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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th April 2020.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available to people who have a compromised immune system and may need to self isolate for extended periods of time.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 19 March 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 20 March 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

It is possible that employees who have received a shield letter will be able to work from home and therefore be entitled to normal pay. We would encourage employers to make this happen where possible. For those that cannot work from home, we are encouraging employers to make use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme where possible. Under the scheme small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to 1st March and available for at least three months, with the first grants expected to be paid within weeks.

There is also the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which will help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

The Government has set up an advice contact centre and website exclusively to help those who have been identified as shielding to access support.

A new Local Support System in England will make sure those individuals that have been identified by the NHS to stay at home, and who are without a support network of friends and family, will receive essential supplies such as groceries and medicine.

Everyone infected with Covid-19 or required to self-isolate will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA and UC without the requirement for fit notes or undergoing a Work Capability Assessment. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment.

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Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 19 March 2020

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

It is possible that employees who have received a shield letter will be able to work from home and therefore be entitled to normal pay. We would encourage employers to make this happen where possible. For those that cannot work from home, we are encouraging employers to make use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme where possible. Under the scheme small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to 1st March and available for at least three months, with the first grants expected to be paid within weeks.

There is also the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which will help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

The Government has set up an advice contact centre and website exclusively to help those who have been identified as shielding to access support.

A new Local Support System in England will make sure those individuals that have been identified by the NHS to stay at home, and who are without a support network of friends and family, will receive essential supplies such as groceries and medicine.

Everyone infected with Covid-19 or required to self-isolate will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA and UC without the requirement for fit notes or undergoing a Work Capability Assessment. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No1 person thinks not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.