Welfare benefits changes due to Covid-19

Job Retention Scheme  

  • Provides a grant to employers to enable them to pay the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but who are temporarily not working during the Coronavirus outbreak. 
  • The scheme was originally set to last until the end of June 2020, but has now been  extended until end of September 2021 . 
  • For the period April 2021 to end September 2021, employers are expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work in July, increasing to 20% in August and September. 
  • Employees can be fully furloughed or work part time . 
  • For claim periods beginning on 1 May 2021 until the end of September 2021, you need to have been on your employer's PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021 to be eligible. 
  • https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme   

  • Provides self-employed people who are eligible for the scheme a taxable grant 
  • A fifth and final grant, covering the period from May 2021 to September 2021, works as follows: 
    Those whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500 
    Those whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850 
  • The scheme has been extended to include those whose business started in 2019-20. 
    It is expected that it can be claimed online from late July 2021 . 
  • The grant payment is treated as earnings for benefit purposes.  
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension  

Council Tax Hardship Fund 

  • The government announced, in their 2021/22 spending review, £670 million to help Local Authorities with the increased costs associated with the pandemic However, this money is not ringfenced so Local Authorities can decide whether to spend it to help with council tax bills or to provide other support to vulnerable households, including through local welfare schemes. 
  • Please contact your local authority directly to see what help they can offer you .