Coronavirus UK: What help is available for the self-employed during Covid-19 crisis?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in parliament today that he will be ‘making further announcements on the progress of measures’ to support the self-employed during the coronavirus pandemic later this week.
‘It’s something that we’ve been looking at in intense detail over the past week,’ he explained, ‘What I can say is that we’re in dialogue with all the key stakeholder groups.’
‘We understand the situation many self-employed people face at the moment and are determined to find a way to support them,’ he added.
While it’s been suggested the government could offer to pay 80 per cent of their monthly earnings, nothing has been confirmed yet.
So, what support is currently available to cover lost wages?
To support self-employed workers, the government has removed the minimum income floor for Universal Credit claims.
This means claims won’t be judged on expected earnings, so people may be able to claim more.
The standard allowance has also been raised, from £317.82 to £409.89 a month.
The government is also making it easier for people to claim for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and you can apply for both online.
Mr Sunak also said they will delay the date at which self-assessment tax payments are due, so if you were due to pay a second instalment by 31 July, you no longer have to do so until January 2021.
Finally, in the 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced interest-free cash grants would be available to small businesses – a scheme which could help some self-employed workers.
More updates are expected in the coming days.
For more advice on what to do if your work has been affected by coronavirus or the UK lockdown, you can view your options and access further information and support through the government’s official website.