Universal Credit UK: Concern over policy which could be ‘detrimental to tenants’

Universal Credit provides millions across the country with the valuable support they need with the cost of living, and the benefit has become increasingly relied upon in recent weeks. The lockdown measures within the country have driven many people to claim the benefit to provide them with additional support during this time. Additional financial support for claimants can include the Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA), which can be relieving for those who are worried about eviction.

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If a claimant is facing hardship or is behind on rent, arrangements can be made by their landlord to ease their burden.

APA can:

  • Get the rent paid directly to the landlord
  • Allow the claim to be paid more frequently than once a month
  • Split the payments if a claimant is part of a couple

The APA system has been praised for allowing landlords and tenants to request the housing section of Universal Credit be rerouted to the landlord directly without the need for paperwork. 

A new online system has provided particular assistance during lockdown and social distancing measures implemented across the UK.

However, concern was sparked by recent comments made by the current Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey.

Ms Coffey appeared to pour water on the hope that APA could become commonplace within the Universal Credit system.

Taking questions from the Economic Affairs Committee, Ms Coffey discussed the economics of Universal Credit, and how the system has been functioning. 

As part of these comments, Ms Coffey told MPs she does not wish to see a return to the widespread use of direct rent payments to landlords with tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

This is despite the fact Ms Coffey praised the new online Alternative Payment Arrangement system.

Ms Coffey stated reintroducing the default payment which existed before the invention of Universal Credit would “add too much complication” to the system.

Government officials including Ms Coffey, and Neil Couling, Universal Credit Director-General, indicated this system should be set aside for those who are facing particular hardship.

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The APA online system was developed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) alongside Caridon Landlord Solutions, who expressed concern over Ms Coffey’s statements.

The organisation described the comments as disappointing for landlords, but stressed this would also be detrimental for tenants in receipt of Universal Credit.

Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director of Caridon Landlord Solutions said: “We fully understand that one of the key objectives of the introduction of Universal Credit was to simplify the system and make work pay, giving those in receipt of Universal Credit a monthly payment, mimicking how many people in full-time employment receive their salary and preparing them to manage their finances.

“However, we know from experience that rent arrears have not only increased since the introduction of UC, but also a large proportion of claimants are falling into arrears within the first couple of months. 

“Whilst it is important to empower tenants and provide support into independent living, making direct payments to landlords more difficult to access puts the most vulnerable tenants at greater risk.

“Without the confidence to let to tenants in receipt of Universal Credit, landlords will turn their backs on this sector and a time when there is a record number of people in receipt of Universal Credit and rising unemployment as a result of the global pandemic, we should be doing all we can to help make managing finances easier.”

Those who are interested in starting an application for an APA are advised to speak to their work coach.

This will enable them to discuss the options which are best suited to their personal circumstances. 

Source: Read Full Article

Universal Credit UK: Allowance and extra payments claimants could receive

Universal Credit is a living support payment issued by the Department for Work and Pensions, with the aim of assisting with everyday costs. It is issued monthly to those who are eligible directly into a selected bank account or building society. But for many, it is important to know how much they could receive on the benefit, and whether they could be entitled to additional payments. 

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While Universal Credit payments do vary from person to person, there is a standard allowance paid to those who are eligible, dependent on their personal circumstances.

For the standard allowance, this is based on age and relationship status.

A single person who is under the age of 25 is entitled to £342.72 per month, with single individuals over the age of 25 receiving £409.89.

People who are in a couple under the age of 25 will receive £488.59 to split between them, with couples over 25 receiving £594.04 to share. 

But it is important to note that these figures only dictate a standard allowance, and some individuals could be eligible to receive further benefit on top.

Those in two-child families can receive an extra amount for each of their children.

But those with three or more children will receive an extra amount for at least two children, only receiving extra if any of the following are true:

  • A person has children born before April 6, 2017
  • A person was already claiming for three or more children
  • Other exceptional circumstances apply

For a first child born before April 6, 2017, claimants can receive £281.25, but for first children born on or after this date, the amount decreases to £235.83.

Second children and any other eligible children will entitle a claimant to £235.83 per child.

If a claimant has a disabled, or severely disabled child, then an extra amount of £128.25 or £400.29 is provided per month. 

Those with a disability or health condition can also receive an extra payment in addition to their standard allowance.

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People who have a limited capability for work and work-related activity can claim £341.92 per month in extra benefit.

And those who have limited capability for work, who started health related Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance before April 3, 2017 can receive £128.25.

If caring for a severely disabled person, additional financial support may be required, and this is readily offered by the government.

The gov.uk website states those who have a severely disabled child can also claim this benefit on top of their additional allowance.

Those who provide care for at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person who receives a disability related benefit can claim £16.92 in extra monthly allowance.

And finally, the Universal Credit system also provides help to those who need assistance meeting their housing costs.

This amount is dependent on age and circumstances, but can cover rent and some service charges.

Source: Read Full Article

Universal Credit UK: Claimants could receive extra housing support

Universal Credit is made available to Britons through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which aims to assist those who need a helping hand. Millions have put in a claim for the living support payment during the last few weeks, due to the challenging circumstances brought about by the lockdown measures imposed across the country. Job losses and furloughing has deeply affected many communities, with temporary support necessary to help them get by.

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While Universal Credit varies from person to person, there is a standard basic allowance the government has outlined. 

Single people who are 25 or over can receive £409.89 in monthly standard allowance.

Those in a couple over the age of 25 receive £594.04 per month to split between them.

But it is important to note claimants can also receive additional support with their housing costs.

Housing costs can often make up a significant proportion of expenditure for many families, and the regular payments need addressing.

Those who are eligible for Universal Credit can receive help paying for their housing, in a method known as the housing payment.

This enables Britons to be able to pay their rent to either a private landlord, housing association or local authority, or assists with interest payments on a mortgage. 

For those who own their property, assistance may also be provided to help meet some service charges.

Those in supported, sheltered or temporary housing arrangements can also be helped with their costs, so long as they are not receiving “care, support or supervision” through their housing.

The Universal Credit system also provides assistance with certain bills many Britons are confronted with regularly. 

Eligible claimants who may have fallen on hard times can receive support with several measures implemented by the government. 

Universal Credit claimants on zero earnings can receive BT Basic, a low cost phone service designed for people on low incomes to help with budgeting. 

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People who have specific disabilities may also be entitled to a disabled facilities grant.

This local council grant, which could climb as high as £36,000, allows changes to be made to the claimant’s home to assist them in everyday life.

Examples include providing ramps, widening doorways, installing stairlifts, and adding lighting controls. 

Those who have a Universal Credit payment which is not enough to cover their rent could receive Discretionary Housing Payments.

These provide extra money when a local council decides a claimant needs additional assistance to meet housing costs. 

This can help cover a rent shortfall, rent deposits, or rent in advance if a person needs to move home amongst other circumstances.

These payments depend on a person’s local council jurisdiction, and so relevant websites should be checked or phone calls made to determine whether a claimant could be eligible. 

To assist in the paying of energy bills, the WaterSure programme is available to those with a water meter.

It allows them to have their bills capped to ensure they do not cut back on water usage because of worry surrounding bill payments. 

Those eligible for Universal Credit may also be able to receive a Council Tax reduction – so they are encouraged to check their individual circumstances on the government website to pursue this further.

There are also several government departments and charities which can provide guidance. 

The Money Advice Service, Money Advice Trust and Citizens Advice can all point claimants in the right direction.

Source: Read Full Article

Britons reveal the one way they made substantial savings – ‘worth it!’

Money saving tips have helped many families manage their income and expenditure, particularly in the often difficult times brought about by the lockdown measures across the country. However, it is often difficult to know where to begin with cut backs which do not have a detrimental affect on the rest of life. Many people are looking to make savings, however without compromising their quality of life.

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Britons have taken to the website Reddit to share the one collective way they cut costs and managed to save money in the long run.

They revealed the process of bulk buying allowed them to make savings which added up across the year, and allowed them to shop in a more efficient manner.

When one user asked whether shopping in the wholesaler Costco was worthwhile, several shoppers provided insight into their bulk buying savings.

One wrote: “We do a Costco shop every two to three months. It’s handy for things like: tinned tomatoes, cereal sugar coffeee, meat, baked goods, toilet paper, cheese, milk and fruit and vegetables.

“If you have the storage space, then you can save a lot of money shopping at Costco. But be aware – look at what the current RRP is for most items before a spend.

“Their takeaway food counter is also very good value for money – £1.50 for a hotdog, or £2 for a chilli dog and a refillable soda. And £7 for a 18 inch pizza served hot.”

One shopper stated that although prices could be slightly more expensive for some items, the quality of the products was enough to justify the spend.

They said: “If they are selling it, it will be a decent quality brand and model. I find this great to know, because if you see something that you want, you don’t need to pause for 10 minutes to Google to check if it is any good.

“You know you are not buying junk. Sure, Tesco has a toaster for £12, but the £30 toaster at Costco will last decades.”

And another shopper stated the switch to bulk buying at Costco allowed them to save a substantial amount of money for their large family.

A fourth shopper stated it was easy to make substantial savings in areas one may not first expect.

They wrote: “The fuel is cheaper than a lot of supermarkets can offer – not that it is much of a difference at the moment, but 3p a litre, if you do a lot of driving will mount up over the year.

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“You can also get discounted tyres and glasses if you need them. Well worth it.”

It is important to note that Costco has a membership fee of just over £30 for the year, so another shopper said it was vital for Britons to calculate their spending to see if the price was worthwhile.

Experts have estimated that on average, shoppers can save around 20 percent on their purchases by opting to bulk buy.

This process involves buying more than one would usually need for the week, and potentially shopping for a month, or several months at one time. 

Bulk buying can be particularly useful for non-perishable items which can be stored in the home for months or even years. 

And warehouses and wholesalers often offer discounts which can enhance money saving tips and tricks. 

Research from CBN has also found bulk buying some items could end up saving shoppers up to 83 percent. 

When buying in bulk, it is important to make sure all items are used to avoid wastage, and cancelling out money saving. 

Source: Read Full Article

Banks pay out after major overdraft error – thousands affected

Banks are required to send customers text alerts to inform them of fees they could incur for using this unarranged facility, as a result of rules established in 2017. However, Santander and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)- which own Natwest – admitted these rules had been somewhat breached over the last few years. This means thousands could be entitled to overdraft refunds.

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An investigation found RBS did not send accurate warnings to 36,000 of its current account holders between February 2018 and December 2019.

As a result, the bank has now agreed to repay overdraft charges incurred, plus eight percent in interest – in a sum which exceeds £2million.

And Santander recently set aside £17million to refund customers after overdraft blunders.

The bank has said approximately 470,000 customers are likely to be entitled to refunds.

This is in addition to the £2million in refunds Santander has already been forced to pay in an announcement in May 2019.

An open letter from the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) published this week laid out the RBS group’s errors.

The letter stated the first error arose when RBS failed to enrol adult personal current accounts (PCAs) which were previously youth accounts into a programme of alerts within 10 working days.

As a consequence, the group ended up charging 36,000 customers for going into or attempting to go into an unarranged overdraft without first sending an alert.

The CMA states RBS aims to refund the affected customers at some point in the Summer this year.

However, this is not the first time banks have fallen foul of rules outlined by the CMA.

Since 2018, three providers have been forced to refund their customers.

Metro Bank was required to pay out £11million back to its customers in a refund process.

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And HSBC and Nationwide have paid back £8million and £7million each.

Those customers who have been affected will be notified by their bank or building society of the error.

As a result, they will not have to take any action to receive a refund.

Dr Andrea Coscelli CBE, chief executive of the CMA commented on the issue which has arisen for many providers and their customers.

He said: “Text alerts have been absolutely key in helping people to avoid unfair unarranged overdraft charges and, where banks have failed to comply, the CMA has worked to secure millions in refunds for customers.

“While these breaches are disappointing, and may have been preventable had the CMA been able to issue serious financial penalties, our action has put a total of more than £47 million back into people’s pockets.”

Responsibility for overdraft rules will now fall under the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In December 2019, the FCA introduced its own reforms to overdraft rules, and now requires banks to send text alerts to customers for any and all overdraft charges.

Many people have turned to overdraft facilities in recent months as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

But banks have been required to offer their customers interest free overdrafts of up to £500 for three months. 

Source: Read Full Article

China cover-up: Boris Johnson could stop Chinese imports as COVID-19 ravages world economy

Mr Johnson instructed civil servants to end Britain’s reliance on China for both medical and strategic imports in light of the coronavirus outbreak, The Times newspaper reported on Friday. The plans, which have been code named “Project Defend”, aim to identify Britain’s main economic vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments as part of a broader new approach to national security, according to reports.

Efforts are reportedly being led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to ensure Britain is protected.

The Foreign Secretary, could lead to the government supporting the “repatriation” of key manufacturing capabilities such as pharmaceuticals as part of a new national resilience framework.

It is also reportedly looking at supply chain issues where critical UK businesses rely on components from abroad to make finished products.

Two working groups have been set up as part of the project, according to the report.

One source told The Times that the aim of project defend was to diversify supply lines to no longer depend on individual countries for non-food essentials.

The Prime Minister told lawmakers he would take steps to protect Britain’s technological base.

The government review is also expected to include personal protective equipment and drugs, the report added.

The development comes as Beijing has been tackling mounting international criticism over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in China before spreading to the rest of the world.

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Tensions have been mounting between the US and China, with Donald Trump claiming Bejing has witheld vital information about the coronavirus.

However, some critics claim the catastrophic spread of the virus in the US is due to the Trump administration’s handling of the virus.

This follows a number of headlines over the course of the pandemic that show how furious the both the US and UK is over China’s handling of the novel coronavirus.

UK government officials have been accusing China of spreading disinformation about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in its borders.

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Conservative PMs have also been urging the PM not to allow Huawei to build Britain’s 5G networks.

Yesterday, following Conservative MP Richard Drax ‘s questions to urge Johnson to copy France’s review of defence supply chains because of concerns China is buying up companies at risk of going bust during the pandemic.

Mr Johnson told the Commons: “Drax is absolutely right to be concerned about investment, to be concerned about the buying up of UK technology by countries that … may have ulterior motives.”

A coalition of 122 countries are now supporting Australia’s call for an independent probe to investigate the causes of the coronavirus pandemic that started in Wuhan, China.

But, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has felt the wrath of Beijing.

China has now threatened to decimate Australia’s economy unless the inquiry initiative is dropped.

The need for an inquiry will be voted on by 194 nations at the World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

China has increased its belligerent threats towards Australia with a suggestion they may place a crippling tariff on barley exports.

The wording of the inquiry so far fails to mention China, but the nuances all point to an effort to uncover attempts by Beijing to cover-up the outbreak at the early stages.

The UK has signed up to support the inquiry and British Foreign Office spokesman said: “There will need to be a review into the pandemic, not least so that we can ensure we are better prepared for future global pandemics.

“The resolution at the World Health Assembly is an important step towards this.”

The pandemic has caused world economies to fall into recession, with many questioning why they should repay the sovereign debt they owe China after the disease spread from Wuhan because of Beijing’s lack of transparency.

Source: Read Full Article

HMRC scam warning: New scams targeting Britons – what to look out for

Scams looking to exploit the coronavirus crisis have been reported by a number of people who have been targeted. Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber reporting centre, has offered a fresh warning to Britons, urging them to be on the lookout.  It said there were a number of emails purporting to be from HMRC offering tax refunds as a result of coronavirus.

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These emails are likely to be phishing scams, which seek to harvest personal information from unsuspecting victims.

Britons are urged to click links to fill in personal information or credit card details.

Several people have recently used Twitter, even as close as this morning, to draw attention to scams they had received.

In one case, a person received a link which stated: “We identified an error in the calculation of your tax from the last income, amounting to 87.56 GBP.

“In order for us to return the excess payment, we need to confirm a few extra details after wich the amount will be credited to your specified bank account.

“Please click ‘CLAIM’ below in order to submit the refund request. Best regards HM Revenue and Customs.”

Another user said they received a fraudulent phone call asking for similar personal details.

They wrote: “Just had a call purporting to be HMRC. Claims there is a case of tax under my name and to press 1.

“If I don’t do this now, I will be arrested shortly. This is a scam, if you get similar do not press 1. REPORT.”

HMRC has responded to these reports, stating online: “We don’t send any texts or emails regarding tax refunds. You can report these by forwarding them to the following address: [email protected]

Action Fraud recently said a man had pleaded guilty to sending out fraudulent text messages after an investigation was undertaken by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU).

The organisation stated some of the messages claimed to be from the UK government and offered a tax refund as a result of coronavirus.

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These are referred to as ‘smishing’ scams – where cybercriminals attempt to trick victims into giving them private information via text.

The internet security company, Norton, has stated this form of scam has increased significantly, and is a growing threat.

Although messages may look legitimate, they can often direct users to unofficial and fraudulent webpages which could steal personal information.

The cybercriminals could also use the website to download viruses onto the computers of victims. 

Action Fraud states over 160,000 suspect emails have been reported in recent weeks.

The emails cover a wide range of scams designed to attack Britons in various aspects of life. 

Speaking of fraud arising at this time, Commander Karen Baxter, City of London Police, National Lead Force for Fraud, said: “While the world is coming together to combat this global health crisis, criminals are intent on exploiting our unease, anxiety and vulnerabilities in these unprecedented times.

“The fact the public have taken the opportunity to fight back and show these criminals how unacceptable this is, is fantastic.

“Fraud is an incredibly underreported crime. The more the police know about fraud, and fraud attempts, the better chance they have of tracking down those responsible and bringing them to justice.”

Source: Read Full Article

Mortgage enquiries drop as coronavirus hits the property market

Mortgage enquiries declined by a steep 37 percent from March to April in a shock blow for the UK property market, wreaked by the coronavirus outbreak. The new data from online mortgage broker Trussle painted a stark, yet dire picture for mortgages during the period of lockdown, as implemented by the government. The government effectively placed a temporary freeze on the housing market to prevent transmission of COVID-19 throughout the UK.

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Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, however, recently announced England’s housing market would be restarted, with estate agents now able to open.

Viewings can also be carried out, with conveyancers permitted to return to operations. 

However, social distancing rules must stay firmly in place in order to prevent the disease from spreading with movement of people. 

The question, though, of how the housing market will cope after its stagnation during lockdown is yet to be answered.

It appears first-time buyers have been forced to absorb some of the shock to the market, with mortgage applications reducing by 35 percent year-on-year during April.

Also notable was a 53 percent decrease in submissions between March and April 2020.

While the specific reasons for this decline are not totally clear, mortgage applications were made difficult when brokers pulled products off the market. 

When the Bank of England imposed an unprecedented base rate cut to 0.1 percent in March, brokers rapidly removed some of their products.

Research from Moneyfacts stated the number of available products halved from 5,222 deals at the beginning of March to 2,566 at the start of May. 

And brokers have also been forced to reckon with mortgage payment holidays imposed by the government and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Under these measures, all existing mortgage holders could gain a three month freeze on their mortgage payments.

However, the research from Trussle also showed good news for current mortgage holders.

Applications for remortgage rose by 110 percent year-on-year in April.

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According to the online broker, borrowers who remortgage could save £334 per month.

The data on remortgaging suggests homeowners are looking to save money by finding better rates, and remortgaging calculators can also help with this process. 

However, for those who have been furloughed as a result of the crisis, extra caution should be taken.

While lenders are usually willing to accept furloughed income, it must be proven that a person is going back to work.

Additionally, some brokers are only looking at furloughed salaries when taking into account how much a person can borrow. 

Commenting on the findings, Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at Trussle, said: “As the coronavirus crisis continues to impact people’s livelihoods, those who have been furloughed are naturally likely to be concerned about their mortgage applications.

“During these difficult times, many lenders will only consider 80 percent of a furloughed customer’s income in affordability calculations, provided that the applicant has confirmation that they’ll be going back to work. As there’s a monthly cap of 80 percent of salary paid up to £2,500 for furloughed workers, people earning more than this will be impacted more significantly. Many lenders are also hesitant to consider overtime and bonuses at this point in time as it is certainly not guaranteed income.

“While other lenders won’t accept furloughed customers at all, we’ve seen flexibility from those who are accepting customers on furlough and we’ve helped a number of customers in this position to secure mortgages. The criteria has been changing frequently during these times, so anyone who has been furloughed should seek professional mortgage advice.”

Although the property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remain closed, it is thought these could open in the coming weeks as lockdown measures change.

Mr Jenrick, however, states plans for England will help give the market a boost.

He said: “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals.

“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus Self-Employment Scheme applicants exceed one million – check eligibility

Coronavirus support measures have been implemented by the government, with the most recent Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) proving both necessary and popular. The grant enables self-employed people and those who are members of partnerships whose businesses have been affected by coronavirus to claim 80 percent of their average monthly trading profits. In the first few hours of the scheme, 110,000 self-employed people applied for the grant, but this number has now exceeded one million mere days in.

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Tax officials have said the value of claims on the scheme have so far reached more than £3billion. 

However, for those who have not yet made a claim through the service – how can the self-employed check if they are eligible? 

It is likely those who are eligible to make a claim from the grant have already been contacted by HMRC.

However, the First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive of HMRC has urged those who believe they are eligible but have not been contacted to go to the government website.

Here, they will find the SEISS eligibility checker which will provide them with information as to whether they could receive the grant.

Potential claimants must have their Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number to hand. 

They must also have their National Insurance number as proof of their right to work in the UK.

HMRC has assigned eligible claimants a specific date to apply on, between May 13 – 18, and this date should be checked before making an application.

The service provides an all but instantaneous response, stating whether or not a potential claimant has qualified for the scheme.

If not, the calculator also provides potential reasons as to why a self-employed person has not met the eligibility criteria.

This can include trading profits exceeding £50,000, trading profits being less than non-trading income, or failing to submit a Self Assessment tax return for the 2018/9 year.

However, those who submitted their return between March 26, 2020 and April 23, 2020 are being actively encouraged to check the system again.

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This is because the online service has been updated with more data.

If a self-employed person still believes they are eligible to claim after rejection from the calculator, they should contact HMRC to review their eligibility.

Those who are eligible for the scheme should provide information as to how their business has been affected by COVID-19.

They should also provide relevant bank account information for the grant to be delivered to if accepted.

SEISS was rolled out weeks earlier than previously announced to help the self-employed with dedicated support. 

The maximum payment from the scheme is to be set at £7,500 – and will cover March, April and May.

Commenting on the scheme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We’re working ahead of time to deliver support to the self-employed and from today, applications open for the millions of people eligible for the scheme.

“With payments arriving before the end of this month, self-employed across the UK will have money in their pockets to help them through these challenging times.”

Source: Read Full Article

State Pension age changes today: The change you need to know – check if you are affected

The State Pension is offered to Britons by the government once they reach an eligible age, with those who have made significant National Insurance (NI) contributions standing to benefit the most. Pensioners are given a sum of money each week to provide assistance with living costs and support people in their years after work. The traditional age for retirement usually stood at 60 or 65, however, in recent years, the government announced their plans to raise this age.

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And there is a particular age change taking place today that pensioners and those approaching retirement age should look out for.

On May 6, 2020, anyone who was born between July 6, 1954 and August 5, 1954 will reach State Pension age.

However, this age has automatically risen to 66 in accordance with the government’s wishes.

As a result, those born between these dates are imminently affected by the announcement, and will see their State Pension age as slightly further off.

Changes implemented by the government are a result of the increase in life expectancy – which sees more Britons than ever before spending a longer period of time in retirement. 

The government’s proposals are due to take place in increments, with a new set of potential retirees being affected in the future.

Ultimately, the government plans to raise the State Pension age to 68 – and stated it would do so between 2037 and 2039. 

From 2017 calculations, the government states a 65-year-old can now expect to spend 22.8 years on average in receipt of State Pension.

This is compared to 13.5 years when the State Pension was first introduced in 1948.

The government is committed to protecting those who have offered years of service in work, and have enshrined this commitment in law.

Under the Triple Lock Mechanism, first introduced by the coalition government in 2010, the State Pension rises by a particular amount each year.

This is by whichever is the highest: the rate of inflation, 2.5 percent, or average earnings for that year.

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In the 2020/21 tax year, which commenced in early April, pensioners witnessed an increase of 3.9 percent in line with average earnings. 

Dependent upon circumstances, and indeed years of eligible work, pensioners are entitled to different amounts of the State Pension.

At a maximum, pensioners can expect to receive £134.25 per week if they retired before April 6, 2016.

If retiring after this date, pensioners are entitled to the New State Pension which can offer a maximum of £175.35 per week.

The government provides a tool enabling Britons to check their State Pension online at any time.

This tool provides information on how much a person could receive, and when they will reach State Pension age under the law as it currently stands.

The service also provides future pensioners with advice on how they may be able to increase their pension.

This can be done either through delaying a claim, thereby allowing the pension amount to grow, or through speaking to a financial adviser about personal circumstances.

Additional support is provided to Britons who are struggling financially. 

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