The coronavirus pandemic has meant a whole host of unprecedented changes in everyday life. It’s meant the Government has been forced to announce a number of support measures, from financial schemes to temporary changes to benefit rules.
With the vaccine roll-out ongoing, there is still some time to go until the UK can resume to normal life, or enter a “new normal” as some have suggested may end up being the case.
As such, there has been a number of extensions announced in terms of coronavirus support measures.
In the Spring 2021 Budget, for instance, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the furlough scheme, which is formally known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, will now continue until the end of September this year.
There will be some changes to the rules regarding how much employers need to contribute in several months’ time, however.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has also been extended.
It means there will now be a fifth – and final, Mr Sunak pointed out – grant to help the self-employed workers who are eligible for this financial support.
The Department for Work and Pensions has also confirmed there has been an extension to an easement in the Carer’s Allowance rules.
This particular measure was due to finish at the end of May, but it has since been extended for a further three months – until the end of August.
Easements were first announced in spring 2020, before being extended for the first time for a further six months in November last year.
The extension of the measure means unpaid carers will continue to be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring because they or the person they care for has coronavirus, or if either person has to isolate because of COVID-19.
Additionally, providing emotional support is to continue to count towards the requirement of providing care for at least 35 hours per week as part of the Carer’s Allowance eligibility rules.
“You can claim Carer’s Allowance if you provide care remotely during the coronavirus outbreak,” the Government website states.
A person doesn’t need to be related to, or live with, the person they care for.
Extra cannot be paid though if the person cares for more than one person.
Furthermore, if two people care for the same person, they should note only one person can claim Carer’s Allowance.
Another factor to consider is that Carer’s Allowance can affect the benefits that the carer and the person being cared for can get.