Each country is fighting an independent pandemic war. UK government benefit programs are designed to help its citizens. Many extensive benefits programs have been implemented in the UK. In the 2020 budget, the new UK government unveiled several relief programs.
They have also improved on existing welfare programs. These programs aim at cushioning the impact of the downfall caused by Covid-19 for individuals, public services, and businesses. The budget has also covered various other sectors like health and finance.
Besides these programs, the government is also providing support through steps like investments in infrastructure and minimum wages to people. If you are in immediate need of assistance in the UK right now, these programs may help you. Keep reading to learn the details.
Self-Employment Income Program
The UK Government has launched this scheme as a helping hand to the adversity-stricken self-employed population during the global pandemic.
Troubled by economic disruptions and diminishing profits, the self-employed and freelance workers will get benefit from the scheme. They’ll be able to seek a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years.
Features of this UK Government Benefit Program
- At least half of your income should have come from self-employment as per the ITR filed in Jan 2019.
- Only people earning less than £50,000 per year are eligible.
- The self-employed (like freelancers) can continue to work while they seek to benefit from the scheme.
- The amount will arrive directly into people’s bank accounts from HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) by June earliest.
- The grants received by workers will be taxable and need to be declared in ITR by 2022.
- Company owners who pay themselves a salary are not eligible.
Help To Buy UK Government Benefit Program
This scheme is a blessing for those who wish to get their own place but don’t have ample financial means. You can borrow about 20% of the price of your desired home interest-free for five years.
Features of the program
- First-time buyers, as well as existing home-owners, can apply.
- The house shouldn’t cost more than £60,000.
- You should have at least a 5% deposit with you.
- In London, you borrow up to 40% of purchase value.
- It is available only in England. For other locations in the UK, check ‘Help to Buy Scotland’, ‘Help to Buy Wales’ and ‘Help to Buy Northern Ireland’.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
This government benefit scheme is a sigh of relief for people who are unable to work due to self-isolation under the Covid-19 threat. Under this scheme, the people who are self-isolating will get £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks.
Features of the Program
- You have to stay in isolation for a minimum period of 4 days to be eligible.
- SSP will be paid by your employer monthly or weekly.
- If you have multiple employers, you can seek SSP from all.
- Tax and National Insurance are still deducted from the pay.
Small Business Rates Relief
To help small businesses get through the economic slowdown, the UK government has introduced extended retail discounts. The discounts stretch up to 100% in budget 2020 under this scheme.
Features of the Scheme
- Only businesses having a rateable value of up to £51,000 are covered.
- 100% discount covers small retail, hospitality, and leisure industries.
- £5000 discount on business rates for pubs.
- Businesses under SBRR also get £3000 in grants this year.
- Moreover, the government is supporting businesses with loans of up to £1.2 million from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Benefit Pension Schemes
The UK pension scheme is for people who want to invest in their future after retirement. Currently, there are two types of pension schemes.
- Defined Contribution: The pension pot depends on how much is paid in from salary. The money paid by you goes to a pension provider who invests in the market. You get your base amount invested plus investment profits, and 25% of your pension is tax-free. It can be paid in regular payments or lump sum.
- Defined Benefits: Your employer promises to pay you a certain amount annually after retirement, depending on your salary and tenure. 25% of the pension is tax-free.
UK Government Benefit Program Notes
If you have suddenly found yourself without the ability to afford the essentials, these programs can help. UK Government Benefit Programs give you a chance to get back on track. And these are something you have a right to utilize since you have paid for them through taxes.