If you’re in work and not claiming benefits
If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. DWP intends to legislate so this measure applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.
Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. This will apply from 13 March 2020.
If you are a gig worker and / or on a zero hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay. Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay
If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to having symptoms of coronavirus an Isolation Note can be obtained from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone that has symptoms, an Isolation Note can be obtained from the NHS website.
If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance
You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.
If you’re already claiming benefits
Changes to jobcentre appointments
People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.
People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.
People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.
Jobcentres remain open, and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people.
If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You can do this by:
Changes to health assessments
In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.
If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. Your assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.
If you have made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) but do not have a date for an assessment appointment, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.
If you are already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or IIDB you will continue to receive your current payments as normal.
If you have made a new claim or wish to make a new claim, DWP will continue to take claims for all benefits.
Read the current NHS guidelines on coronavirus, including advice on those who should stay at home.
Changes to your earnings
If you are in work and already claiming Universal Credit, and are staying at home on Government advice, you should report this in the usual way via your online journal. If this means you are working fewer hours, the amount of Universal Credit you receive will adjust as your earnings change.
If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit, and are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus, the Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied for a period of time whilst you are affected.
If you are not in receipt of Universal Credit but have an existing claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax support. Continue to report any change of circumstances
If you’re making a new claim
Don’t delay making a benefit claim, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus.
Barnet is a full service Universal Credit area, this means that in most cases you won’t need to apply for Housing Benefit, but should apply for Universal Credit which has replaced several benefits.
Apply for Universal Credit
You can apply for Universal Credit online. The Department for Work and Pensions will no longer require you to call them as part of the claim process, if they require further information from you to process your claim they will call you.
Should it be necessary to apply for Housing Benefit you can apply online.
If you are affected by Coronavirus you:
- will not be required to produce a fit note when claiming Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- will be able to apply for Universal Credit without physically attending a jobcentre
- are required to stay at home, if you want to apply for ESA it will be payable from day one
- you may be able to claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions
New Style JSA can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. Your savings and capital (or your partner’s savings, capital and income) are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA.