Self Employed Sickness
For the self employed who have to isolate or become sick as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) statutory sick pay (paid by an employer) is matched by an equivalent service/ Government benefit called Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. Everyone claiming Universal Credit needs to report their self-employed earnings at the end of each monthly assessment period. This includes company directors, even those paying themselves by PAYE. This is something we can help you with, using the information provided by your Xero account.
We know that the Chancellor at last week’s budget announced that soon Universal Credit will be available to support those affected by the virus from day one as opposed to day seven. However, plans on how this will work has not been announced as of yet. For the meantime, more information about Universal Credit and how to apply can be found directly at the Government’s website at; https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit .
Further update on the 21st March 2020:
Self-employed people to claim universal credit at a rate which is equivalent to statutory sick pay. Universal credit is designed to provide people with a safety net if they’re unable to work, or top up incomes for those in work, though how much you actually get is subject to means testing.
Yesterday the Chancellor confirmed, as trailed in the Budget last week, that he will be suspending the ‘minimum income floor’. That’s the amount usually used to work out your benefit payment – if you earn more than the minimum income floor you get less universal credit, while if you earn less than the minimum income floor you currently don’t get any extra money to make up the difference.
The self-employed will now be able to access universal credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay, which is currently £94.25 per week.