Tenth Report Contents

Appendix 1: Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Coronavirus Disease) Regulations 2020

Further information from the Department for Work and Pensions

Q1: Will the self-employed be able to claim irrespective of their assets? We understand that if they have more than £16,000 they may have to wait.

A1: The regulations, laid 12 March, ensure that claimants are treated as having Limited Capability for Work, without the requirement for any medical evidence or to undergo a work capability assessment, when they are sick or compelled to self-isolate in line with government Covid-19 guidance.

This ensured that self-employed claimants who are infected or compelled to self-isolate in line with government Covid-19 guidance will also not have the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor (MIF) applied for the period of time that they are treated as having Limited Capability for Work.

Going further, we have now announced that we will temporarily relax the application of the MIF for all self-employed UC claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 from 6 April, for the duration of the outbreak.

This ensures that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

For this group, we can dial down the MIF to zero so that we are not assuming any level of earnings. We are passing new regulations to support this new change and we are still finalising how we deliver all such changes operationally, given the pressures on the UC system at present.

I can confirm that the normal limits on capital assets continue to apply; households with more than £16,000 of savings are ineligible for Universal Credit. We have announced measures that can be quickly and effectively operationalised, and that benefit those who need support the most.

People with savings and who also have a sufficient National Insurance record will be able to claim contributory Jobseekers’ Allowance (if they become unemployed) or Employment and Support Allowance (if they are sick or self-isolating).

24 March 2020

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