Accessing Government Support
The UK Government has made it easier for self-employed people who need to self-isolate or are diagnosed with Coronavirus to get support through the benefits system. This includes people, like you, who ride with Deliveroo.
There are three types of financial support that you might be able to receive and in some cases you may be able to receive multiple:
- Self Employed Income Support Scheme
- Universal Credit (UC)
- ‘New Style’ Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
People who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of COVID-19 will not be required to produce a sick note.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
The Government has now announced a new Self Employed Income Support Scheme to provide support to self-employed people impacted by COVID-19.
As a rider, you can receive a grant of up to 80% of your average monthly earnings over the last 3 years – up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Grants will cover March, April and May, but this may be extended. Payment of the grant will be made in one lump sum, expected to be paid from the start of June. You can continue to work and still receive the grant.
To be eligible for the scheme you must:
- Have filed a tax return for 2019. If you missed the January deadline to submit your tax return you can submit one in the next 4 weeks. You can find information on how to submit your tax return here.
- Earn more than half of your total income through self employed work.
- Have been self employed for more than a year.
The Government has said that self employed people who have submitted their tax return and are eligible for the grant will be contacted by HMRC over the coming weeks about the scheme. You do not need to contact them yourself to apply.
To claim Universal Credit and to find out if you are eligible you must create an online account with the Government and provide details about your finances. These details will help decide the amount of support you may qualify for.
You can create an online account here. If you need help creating an account or completing your application, call the government support helpline on 0800 328 5644.
To complete your online claim, you should have the following information to hand:
- Your earnings for the last month – this is all earnings, not just what you have earned riding with Deliveroo
- Any expenses you have from being self employed – for example, your fuel costs from riding with Deliveroo
- Your housing costs (such as your rent or mortgage)
- Any savings you have over £6,000
- Anyone else that lives in your household. If you live with a partner, they will also need to open a Universal Credit account
- Any childcare costs
- Any other income you may receive – for example, a pension or a bursary
‘New Style’ ESA
ESA is the fastest way to access money. If you qualify for ESA you will receive £73.10 per week (or £57.90 if you are under 25). To qualify for ESA you will have to have paid enough National Insurance contributions in the last 2 – 3 years.
You will need to complete an application form to apply for ESA. You will then need to call the helpline (0800 328 5644) to book an appointment for a discussion about your claim.
You should have the following information to hand for your appointment:
- Your completed application form
- Proof of your identity
- Proof of address
- Proof of any pensions you get
- Proof of any health insurance payments you get
To claim this support call 0800 328 5644.
Once your claim is submitted, you’ll be asked to confirm your identity using a passport, driving license or other form of government ID. In most cases this can be done online. If you do not have a valid form of ID you may be told to call the Universal Credit support helpline.
You will then be asked to book a telephone appointment to discuss your application.
Normally it can take up to five weeks to receive your first payment of Universal Credit. However, during your telephone appointment you can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit. You can read more about advances here.
How much Universal Credit you can get and how much of an advance you can ask for will be based on your personal circumstances.
The Government also announced on Tuesday 17 March that they had agreed with banks that affected individuals may be offered a three-month mortgage ‘holiday’, allowing them a temporary break from having to make mortgage payments during this time. For more details please contact your bank.
As you already know, riders who work regularly with Deliveroo and can provide proof that they have contracted the virus or been placed in quarantine by a medical authority can also apply for financial help through our Rider Support Fund.
If you start to feel ill or test positive for COVID-19, follow all medical advice, do not log in and let us know immediately via Rider Support.