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Coronavirus - information and support

  • 06/03/2020
  • Author:bridgetmccall

This is an older news article. Please visit our Benefits and Coronavirus page (see link in green box, above) for up-to-date information and guidance.

Person washing hands

In response to the rapid rise in confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the government has launched a coronavirus action plan to reduce the risk of further spreading around the UK. It hopes to achieve this by keeping people in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.

What you can do

Symptoms and measures you can take to avoid the coronavirus

You can read more about the symptoms of coronavirus and measures you can take to avoid it on the NHS website.

NHS coronavirus information

How the UK is affected by the coronavirus

The Government is also regularly updating its guidance on how the UK is affected by coronavirus.

Gov.UK coronavirus information (including travel advice)

SignHeath British Sign Language (BSL) versions of the Government coronavirus information

Are you feeling unwell?

  • First, check your symptoms on the NHS site and follow their recommendations.
  • If you're unable to go to work, you should get your usual sick pay and will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from day one, rather than day four of your sick leave.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has stated that anyone not eligible for sick pay can claim Universal Credit and/or contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The Citizens Advice website has detailed information on Statutory Sick Pay*

Current benefit claimants

Missing Jobcentre appointments or medical assessments may mean you don’t get the money you’re entitled to.

If you're ill and self-isolating, phone the office paying your benefit to explain why you can't attend your appointment.

If you're claiming Universal Credit, you'll need to use your online journal to explain why you can't go to your appointment or you could be sanctioned. It is advisable to follow this up with a call.

How Turn2us is responding to the coronavirus

Vulnerable people and those on low incomes may struggle with the financial implications of coronavirus, and poverty may rise.

Over the coming days/weeks we will:

  • Keep our website and social media channels up to date with the rights of workers and the financial support available for people forced to self-isolate or take time off sick due to the coronavirus

  • Work with other charities and frontline services to support people by combining our resources, sharing expertise and information

  • Make sure that the voices of people pushed into financial difficulties due to coronavirus are heard.

We will urge the Government to:

  • Provide clear, widely promoted advice for workers: especially those on zero-hour contracts, the  self-employed and agency workers, so they aren't pushed into financial hardship.

  • State clearly what employees’ statutory rights are and what employers are legally required to do for their workers

  • Guarantee that Jobcentre staff won't sanction people for missing appointments or medical assessments due to self-isolation or illness.

How we can help you now  

Are you:

  • On a low income

  • Struggling financially

  • Unemployed

  • On benefits

  • An agency worker

  • Self-employed

  • A carer

  • Disabled or have an illness

  • An older person

  • On a zero-hour contract/working in the gig-economy?

Our online tools can help you check what benefits or charitable grants you may be eligible for.

Benefits Calculator

Use our free and easy-to-use Benefits Calculator to check what benefits you might be able to claim.

Grants Search

Use our Grants Search to check if you are eligible for support from over 1,500 grant-giving charities, depending on your location, age, gender, current or past jobs or health.

Keep updated

Please check our website or social media channels regularly for more updates.

Note

*The information on Statutory Sick Pay should be the same across all four countries of the UK. However, when looking at other information from Citizens Advice, make sure you are looking at information relevant to the country you live in as it sometimes differs.

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