Financial expert Martin Lewis has just provided his “lockdown inside information” on all the help available to the British at the moment.
And there was urgent important news quickly.
Speaking to viewers of the Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, he said, “Today, the leave has been extended and freelance grants have increased.”
But they weren’t the only plans brought or brought back as more of Britain was being put under Corona Virus Restrictions.
And all of the schemes he mentioned are spread across the UK – so work whether you’re succumbing to the Breaking Fire of Wales, the English shutdown, or the New Five Layer Order in Scotland.
He dealt with the bigger issue first.
“The big announcement today – the leave has been extended until the end of March,” Martin said.
That means your boss can give you time off – either part-time or full-time – and the government will cover 80% of your regular earnings for the hours you don’t work.
And it’s more flexible than it has been in months, too.
“Anyone can be authorized,” Martin said.
Even if you haven’t gone before – or your organization hasn’t used the system – as long as you were employed before October 31, you are eligible.
It also operates for fixed term contracts and zero contracts.
But it is not guaranteed.
“Vacation is the entire employer’s choice,” Martin said.
If you were recently fired, re-employment and furlough are also permitted if your boss agrees – as long as you have a payroll between March 23 and September 23.
Then go to help the self-employed.
Martin pointed to a significant increase in income support payments for the self-employed recently.
“When it was first announced it was 20%,” Martin said.
Then it doubled to 40%, then 55% earlier this week and now they’ve upped it to 80% through March.
This means that the new scholarship is now valued at up to £ 7,500.
“The requests are on November 30th – you should be there just in time for Christmas,” Martin said.
But he had bad news for people he’d missed before.
Martin said, “I’m still unlikely – not my choice.”
Martin added that there’s also no cover for limited company directors – but if you pay yourself an income via PAYE, you should be able to take time off yourself.
Martin then turned to the help available from banks and other financing providers – rather than the government.
First – 6-month automatic vacations from mortgages for people with coronavirus should be available next week if they aren’t already.
He pointed out that the interest is still being added so that the payment will increase after that.
“My rule of thumb for mortgage repayment leave is – take one if needed, but only if needed,” Martin said.
It’s also 6 months in total for the entire epidemic, so if you used up that time already, you wouldn’t be eligible.
If you’ve already consumed 6 months, you may be entitled to dedicated support instead – which could lead to a reduction in payments, a forgiveness of interest, or an extension of the terms of the mortgage – but that will appear on your credit file
Martin added that the holidays for cards, loans and car financing are likely to return next week.
But the overdraft is not covered like last time – with “custom support” offered again.
Finally, Martin gathered the other available support.
He pointed to extending the exemption from the minimum income minimum for universal credit until next April, to help the self-employed.
The rules for recovering high corporate loans were also changed to allow people to fill in the maximum permissible if they had not already obtained it.
Bailiffs were asked not to expel people again during the lockdown either.
But there have also been changes from the recent shutdown.
Martin indicated that the terms of the Commerce Department have not been extended this time, and that you are allowed to move out of the house and allow merchants to visit your home.