BENEFITS EXPERT: Quick questions and answers on your benefit claim queries

Q The scheme for help for self-employed workers has been announced, how do I make a claim for help?

A. No action is required to make a claim at this moment in time. HMRC are assessing eligibility based on income tax information you have previously provided and will contact those who show eligibility.

Q. As a self-employed person what action can I take to make sure my eligibility details are correct and up to date?

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A. You must make sure you have submitted your tax returns for tax year 2018/19. If not you have 4 weeks from 26/3/2020 to get this information to HMRC.

Q. Is the grant payment repayable?

A. Currently it is unclear if payments will be repayable and if so the method of repayment.

Q. I have no income until the scheme starts, what can I do?

A. You should check with ourselves to identify other benefits you can claim, for most self-employed people Universal Credit will be the main option.

Q. My employer cannot afford to pay me during the lockdown but hasn't ended my job. They are going to apply for the grant so I will be classed as a furlough worker. Do I need to do anything to get this payment.

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A. No action is required by employees, all applications will be handled by your employer.

Q. Can I claim benefits whilst I'm waiting for wage payments if my employer has applied for business support from The Government?

A. We would advise you contact ourselves or use an online benefit checker. Again for most people Universal Credit would be the first benefit option.

Q. I have made a claim for Universal Credit online but it is taking forever to get through on the phone line to have my ID, etc. verified. What can I do?

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A. If you have a live UC account and have access to the journal leave messages on your journal, multiple entries if necessary. Someone at your local job centre should be assigned to pick these up and contact you to verify your ID.

Q. I have self-isolated as I am showing the symptoms of the virus. I am in work so how do I claim Statutory Sick Pay?

A. You do not have to do anything to claim SSP, simply notify your employer that you are ill due the virus, they will pay you SSP but you aren't required to complete any claim forms.