Carers who are directly affected by Covid-19 may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, which is now available to those in self-isolation and those caring for those in self-isolation. This also applies to unpaid carers, such as family members living in the same household as someone affected by Covid-19. Employees who earn over £118 per week from a single employer will be eligible for £94.25 per week, rising to £95.85 from 6 April. As announced at Budget, Statutory Sick Pay is now payable from day one of an absence rather than day four.
Anybody who is advised to self-isolate and therefore cannot work will be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. This is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth. Eligible claimants under 25 will be entitled to £57.90 per week, and over 25s £73.10 per week. This includes carers who have been advised to self-isolate because the person they care for is sick or self-isolating. A person can get ESA for as long as they are incapable of work, up to a year.
For unpaid carers who do not live in the same household, employers may provide assistance such as special leave. Some carers may also be eligible for benefits such as Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit. Full eligibility criteria can be found on GOV.UK.
The Government has announced that £1.6bn will be provided to local authorities to help them respond to coronavirus pressures across the services they deliver. This is not ringfenced and is intended to help councils address specific pressures that they face. It could be used to help providers deal with costs due to self-isolation and family caring responsibilities.