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Benefits During Covid-19

I keep getting repeated requests for advice as to what benefits can and can’t be claimed for both during the lockdown and for those who are sometimes unable to work due to the nature of surgery or consequent illness.

Back in 2012, I was claiming both DLA (Disability Living Allowance) and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance). I stopped claiming ESA when I started back working as its means-tested.

What help is there?

From personal experience, you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

From what I found, those of you who are unable to work due to illness, you may need a sick note from your GP signing you off of work, you may also need medical evidence to put in with your application form.

This may be done in two ways: contribution-based if you are in a relationship, non-contribution based if you are single. I found that there is also a disability premium for those who may claim PIP and if you are claiming other benefits such as housing benefit.

More here: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

After doing some research, here are some other options I found:
  • – JSA – for those who are not working then this may be an option.
  • – You may apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you look for work.
  • – Housing benefit – this may be claimed by those that are working (low income) and those who may be claiming benefits. From what I found, there is a cap; if your joint or single household income is more than £16000 per annum then you may not qualify. Things such as PIP, Child benefit, child maintenance are maybe exempt from figures, JSA is applied as proof of income if more than one person in a joint household is claiming.
  • – Council tax reduction – This may be applicable with claiming housing benefit or low income. I found that for those who live on their own then 25% is normally deducted from the yearly cost. Be aware each council runs its own scheme. (Not available in Northern Ireland)
  • – Universal Credit – This is where they combine all your benefits into one monthly payment. This is something I haven’t researched a great deal as this post could possibly lead to comments turning into the house of commons due to the bad press this system gets.
Additional advice for Scotland and Northern Ireland:

Scotland – https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-youre-paid

Northern Ireland – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/universal-credit

Help during COVID-19

After doing some research, I found that for those that are self-employed and run your business on an income in, income out, that then may lead to a taxable net profit then you may claim for a one-off payment which has a cap of £7500, this is classed as a grant and may have to be declared on next year’s tax return. This can be based on 80% of your income over a three-year period. For those of you who run your company on the dividend scheme then no help is available, from what I found. It was brought up that the Government wants to change this way of business running so it may well be a case of watch this space on that kind of business running.

More here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

Universal credit may be another option. From my experience, at least one of you within the household cannot be working to claim this during lockdown. Amounts are based on a case by case basis.

My research found that for those of you who have been furloughed then you are automatically paid 80% of your monthly salary, this could possibly drop down to 60%. However, you will need to keep an eye on the news and all relevant updates as time goes on.

All relevant telephone numbers and online applications can be found on WWW.GOV.UK

Hoping this helps 

As always 

Many thanks for reading 

Louise Xx

Louise uses our Platinum Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. If you’d like to try a sample, click here. 

This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine or if you are experiencing any health issues.

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