MARTIN LEWIS, 48, took questions from This Morning viewers on Universal Credit claims. The Money Saving Expert also answered questions on energy bills and mortgages.
Martin Lewis has been forced to answer hundreds of questions on Universal Credit in recent months. This is an unfortunate circumstance of the current situation, as thousands need to apply for the state benefit as coronavirus wreaks havoc on their incomes.
One viewer personified this perfectly as the disease had profoundly affected his trade.
Ali, a cab driver, revealed that as his work dried up he tried to apply for Universal Credit.
Unfortunately, he didn’t qualify for it and as such he asked Martin what his other options were.
Ali asked if he would qualify for the self-employment grant scheme and Martin answered that he should be entitled to it.
However, he cautioned that it will be dependent on the make-up of his income.
Ali revealed that he gets income from his job but he also received money from property rental income.
Martin highlighted that this situation could hinder his SEISS application and it is likely the reason he didn’t qualify for Universal Credit.
He explained that to be eligible for SEISS, more than half of the claimant’s total income needs to come from their self-employed work.
Unfortunately, Martin warned that this rule has caught a lot of people out.
The income that Ali received from the rental payments would not count as coming from self-employment so Martin advised him to go and review his set up.
Thankfully, full information on these rules can be found on the government’s website.
Martin implored Ali to utilise the free-to-use eligibility calculators available online.
The calculator in question needs two key pieces of information to start with:
- A Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
- A National Insurance number
If a self-employed individual has a tax agent or advisor, they can also check on the claimant’s eligibility on their behalf.
There is currently a time limit in place for claiming a first grant which is quickly approaching.
To make a claim for the first grant available the person involved must do so by July 13.
The claim itself will require the following information to be processed:
- A Government Gateway user ID and password
- UK bank details
- Evidence that the business/work in question has been adversely affected by coronavirus