For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.
Statutory Sick Pay
You may be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) if you cannot work due to coronavirus, for example if you are self-isolating because you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate. You cannot get SSP if you are self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK or if you do not need to self-isolate for any other reason.
New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
New Style ESA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit (UC). You can apply for New Style ESA if you are unable to claim SSP. This is a contributory benefit which means you may still be able to get it if you’ve paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you’re claiming in. Additionally, whilst you receive New Style ESA you’ll earn Class 1 National Insurance credits which can help towards your State Pension.
Although shielding has stopped in England you can still apply for ESA if you were shielding before 1st April 2021.
Universal Credit (UC)
The Government have been committed throughout this challenging time to ensure everyone is supported as best as possible and announced in the March budget a sixth month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift. As has been the case over the last year these payments will not be affected by payments such as child benefit or jobseekers allowance.
Furthermore, if you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit payments are no longer calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called a Minimum Income Floor, they are instead based on your actual earnings.
Working Tax Credit
The basic element of Working Tax Credit is £2,005 from 6th April 2021 until 5th April 2022. You cannot claim UC and tax credits at the same time. Your tax credits will stop if you or your partner applies for UC and you will be unable to claim them again, if your UC application is unsuccessful.