Martin Lewis reveals NEED TO KNOW details about coronavirus income support schemes

Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has dissected each of the income support scheme available to employees around the UK as thousands are left unable to work. Government plans of payment rollouts across the board have left thousands of Britons confused and befuddled, from self-employed schemes to zero-hour contracted workers.

His first bit of advice surrounds “new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme” where the Government pays 80 percent of profits up to £2,500/month.

On this, he said: “This pays a non-repayable grant to support some whose profits have been hit by coronavirus.

“You get 80 percent of your average monthly profit over 3 years, up to £2,500/month.

“To qualify your average trading profits must be under £50,000/year.

“Unlike the employee scheme, here you CAN keep working.

“You do not need to prove coronavirus impact – all who qualify get it.

“It’ll be paid by the start of June as a lump sum backdated to March.

“For cash in the meantime, you can also claim universal credit.”

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Those who are on zero-hour contracts and agency work – precarious forms of employment – will also be glad to hear that they are entitled to 80 percent of their salary up to £2,500/month.

Yet, many have been questioning what counts as salary.

Mr Lewis said: “Two weeks ago, the Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means employers can choose to put any staff who were on their payroll on 28 Feb on ‘furlough’ (standby), and the Govt will cover 80 percent of their salary up to £2,500/month – firms can top it up to 100 percent but don’t need to.

“For those with a fixed contract salary, the amount is easy to understand. Yet if your income varies, there was confusion over what counts, but it’s now clear.


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“You get the HIGHER of: What you earned for that job in the same month last year, OR, your average monthly earnings over the 2019/20 tax year.

“The amount is based on basic salary including overtime, but not including bonuses and commission.”

For those who have applied for universal credit but not yet heard back, Mr Lewis urges you to be patient.

He said: “I’ve been badgering the Department for Work and Pensions over universal credit delays, and it let me see the figures.

“Online applications were up 832 percent last week – rather than a typical 9,751 a day, it went as high as 105,678, it’s swamped.

“If after applying online, you’re told to ring for an appointment but can’t get through, try to be patient (I know it’s hard).

“It’s checking who was missed and WILL call you.”

There are numerous other pieces of advice that can help those stressed about their usual work, payments, and daily life.

Vehicle MOT expiry dates on or after Monday, March 30, have been extended for six months.

With overdrafts now being charged at around 40 percent by many banks, provisions have been put into place with buffer zones in order to suspend the rise or allow Britons to apply for 0 percent overdrafts.

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