Universal Credit: Higher payments are available for people incapacitated by heath issues
Universal Credit currently has standard allowances in place which range from £251.77 to £498.89. These allowances are based on age and living arrangements but additional “elements” are taken into account. Certain factors, such as childcare or housing problems, may increase the amount a person gets.
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Some of these additional elements may become more prevalent as the coronavirus epidemic continues.
The government have encouraged people to self-isolate as much as possible and work from home where they can.
However some people, unfortunately, could catch a particularly bad case of the virus which limits how much they can work at all, regardless if they are at home or not.
Thankfully, there are procedures in place that can support those who have health conditions which prevent them from working effectively.
The government will provide up to £336.20 extra per month to people who have limited capability for work and work-related activities.
The government detail that this extra amount could be received if the claimant has a health condition or disability that prevents them from working or preparing for work.
This could cover a broad range of ailments but it is likely that coronavirus and it’s symptoms will soon put many people in this category.
Under the original procedures, a person would go through a work capability assessment to determine if they would qualify for the additional payment.
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Parts of this assessment would have been conducted in person, likely via a JobCentre Plus facility.
However, as coronavirus has spread the government have introduced measures to limit social contact.
As a result of this, physical assessments of this nature have been cancelled across the board. The Department for Work and Pensions have detailed that they will contact claimants to let them know what they need to do instead.
It will likely be the case that Universal Credit claims, in all circumstances, will now be exclusively handled online or over the phone.
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So long as the claimant is eligible, they will not need to look for work or prepare for work while receiving additional payments.
The claimant is obligated to keep the state updated on any changes in their condition but the rules for this may be altered as adjustments are made for coronavirus.
The government has already put procedures in place to ensure that people and businesses get support as the virus impacts the economy.
In the recent budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer detailed that he would “do whatever it takes” to get the nation through this tough time.
He pledged billions in support to go towards the NHS, sick pay procedures and local support for the most vulnerable.
Shortly after this, he announced over £330 billion in loans would be made available for the country’s businesses, the biggest support package in peacetime history.
On top of this, Mr Sunak also launched new plans to help people who may have their income affected. Mortgage and rent “holidays” can now be utilised by people who are struggling financially.
These holidays will allow people to either not pay their mortgage bills for up to three months or, for renters, avoid eviction for up to three months.
The government has pledged to continually update their plans as the impact of the virus develops, meaning that there will likely be further support announced in the coming weeks and months.
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