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National Homeless Advice Service

Coronavirus Update: DWP Updates on Universal Credit, Local Housing Allowance, SSP & Self Employment

Posted by natalie_pearson March 24, 2020

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have issued a press release with updates on Universal Credit, Local Housing Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and self employment.

The DWP will be implementing new measures to support benefit claimants affected by Covid-19. The chancellor announced a package of temporary measures including;

  • An increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element by £20 per week for one year from 6 April 2020;

  • An increase in the Local Housing Allowance rates for private renters claiming Universal Credit housing element or Housing benefit so they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents; and

  • Further relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, ensuring their UC award will increase to reflect their lower earnings.

These measures are in addition to those previously announced at the Budget which included;

  • Extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolaters and those in the same household caring for self-isolaters - payable from day 1 not day 4.

  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be now be available from Day 1 not Day 8 for eligible people unable to work because they are directly affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating.

  • Advances for all new UC claimants in need are now available online / via phone, with no requirement to attend a job centre.

  • Earnings rules for self-employed UC claimants have already been temporarily relaxed for those who are sick or self-isolating.
Read all DWP press releases here

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