I’m a self-employed physiotherapist. I live with my partner and 3 children in a rented property. The majority of my customers have cancelled their bookings due to the Coronavirus outbreak and I can’t see that I’ll have much work in the coming weeks.
My partner does not work and we don’t have any savings. We do get some Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
You may* be entitled to a lump sum grant payment from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, this will be paid sometime in May.
Even though you are no longer working the required number of hours for WTC, your WTC can continue – this is a temporary exception to the main rules that normally apply.
However, if you are going to struggle financially you may be better off on Universal Credit - especially if you have rent to pay and are not currently getting any Housing Benefit.
If you are expecting to receive a payment from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, then you you may be better off waiting until you receive this payment before you make your claim - seek advice from a benefits adviser.
If you do claim UC, then your Tax Credits will end straight away (ie no run-on).
You will be able to apply for an Advance Payment to tide you over until your first UC payment- and you can apply online. But this will be recovered from your on-going payments.
Your work coach can use their discretion not to apply the Minimum Income Floor as your work has been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. So for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak, your UC payments should be based on your actual takings (or no takings) even if you have been trading for 12 months or more.
*NOTE: If you have set yourself up as a Director of a business, then you will not be entitled to a payment from that scheme. You may wish to consider - if you are not going to have any customers for a period of 3 weeks or more - registering yourself as a 'furloughed worker'. At the moment, you can stay on your WTC - even though you are not actually working due to being furloughed.
Although you may be better off on Universal Credit - seek advice from a benefits adviser.
I’m a single parent with two children. I’m a self-employed delivery driver. I currently get Working Tax Credit, Child Tax and a small amount of Housing Benefit.
My income has increased. What should I do?
You should notify both HMRC and the HB Office. It is likely that your Tax Credit award will reduce and your HB award could stop altogether.
Should your income drop again in the future, then let HMRC know and they may be able to reassess your award. But you will not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit, so at that point you may be better claiming Universal Credit – but get advice first.