Personal support during the coronavirus crisis
26 May 20  /  Covid-19

Lockdown restrictions may have eased slightly in England, but the coronavirus crisis is still taking its toll on our personal and business lives. We’re all having to get used to periods of isolation, not being able to see family members and, whether employed or retired, more personal time on our hands.

It’s heartening to see so many people rising to the occasion, helping others, enjoying the great outdoors and making the best of things, but while our consumer-driven society is suppressed, the challenges to personal finances remain. 

Many lifelines have been issued by the Government and local communities in an attempt to ease the situation and help cases of genuine financial hardship, but with so many news stories continually being reported it’s hard to know what is actually available. 

We wanted to give clients and friends of Mathews Comfort access to reliable and accurate sources of information, and here provide details of schemes and measures announced by the Government that may help your personal situation: 

Taxation

If you cannot pay your tax bill because of coronavirus, you can delay your Self Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 until 31st January 2021. For details click here.



Personal Finances

1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Your employer could pay 80% of your regular wages up to a monthly cap of £2,500. You’ll still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work while on furlough. For details click here.

2. Statutory Sick Pay

SSP will be paid from Day One rather than Day 4, at a rate of £95.85 per week, for up to two weeks per employee, with employers able to claim back payments from the Government. Sick pay is extended to those who have to self-isolate, even if not ill, with sick notes available online from NHS 111. For details click here.

3. Increase in flat rate deduction for homeworking

An increase in the flat-rate deduction means employees contracted to work from home can claim £6 instead of £4 per week, to help cover additional household expenses, such as heating, lighting, water usage etc. For details click here.

4. Self-employed access to Universal Credit

Self-employed people will be able to access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. Available to those who have £16,000 or less in joint savings. For details click here.

5. Self-employed Income Support Scheme

This pays a taxable grant to self-employed people with trading profits of up to £50,000. The grant amounts to 80% of average monthly profits over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The scheme will run for three months, but may be extended if necessary, and is  based on tax returns filed for three years, 16/17, 17/18, 18/19. For details click here.

6. Increased Housing benefit, Universal Credit and Local Housing Allowance support for renters

The Government has announced a package of benefits, worth £1b, available to renters struggling to pay their rent, through increased Housing Benefits, Universal Credit and Local Housing Allowance. For details click here, and here for LHA rates.



Debt

1. 3-month mortgage payment holiday for those homeowners who need it. For details click here.

2. Payment holidays of up to 3 months for those struggling to pay loans and credit cards. For details click here.

3. Debt advice and support is available from Citizens Advice Bureau: For details click here. Or view the Step Change website.



Mathews Comfort – here to help

We hope that you find these sources of information helpful. If you know of any other Government backed support schemes or local support hubs that we have not highlighted, please let us know.

If this article has highlighted your need for an accountant, legal or financial support, we are happy to introduce you to our connections. Please call 01865 208 000 or email us at: info@mathewscomfort.co.uk

Safe wishes to all of our clients and friends.

Next Article
Supporting your business throughout the Covid-19 pandemic
28 May 20  /  Covid-19