Advising on debt and Coronavirus

13 March 2020

If a client approaches you who’s income has reduced or been stopped due to Coronavirus, then you can signpost them to PayPlan’s ‘Debt and Coronavirus’ dedicated information page or factsheet.

Debt and Coronavirus

Am I entitled to any additional income due to Coronavirus?

If you normally work but are off sick, are self-isolating or need time off to look after children then you should check your entitlement to sick pay and other benefits with your employer. Information about claiming sick pay can be found on the acas website and you can find more information about any additional benefits you may be entitled to on the Department for Work and Pensions website. If you already get benefits like Tax Credits or Housing Benefit, tell the office paying you that you can’t work because you’re sick. You might be entitled to more money while you’re off work.

The government have made some changes to the rules for self-employed people as a result of this virus. If you are self-employed on low earnings, you will now be able to get the same amount of Universal Credit as an employed person would. Advance payments should be available immediately. If you are sick, then Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is now available from day one, whereas previously no payment was due for 7 days.

How can I manage my money throughout the Coronavirus outbreak?

Your first priority should be to meet your basic needs. Our recommendation is that you firstly work out how much money you need to live on a day to day basis. Download and complete our handy budget sheet which should ensure you don’t forget anything. Once you know where you stand financially, then get in touch with the people you owe money to and ask them to accept an amount that you can afford each month (in the short term this might be nothing). They may ask some questions about your situation but should be sympathetic and shouldn’t ask you to pay more than you can realistically afford.

I’m currently in a debt solution and can’t make my payments, what help is available?

If you are currently in a debt solution and can’t keep up with your agreed payments, then it’s important you let your adviser know as soon as possible. If you are a PayPlan client, we may be able to agree either a lower payment or a pause in payments whilst your income is affected. Please don’t stop payments without speaking to us though.

  • If you’re in a Debt Management Plan, please call us on 0800 316 7155 or send us a message through your account in PayPlan Plus.
  • If you’re in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, please call us on 0800 912 7269
  • If you’re in a Trust Deed, please call us on 0800 197 7211

I’m worried about the long-term impact of Coronavirus on my finances, what can I do?

Once things get back to normal, you might find that you need some help with your finances to get back on track. Please use our online debt solution form to find out the options available to you.

If you or someone in your family is ill, and you’re concerned about them, please read the latest NHS advice for guidance.

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