Coronavirus: Universal Credit and other benefits

Sick pay

If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. This applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.

You may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay if you’re self-isolating for one or more of the following reasons, and you’re unable to work as a result:

  • You’re displaying symptoms of coronavirus
  • You’ve tested positive for coronavirus
  • Someone in your household (including an extended or linked household) is displaying symptoms of or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • You’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus
  • You’ve been advised by a doctor or clinician to self-isolate before being admitted to hospital for planned or elective surgery

Other eligibility conditions apply. Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay

If you are a gig worker and/or on a zero hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay.

You may be able to get Universal Credit and Statutory Sick Pay at the same time. If you are receiving Statutory Sick Pay it may be a good idea to apply for Universal Credit as well, particularly if you pay rent or have children to support. If you get both, your Statutory Sick Pay will be taken into account when calculating your Universal Credit payment.

If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to having symptoms of coronavirus an Isolation Note can be obtained from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone that has symptoms, an Isolation Note can be obtained from the NHS website

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance

You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

See the frequently asked questions on Statutory Sick Pay.