Financial help and resilience: a guide

Benefits and rights in difficult times.

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The District Council have issued a message for us to ‘keep calm and carry on’:

Calls for communities to be ‘resilient, resourceful and courageous’ | sidmouthherald.co.uk

And meanwhile, their monthly magazine is full of very useful information:

East Devon residents’ magazine March 2020 | eastdevon.gov.uk

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Here’s more practical help from the government:

Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK | gov.uk

Guidance: Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK | gov.uk

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And more from the Money and Pensions Service:

Coronavirus – what it means for you | moneyadviceservice.org.uk

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Here’s a helpful overview put together by a correspondent:

 

QUALIFYING FOR SICK PAY AND BENEFITS

If you are employed and get coronavirus – or are unable to work due to self-isolation (whether you or a family member has symptoms) – you qualify for statutory sick pay. It is worth £94.25 a week and kicks in straight away – ‘available for eligible individuals diagnosed with Covid-19 or those unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with Government advice’.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first seven days of sick leave, but after a week, your employer can ask to see a sick note. The Government is setting up an online service – at 111.nhs.uk – for those needing a sick note.

If you are self-isolating but able to work from home, you should be paid as usual by your employer. But if you’re self-employed then you can’t claim sick pay. Here, the Government has made it easier for people to claim either Universal Credit or contributory Employment and Support Allowance. You will not need to visit a job centre if advised to self-isolate.

If you are made redundant, you may be entitled to redundancy pay if you’ve worked for an employer for two years or more. Check your rights at citizensadvice.org.uk.

For more on statutory sickness pay visit gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.

To apply for universal credit, go to gov.uk/apply-universal-credit or call 0800 328 5644. Key details relating to the current crisis can be found at understanding-universal-credit.gov.uk/coronavirus.

For Employment and Support Allowance visit gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility.

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HOUSING RIGHTS

Landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least three months.

The three-month mortgage payment holiday extends to landlords whose tenants experience financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

Complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters | gov.uk

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The National Housing Federation said housing associations would not evict tenants hit by the virus and who fall behind on payments. Visit the National Housing Federation’s website at housing.org.uk

Those who have benefited from a Government-backed Help to Buy equity loan will be offered interest payment holidays if they are struggling to pay due to coronavirus. You can find out more at the website helptobuy.gov.uk

   
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