Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your finances | Debt Advice Foundation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your finances

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious health risk.

If you or someone in your household has a high temperature or a new, persistent cough then you must follow government guidance and self-isolate. The UK government has implemented a number of social distancing measures that you must adhere to in order to protect yourself and your family.

If you are worried about coronavirus and your finances then there are a range of new measures that may help you.

Help with Income

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus then you are entitled to SSP from the first day of your self-isolation. Find out more at gov.uk here.

Help for Employed People

Effective from 1st March 2020, for a period of three months, the government has agreed to pay 80% of your salary (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month) if your employer has no work for you but agrees to keep you on their payroll. This is known as being a furloughed worker. Find out more at gov.uk here.

Help for Self-Employed People

Under the self-employed income support scheme, you may be entitled to claim 80% (up to a maximum of £2,500) of your average monthly profit for up to three months. Find out more at gov.uk here.

Universal Credit

If you are out of work or on a low income then you will be entitled to access welfare benefits including Universal Credit. Find out more at Money Advice Service here.

Check your Insurances

You should check whether you have insurance policies such as mortgage payment protection insurance or accident, sickness and unemployment insurance.

Help with Outgoings

Mortgage or Rent

If you’re renting, new emergency legislation means you cannot be evicted during the coronavirus crisis. Find out more at Money Advice Service here.

If you have a mortgage and are experiencing financial problems as a result of coronavirus, lenders have agreed to allow repayment holidays of up to three months. Find out more at Money Advice Service here.

Council Tax

The government has announced a £500m Hardship Fund, which local councils will be able to use to reduce Council Tax bills for those already in receipt of Council Tax Support. Contact your local council for more information.

Gas and Electricity

If you’re struggling to maintain payments because your income has recently fallen, gas and electric companies will be able to check whether you’re on the best tariff for your needs as well as restructure payments to an affordable level. Contact your supplier for more information. You should also look at comparison sites to see whether you can further reduce your monthly bills.

Water Bills

Water companies in England and Wales have agreed to provide additional support to anyone struggling to pay their water bill. They can help in a number of different ways including offering a payment holidays. Contact your water company for more information.

Unsecured Debt

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has asked creditors to offer a temporary payment freeze on loans and credit cards for up to three months for anyone negatively impacted by coronavirus without affecting their credit file. Contact your lender to find out more.

If you’re still worried about your financial situation and would like to speak to an adviser, our free debt advice helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

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