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Sick benefit support for the self-employed

In the Budget, the Chancellor set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

One of these measures was to offer the self-employed the opportunity to access a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. This is important as the self-employed are more likely to show up to work sick as they are afraid to lose business to competitors. There are also less statutory protections for the self-employed. For example, they are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

This emergency measures are as follows:

  • For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have COVID-19 or are self-isolating according to government advice, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support.
  • People will be able to claim Universal Credit and access advance payments upfront without the current requirement to attend a Jobcentre if they are advised to self-isolate.
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable, at a rate of £73.10 a week if you are over 25, for eligible people affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating in line with advice from Day 1 of sickness, rather than Day 8.
Source: HM Government Wed, 18 Mar 2020 05:00:00 +0100

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