The DWP have announced a range of changes to benefits, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
If you cannot attend a reassessment for PIP, ESA or UC because you are self-isolating or diagnosed with coronavirus you will continue to receive your payments until your reassessment is rearranged.
If you need to claim ESA or UC because of coronavirus you will not need to provide a fit note.
If you tell the DWP ‘in good time’ that you are self-isolating or have been diagnosed with coronavirus you will not face sanctions and your conditionality requirements will be adjusted.
If you have to stay at home because of coronavirus you will have your mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed whilst you do so.
For new claimants
If you are affected by coronavirus can apply for UC and receive up to a month’s advance without physically attending a jobcentre.
The 7 waiting days for ESA for new claimants will not apply if you have been diagnosed with coronavirus or are required to stay at home. Instead it will be payable from day one.
Employees and self-employed
People who cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay will get it from day one.
Statutory Sick Pay will be payable to people who are staying at home on government advice, not just those who are infected. Employers are being urged to use their discretion about what evidence, if any, they ask for.
If employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will soon be able to get it from the NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a fit note from their doctor.
Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected