Britons are once again being urged to stay at home, excluding for exceptional specified reasons, in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Not only affecting people emotionally and in terms of their everyday life, the stringent measures will also have a financial impact.
Today, Martin Lewis was on hand to warn Britons about some of the essential information surrounding lockdown finances.
Writing in his weekly Money Tips newsletter, the founder of Money Saving Expert shed some light on options which may be available, while pointing out some sadly won’t be eligible for certain schemes.
“Physical and mental health is the primary concern, but tighter restrictions will have a significant impact on livelihoods, income and finances too,” the money saving website states.
“Martin’s rounded up support mechanisms already in place, including the latest furlough details and what can be done if you’ve childcare responsibilities.”
Among 16 different tips, Martin addressed the six-in-one benefit Universal Credit.
“Universal credit is the catch-all help – don’t dismiss it,” he wrote.
“Universal credit is a benefit available to many employed, self-employed and unemployed people or those on low incomes, whether furloughed, getting SEISS or not,” Martin added, before signposting to further information on the Money Saving Expert website.
“Many dismiss it, but while it’s not perfect it may help.”
The financial journalist, who often shares his money insights on a number of TV and radio shows, went on to explain how much the support could be worth.
“At the top end, including housing allowances it can be worth £1,500/month tax-free,” he explained.
“So if you’re struggling, check if you’re eligible – use our 10-min Benefits Check tool to see.
“Though those with savings above £6,000 get less (rightly or wrongly – you’re expected to then support yourself more).”
There are three independent and anonymous tools signposted on the government website.
These are those hosted by Turn2us, Policy in Practice, and entitledto.
The payment is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts which may apply to the claimant.
For example, this may be if a person has children, has a disability or health condition which prevents them from working, or they need help paying rent.
It’s important to note how much Universal Credit a person gets will depend on their earnings.