ARC Guide to Corona Virus - Benefits

Coronavirus Covid-19 Benefits Fact Sheet

 

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees. HMRC has published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Local Authorities / Housing Benefit

Housing Delivery Division (HDD) have set up a dedicated team to ensure all Housing Benefit issues and questions relating to Covid-19 are logged, addressed and answered. All queries can be sent to a dedicated email address: uclocalauthority.liaisonteam@dwp.gov.uk

 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Fast Track

The Home Office and the DBS have put temporary arrangements in place, to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists free-of-charge. This will apply to healthcare and social care workers being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus in England and Wales, including some of those who have volunteered to help the NHS.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-service-allows-dbs-to-respond-quicker-to-recruitment-requests-during-covid-19

 

Business Support Helpline Video

 

The Business Support Helpline has created this video to outline the coronavirus support and guidance available to businesses, as well as answer frequently asked questions.

 

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/watch-the-business-support-helpline-video/

 

Universal Credit:

UC Transition Fund

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Universal Credit Transition Fund (UCTF) application process has been temporarily suspended.

 

Any applications that have already been made will be held until the suspension is lifted. The application form will temporarily be removed from GOV.UK pages.

 

Job Centre Plus General Information:

 

Job Opportunities

A number of businesses have suspended trading, but some sectors are still recruiting, although in many cases these are short term rolling contracts, to help them cope with the current demand on their services.

https://twitter.com/JCPJobsPlusMore

 

In the current climate digital is the way people will be able to find out and apply for jobs. Please encourage employers who are letting staff go to signpost the Find a Job website and the twitter account (via the link above) to them so that they can find out about some of the opportunities that are open to them.

 

https://findajob.dwp.gov.uk/

 

Job Retention Scheme - Updated

The guidance on GOV.UK has been updated on the 4 April with more information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Please note any questions about this scheme should be directed to HMRC.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Uprating

The annual uprating of Universal Credit and other benefits will take effect from 6 April in the service. This uprating will also include the additional increases in Standard Allowance and Local Housing Authority (LHA) rates recently announced by the Chancellor in response to Coronavirus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General & All Other DWP Updates:

 

Right to Work and Rent

 

Right to rent and right to work checks have been adapted to make it easier for landlords and employers to carry them out during the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the temporary changes will mean the Home Office will not require landlords and employers to see original documents and will allow checks to be undertaken over video calls.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/temporary-changes-to-right-to-rent-and-right-to-work-checks

 

Voucher Scheme for Schools

Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home. Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/voucher-scheme-launches-for-schools-providing-free-school-meals

Frontline Worker Visas

Doctors, nurses and paramedics with visas due to expire before 1st October 2020 will have them automatically extended for one year free of charge. The extension will apply to around 2,800 migrant doctors, nurses and paramedics, employed by the NHS.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-frontline-workers-visas-extended-so-they-can-focus-on-fighting-coronavirus

 

Retail Workers Facing Hardship

British Retail Consortium has joined forces with retailTRUST and RWRC to raise funds to provide the financial, emotional, physical and vocational support that will be desperately needed by retail workers and their families who may be ineligible for government support during the health emergency.

 

https://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/supporting-retail-workers-facing-hardship-during-covid-19/

 

Grants and Business Rates Package

Thousands of high street firms are beginning to receive £25,000 cash grants and will be exempt from business rates from 1st April 2020.  Also as part of a raft measures to support those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, eligible properties, including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, will not pay business rates for the next 12 months. The measure comes into force today and will save firms in England £11 billion.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/high-street-benefits-from-22-billion-grants-and-business-rates-package

 

 

Telecom Companies to Support Vulnerable

The UK’s major internet service and mobile providers have agreed a set of important commitments to support and protect vulnerable.

These include:

  • All providers have committed to working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19

 

  • All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services

 

 

  • All providers have agreed to offer some new, generous mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported

 

  • All providers will ensure that vulnerable customers or those self-isolating receive alternative methods of communication wherever

possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-telecoms-companies-to-support-vulnerable-consumers-through-covid-19

 

 

 

Useful Links:

 

1.   Touchbase:  News and articles from across government for advisers, employers and organisations that help people find jobs

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/touchbase-dwp-news-about-work-working-age-benefits-and-services

 

2. The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) toolkit: This toolkit provides information to individuals and organisations that support PIP and DLA claimants

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-personal-independence-payment-toolkit-for-partners/the-personal-independence-payment-pip-toolkit

 

3. Independent Assessment ServiceEach person claiming PIP is unique and might face all kinds of challenges from a wide range of health conditions or disabilities.

The Independent Assessment Service work in partnership with trusted organisations, and their experienced health professionals are fully trained to understand the complex effects of living with a health condition or disability

 

http://www.atoshealthcare.com/pip/pip_assessment_approach

 

3a. PIP Consultations for London: These sites are used for PIP consultations

http://www.atoshealthcare.com/pip/consultation_locations/london

 

3b Independent Assessment Service:

https://www.mypipassessment.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Maximus - The Health Assessment Advisory Service arranges and carries out assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you are claiming benefits as a result of a disability or injury, you may be required by DWP to have an assessment with a qualified Healthcare Professional as part of your claim process:

https://www.chdauk.co.uk/assessment-process

 

5.  Universal Credit Toolkit: This toolkit contains information about Universal Credit and the changes it brings

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit-toolkit-for-partner-organisations

 

7. HM Revenue and Customs Employer Bulletin: A bi-monthly magazine for employers and agents giving up-to-date information on payroll topics

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hm-revenue-and-customs-employer-bulletin

 

8. UK Online: All 3,000 UK online centres partners offer FREE or low cost access to computers and the internet, plus help and support to use them

http://www.ukonlinecentres.com/

 

 

 

Colin Morris: Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston-upon-Thames, Richmond, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Harrow.

 

Colin.morris@dwp.gsi.gov.uk                         07717 2171633