If I am impacted by coronavirus, what does it mean for my money?
Knowing where to start is the first step to feeling more in control of your money, so the following Q&A should help provide you with the information, links and tools to support you in doing so. The situation is rapidly changing, so we will continue to update these pages when we get any further information.
Many people around the UK are facing potential job losses as companies are operating under very challenging circumstances.
Being made redundant can knock both your personal and financial plans off course. However, understanding your rights and options can help you take practical steps to get back on track. Find out everything you need to know from ACAS.
It’s worth noting that if you’ve worked for your employer for more than two years, you should be eligible for statutory redundancy pay. You can use the Government redundancy calculator to check the most current rates.
This sudden and unexpected change to your employment status could mean you need to claim benefits. The Turn to Us online benefits checker is a great tool to quickly find out which ones you’re eligible to claim.
The Department for Work and Pensions has temporarily suspended all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is to reduce the potential exposure of coronavirus to those who are at most risk and to safeguard their health.
If your income has been directly impacted by coronavirus, you may be worried about how you’re going to manage to pay your mortgage or your rent. There’s support in place from mortgage providers and from the Government if you’re struggling to keep up your payments. Find out more from Gov.uk.
Despite a phased re-opening of schools across the UK, many pupils are still unable to return, and it’s understandable that a lot of parents, carers and guardians are worried about how this may affect their finances. You may find that you have no other choice but to take time off work to care for your children, potentially reducing your income but increasing household bills. If you find yourself in a position where you’re unable to afford food to feed your family, or other essentials, you can find more information about emergency funding from Step-Change.
Here is some information about how MBNA can help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak better manage their credit card or loans repayments.
There are also various options to help those affected by the coronavirus to better manage their money, such as mortgage payment holidays, interest-free overdraft buffers and emergency access to savings in fixed term accounts without charge. For more information on these, visit your mortgage provider or bank account websites.
If you’re worried about your financial situation because of coronavirus, please contact us.
Many people are expected to self-isolate and many people may also need to take time off work due to illness. Because of this, the UK Government has changed the rules on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Previously, you would have needed to wait for four days before receiving an SSP payment. However, if you are absent from work because you are sick with coronavirus or because you have to self-isolate, you’ll now receive SSP from the first day of absence.
Find out more about the changes to SSP during the coronavirus outbreak, eligibility or how to claim SSP from Gov.uk.
Many people are on a zero-hour contract. If, under Government guidance, you have to self-isolate or you are off sick with coronavirus, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Check with your employer if you are unsure. Find out more about eligibility or how to claim SSP from Gov.uk.
Additionally, if you find that your working hours have been cut or reduced dramatically as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, you may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit. Find out more from Gov.uk.
The UK Government has introduced a coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme for those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to the virus. This scheme will allow those who are eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
Find out more about the scheme and eligibility from Gov.uk.
If you are self-employed and you need to take time off work due to illness, you might be able to claim Universal Credit or New Style Employment Support Allowance through Gov.uk. Find out more about coronavirus and claiming benefits from Gov.uk.
HMRC have put various measures in place to help self-employed people and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more from HMRC.
What financial support is available to me if I’m self-employed? expandable section
Financial abuse can take a variety of different forms within different relationships, including partners, family members or carers. It might be financial control, exploitation or sabotage.
For anyone who is impacted by domestic or financial abuse, this period could mean you have additional worries.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999, if you cannot speak press 55, or call The National Domestic Violence Helpline a freephone 24-hour helpline 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
Contact us for support if you, or someone else you know, are impacted by financial abuse.
Additionally, Bright Sky is a free app that provides comprehensive support to people affected by abuse. We advise you to only download the app onto a device which is safe and that only you have access to.
We know many things can affect the way people manage their finances, so we want to offer our help and support. If you find yourself gambling more than you’re happy with, or you have concerns because of gambling there’s support and guidance available for you.
It’s understandable that you might not feel comfortable talking about finances with your loved ones, especially during this current uncertain time. But it’s sometimes those conversations that are the most important ones to have. We are here to help you have those conversations.
You can find free and impartial money advice at the Money Advice Service.
- Choose the right time and place. If you want to have a deep and meaningful conversation about money, somewhere private with no distractions is best. You may want to schedule it in so that everyone has time to think about what they want to say.
- Be open and honest. To encourage the other person to open up, talk openly and honestly about your own views, strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money. This might mean allowing yourself to be vulnerable and admitting something you struggle with such as budgeting or checking your bank statements.
- Practice ‘active listening’. During some conversations we’re busy thinking about what we’re going to say next. This might mean the other person doesn’t feel heard, and that you may miss important points. Try to really listen to everything that’s being said without interrupting. Non-verbal cues like nodding and making eye contact will show you’re listening.
- Be willing to compromise and agree to disagree. It’s unlikely you’ll always agree with everyone when you have conversations about money. Sometimes, to be able to reach a point of resolution, it’ll be necessary to compromise, agree to disagree or let something go.
- Avoid using blaming language. To ensure you don’t come across as pointing the finger, use ‘I’ statements rather than ‘you’ statements. This means you’re taking responsibility for your own feelings, and means it’s less likely to make the other person defensive.
- Seek support if you need it. If there’s an issue you just can’t seem to move past, consider speaking to somebody objective such as a counsellor.
Further sources of information, help and support
- For Government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) - what you need to do, including information on employment and support.
- For Government guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The Money Advice Service provides free and impartial money advice.
- The National Debt Line coronavirus fact sheet provides advice and support for those worried about the impact of coronavirus on their finances.
- SignHealth provides the British Sign Language versions of Government advice.
- The Turn to Us online benefits checker is a great tool to quickly find out which benefits you’re eligible to claim if you’ve been impacted financially by coronavirus.
- With Lloyds Banking Group support, Mental Health UK has launched the Bloom resource library - a library full of tips and tools to help parents, guardians and carers have conversations about mental health with young people.
- Mental Health UK have put together useful information and tips for managing your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Mind provides information about coronavirus and wellbeing.
- Age UK can provide information on coronavirus, including updates on how you can look after yourself and loved ones, comments from Age UK, and ways you can support older people.
- The Silver Line offers a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people. The line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can call the Silver Line Helpline on 0800 4 70 80 90 anytime for support.
- Macmillan Cancer Support can provide the latest guidance for people with cancer, Macmillan supporters and their volunteers, who are worried about coronavirus.
- The National Domestic Abuse Helpline, provides support for people experiencing domestic abuse.
- The Alzheimer’s Society provides advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them during the coronavirus outbreak.
- GamCare provides free information and support for anyone affected by problem gambling.
- The National Autistic Society provides advice and practical tips for autistic people and those supporting them during the coronavirus outbreak.