What should I do if I'm worried about debt and coronavirus?
If you're worried about the impact of the illness on your finances:
What should I do about my finances if my health changes?
As with any change in your health, the quicker you review your finances and make changes if needed, the better. Here are just a few of the steps you can take:
- Check your benefit entitlement as you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Universal Credit (UC) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Bear in mind that the the government has made changes to entitlement to these benefits in the current period, which could make it easier for your to claim
- Get in touch with your council and make them aware of what’s happened. You may be entitled to council tax reduction/exemption or housing benefit. Local authorities are getting an extra £500m for vulnerable people, and it's anticipated that most of this will be spent on council tax support schemes
- If you’re a homeowner, you may be entitled to secure a mortgage payment holiday from your lender, or switch to an interest-only mortgage for a set period
- If you’ve got payment protection on your debts, check if you’re eligible to make a claim based on illness
I’ve been furloughed, what does this mean?
If you’ve been ‘furloughed’ it means you don’t have to attend work. You’re still on your employer’s payroll, however, and you may return to work when your furlough period ends. Many workers have been furloughed because their place of work has had to close.
You should continue to be paid when you’ve been furloughed. This is because the government has announced that employers can claim 80% of furloughed workers’ wages, you may be paid a reduced amount of your normal wage until at least the end of October 2020 (backdated to 1 March 2020).
Take a look at our furloughing guide to for more information about furloughing, your rights and if you could be made redundant.
If you’re not being paid at all during this period, you can claim Universal Credit. Read our guide to coronavirus, benefits and statutory sick pay.
Whether you’re being paid or not, if you’re worried about how your finances may be affected on a longer-term basis you can: