Coronavirus: Financial Support

I'm worried I might lose my job.

The UK government is stepping in to help pay for people's wages through grants to support as many jobs as necessary. 

Any employer (large, small, charitable or for-profit) can apply for a grant from HMRC to cover up to 80% of the salary of retained workers who are kept on payroll, up to a total £2,500 a month. Employers will be free to top up the remaining 20% of employees' salaries, however, this is not mandatory. 

There will be no limit to the number or total value of grants paid out. 

The UK government is also covering the cost of National Insurance and pension contribution for furloughed staff. 

For further information about this scheme, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If you are worried about being laid off, please make your employer aware of this scheme

Am I entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)? 

You can get up to £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay if you are too ill to work, which is paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

If you are self-isolating due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic or are in household quarantine due to a member of the same household displaying symptoms of the virus, you are eligible to claim Statutory Sick Pay after 4 days in self-isolation. For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.

If you intend to claim Statutory Sick Pay due to self-isolating as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, you are advised to obtain an 'isolation note' at https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note rather than visiting a doctor. 

 

What if I'm self-employed, not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or need welfare assistance?

The Government is paying a grant worth 80% of the average income of self-employed peoples' average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month for three months - which may be extended for longer if necessary. 

Self-employed people eligible for this grant will be contacted directly by HMRC to fill a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. 

The Treasury expects people to access the scheme by the start of June. 

The Scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000. 

To minimise fraud, HMRC will ask those applying for the scheme to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment.

It is now easier to make a claim for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance, which can be claimed online, with access to upfront payments without the need to attend a Jobcentre Plus. For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance

Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit has been increased by £1,000 a year, and the standard allowance of Universal Credit will be increased by £86.67 per month. 

 

What support is available from South Ayrshire Council?

The 'Scottish Welfare Fund' has received additional funding for those in financial emergency. For details on how to apply, please visit: https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/apply-or-track-your-application/

The 'Council Tax Reduction' scheme has also received additional funding to provide relief for low-income households. For details on how to apply, please visit: https://www.mygov.scot/council-tax/discounts-exemptions-and-reductions/ 

 

I need help with my mortgage repayments or rent.

The UK government has made an agreement with mortgage lenders that they will offer 'repayment holidays' for 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic This will also apply to landlords whose tenents are facing financial difficulty. 

This 'repayment holiday' can be made available for customers who are up to date with payments and not already in arrears.

If you are concerned about your financial situation, please contact your lender.

From April, you should not face the threat of eviction for at least 6 months, and the minimum period required to evict tenants in arrears has been extended from 3 months in a row to 6 months in a row. 

If you are struggling to pay your rent, please contact your landlord as soon as possible.

 

I'm struggling to pay my energy bills.

Customers unable to top up their meter or who cannot afford to pay their bills should seek support from their supplier immediately. 

If you are a pre-payment or pay-as-you-go customer who cannot leave home, your provider should help to keep you supplied. The disconnection of credit meters has also been suspended. 

 

I'm struggling to pay back personal loans or credit card bills.

The Financial Conduct Authority has called on lenders to use flexibility in their rules to support consumers and take into account their individual circumstances, which has already been acknowledged by many major lenders.

If you are struggling to pay back loans or credit card bills due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic, you must speak to your lender.

 

I'm concerned about facing insolvency. 

Scotland's insolvency service has currently suspended sale and eviction from property in ongoing bankruptcy administrations.

The requirements for individuals seeking debt relief through bankruptcy has also been amended to allow for faster access to protect against debt enforcement.

For further information, please visit: https://www.aib.gov.uk/aib-covid-19-business-continuity 

Further advice

Businesses should visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice or call 0300 303 0660 for advice and support.

If you require any further advice or assistance, please contact Councillor Martin Dowey:

Martin Dowey