recommend bringing this up with your employer- you can find more information about the scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

      If this is not possible, you might be able to claim contributory Employment and Support Allowance (‘new style ESA’ is the formal name). Eligibility for this depends on your employment history and whether you’ve paid enough National Insurance Contributions for the last two tax years: 6-April-2017 to 5-April-2018 and 6-April-2018 to 6-April-2019. During this period you will have needed to have worked and paid Class 1 or Class 2 contributions in one of the years AND have paid, or been credited, 50 weeks worth of contributions over the two years.

      If you and your husband’s combined income is low and savings are below £16,000 you may also be able to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, which our free online calculator can help work out for you: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. This would be on top of your contributory ESA (if you are eligible for this).

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • julia sherriff
    April 3, 2020 14:51

    can you possibly help, My son has been sacked from work as they cannot afford him. Where can we turn. He has a mortgage and cannot claim anything for this because he hasnt had the mortgage very long. Im extremly worried for his metal health

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:40

      Hi Julia,

      I’m sorry to hear about this worrying situation. If your son has been working for the last 2-3 years and paying National Insurance contributions, he may be eligible for New Style JSA. You can find out more information to see if your son would be eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa. Your son may also be able to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support if his capital savings are below £16,000.

      This can be checked using our free online calculator here: https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free. The final thing to consider is to have a further discussion with his mortgage provide to explain his situation and that current payments place him at risk of being unable to pay.

      I hope this helps and best wishes.

  • Hello – I was working at a company from Nov-19 until 20 March 2020 on a temporary basis, employed and paid by a large recruitment agency. I’m presently not working. I knew at the outset that the arrangement would end in March, and I was paid a fixed day rate with PAYE deducted. a) Does it seem likely that I could receive the 80% Job Retention Scheme grant, provided that the agency would agree to re-hire me and put me on furlough? b) If they were to do this, what would be the effect on my entitlement to new style Jobseekers’ Allowance? (I had applied online for JSA on 21/3, but I haven’t heard back from the government as yet). Thanks, Dave.

    • Alannah McGhee
      April 7, 2020 09:33

      Hello Dave,

      This is a tough situation. She can only be put on furlough if her employer lets her do so. Employees with caring obligations can be put on furlough for that reason- but her employer will need to consent to it. I recommend she ask her employer as soon as possible to see if they can come to an agreement before the end of her maternity leave. I wish you and your daughter all the best.

      Best wishes.

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:17

      Hi Dave
      Our understanding is the agency can re-hire you and furlough you. This would be up to them. In which case you would need to cancel your JSA claim. It is probably advisable to check with the agency if they will do this before cancelling the claim.
      Best wishes

  • linda redmayne
    April 3, 2020 14:27

    Self employed expecting max £1300 per month from grant. I am now claiming UC when I get grant in June do I have to pay uc payments for March and April back?

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:18

      Hi Linda

      No, you will not have to pay the grant back but it is taken into account as your self-employed earnings for the month in which it is paid so you will not get UC for that month. There is a little-used rule in UC called “surplus earnings”. This is likely to come into effect for those accessing the grant. it means that the grant will continue to be taken into account for the following months. Each month, the “surplus” is reduced by the amount that would be needed to reduce your UC to nil. There is also an amount ignored each month (£2,500). If you have no work allowance, then for you the amount would be £3,445. That means that the £7,500 grant is taken into account in month 1 and you will get no UC. In month 2, this is reduced by £3,445 leaving £4,055 to be taken into account as income and so again you will get no UC. In month 3, this is again reduced by £3,445 and £610 is taken into account as your income. That means you will start getting UC again from Month 3 after the grant. You will need to remember to reclaim your UC in this month.

      I hope this helps

      Best wishes

  • I’ve recently accepted a new job; and handed in my resignation a couple of weeks ago; but since this pandemic the new job have had to wait out employing me for a while till this blows over. So I’m stick in limbo between jobs. I said to my current employers that I’m my final date of work would be the 16th April. When talking to them about increasing my stay they said they couldn’t. Would I be entitled for the furloughed scheme by the company I am still under contract for? I have been working for the company before February last year too.

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:19

      Hi Raj

      Yes, your current company can include you in furlough. You can then terminate your employment once furlough ends or your new company is ready to employ you. You will need to discuss this with your current employer.

      Best wishes

  • Joanna Nelmes
    April 3, 2020 14:10

    I am an exam invigilator, employed by a school, on PAYE and have two years work history with them. With the exams being cancelled, I am losing a few months almost full time work. I thought this would be covered by furlough under zero hours contracts. However my employer has said that as I am employed on a casual basis, based on need, it does not apply. They have also stated the following – “At this time, anybody who is employed/on a casual contract in the public sector cannot be furloughed”. Please can you offer some advice.

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:20

      Hi Joanna

      The Government has recently issued further advice re contingent workers in the public sector. There is explicit mention of furlough if the person cannot work in the office, or because of illness, or due to childcare. However, none of these apply in your case. It does appear though that the intention is to furlough employees like you that have been affected. You should ask your employer to reconsider this decision in the light of the new guidance. It would be useful to find out how they interpreted the advice to reach this conclusion. You may then need to take this up with an employment specialist.

      Whilst you are waiting for this to be resolved you should consider claiming Universal Credit and Council Tax Support. These should be claimed as soon as possible as they cannot be backdated. Further information is on this page.

      Best wishes

  • I am a joint director of a company with my husband with a PAYE scheme running. Work has dropped and he can do my job. Can he furlong me and
    carry on running the company>

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:21

      Hi Carol

      Yes, this is possible. He can claim a grant up to 80% of your PAYE amount (up to £2,500/month). If he goes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme website there are details of the application process.

      Best wishes

  • Hi , i am an Optometrist and was made redundant on the 20th of March 2020 from an employed position ( this constituted 60% of my salary) . I also do self employed locum work which has been cancelled for the foreseeable future and constitutes 40% of my annual salary. I now have no income for the foreseeable future. Can i : A. Claim for furlough even though i am now redundant ? B. Claim for self employment help for my cancelled locum work ?

    Thank you

    • Janet Harkin
      April 7, 2020 20:22

      Hi Summer

      You would need to go back to your accounts for the financial years 16/17, 17/18, 18/19. If during those years your self-employment was on average more than half your taxable income, or in 2018/19 alone your self-employment was more than half