Home Business SEISS, furlough & benefit shielding guidance updated by DWP: Backdated claim rules...

SEISS, furlough & benefit shielding guidance updated by DWP: Backdated claim rules changed

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DWP, HMRC and other Government departments have been forced to adapt several times over the last year or so as coronavirus continued to wreak havoc on the economy. Today, the DWP made another change as restrictions are eased.

The Government has been criticised in recent weeks as it was confirmed a number of coronavirus related benefit perks would be rolled back over the autumn.

In his March Budget, Rishi Sunak announced the £20 uplift awarded to Universal Credit claimants would be ended come September and on July 7, this was confirmed by Theresa Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary.

Ms Coffey confirmed to MPs: “Ahead of October we will start communicating with the current claimants who receive the £20 to make them aware that it will be phased out and they will start to see an adjustment in their payments.”

While this change was always in the works, many charities and experts have criticised the Government for ending the support even as families struggle.

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Additionally, the Government also recently announced it would be dropping its commitment to abolishing the lower income limit on sick pay.

This, Citizens Advice, argued could not have come at a worse time for struggling workers.

Dame Clare Moriarty, the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, explained: “[The] announcement is a U-turn on the Government’s commitment to improve sick pay and support people on low incomes.

“With cases of coronavirus rising and many needing to self-isolate, it could not come at a worse time.

“We’d urge the Government to think again. Otherwise many will continue to face an impossible choice: work when ill or fall behind on their bills.”

It has also been confirmed the furlough scheme and SEISS will not be extended as September arrives, and this is also making many people nervous.

Recently, comparethemarket.com conducted a survey of 2,090 UK adults between June 30 and July 1, 2021.

The results of this survey showed parents have “significant concerns that the phasing out of the furlough scheme will have a detrimental impact on their employment and financial prospects.”

According to comparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence Tracker, a quarter of families with children at home (25 percent) are worried that the end of the job protection scheme will affect their jobs, compared to only 9 percent amongst households without children.

Ursula Gibbs, a Director at comparethemarket.com, commented on the findings and issued guidance to worried families.

Ms Gibbs said: “The furlough scheme has been a lifeline for many households during the pandemic. However, with the new changes that came into effect this month, employers now must start covering some of the payslip, which could lead to a rise in redundancies. Families with children at home could be particularly affected, and many in this group are concerned about the financial impact on their households.

“However, there is some good news for families in the longer-term, as a third believe their finances will have improved by the end of year compared to only a quarter of those without children. As the UK economy fully opens when restrictions lift this month, many also believe the UK will be in a strong position economically as life can hopefully return to normal once again.

“For those struggling, there are steps people can take to help manage their money day-to-day. Working out where to cut costs by switching household bills can often save hundreds of pounds. Small steps can make a big difference when it comes to budgeting and financial wellbeing.”



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