Budget 2020 Update – Coronavirus

Measures in the Budget 2020 to support people affected by coronavirus include removal of waiting days, changes relating to the minimum income floor, relaxation of the requirement to attend a jobcentre, and further extension of SSP entitlement.

In addition to measures already announced - including to allow statutory sick pay (SSP) to be paid from the first day to people who have coronavirus or have to self-isolate – further new policy changes were announced including -

  • temporary extension of SSP to cover individuals who are unable to work because they have been advised to self-isolate, and people caring for those within the same household who display coronavirus symptoms and have been told to self-isolate;
  • bringing forward a temporary alternative to the fit note which can be used for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak - enabling people who are advised to self-isolate to obtain a notification by calling NHS 111 which they can use as evidence for absence from work where necessary;
  • making new style employment and support allowance (ESA) payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth day, for people directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating according to government advice; removing the current requirement to attend a jobcentre in order to claim universal credit and access advance payments for those directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating;
  • introducing a temporary relaxation of the minimum income floor in universal credit for the duration of the outbreak, for those directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating; and
  • new grant funding of £500 million to local authorities in England to support economically vulnerable people and households - most of this funding is expected to be used to provide more council tax relief, either through existing local Council Tax Support schemes, or through complementary reliefs.

If you need further advice or assistance please contact the Financial Inclusion Team or email moneyadvice@wchg.org.uk