State Benefits

State Benefits

Updated: 27/03/2020

The self-employed are not entitled to statutory sick pay.  However, you may be entitled to claim some state and local benefits Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance depending on your circumstances.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a state benefit for people who are out of work or, in some cases, on a low income.  You may be entitled to claim universal credit even if currently receive some tax credits or financial help with your rent.

For further information about universal credit, you can call the Universal Credit Helpline on: 0800 328 5644.

You can find advice about universal credit using this link:

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a state benefit for people who have a health condition or disability that affects their ability to work.  It is available to the employed and self-employed alike.

You can find further information about ESA using this link:

The government has made some temporary changes to the benefits system to assist people:

  • The Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have Covid-19 or are self-isolating according to government advice, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support

  • Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit for those affected by Covid-19 or self-isolating should be paid from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8.

  • The requirement to attend a job centre to claim these benefits has also been lifted.

Council Tax

The government has announced a hardship fund for local councils to support their residents with council tax, in line with existing schemes.

If you have difficulty paying your council tax you should contact your local council to find out what options may be available to you.