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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  COVID-19: Employment schemes  →  Thread

SEISS and ESA new style

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Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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From the other side - 19 May 2020 01:25 PM

Had been asked same question earlier today!

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/la-welfare-direct-bulletins-2020/la-welfare-direct-42020

Para 33 onwards

Thanks

SarahBatty
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Middlesbrough Citizens Advice Bureau

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So this latest DWP guidance answers this question - not treated as working but the SEISS is treated as earnings for C-ESA


https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/dwp-issues-guidance-on-how-payments-under-cjrs-and-seiss-are-treated-for-purposes-of-benefits-other-than-universal-credit

 

Greg B
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Maggie's Centre Glasgow

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Interestingly enough - and worth remembering - Carer’s Allowance does not seem to be accounted for in the SEISS regs, and at present it looks like CA Unit are treating SEISS as a grant rather than earnings, i.e. a lot more favourably than NSESA.

EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Dan Manville - 24 April 2020 04:18 PM
SarahBatty - 24 April 2020 03:44 PM

My head is spinning a bit with all the interactions

Is the SEISS earnings?  So that for NS-ESA it would have to be under the permitted earnings limit, but people do not yet know what their entitlement to it will be?

Advising a client undergoing chemo whose treatment has coincided with being unable to work and having no income due to Covid.

Calculation of earnings of self-employed earners

77.—(1) Where a claimant’s income consists of earnings from employment as a self-employed earner, the weekly amount of the claimant’s earnings is to be determined by reference to the claimant’s average weekly earnings from that employment—

(a)over a period of one year; or
(b)where the claimant has recently become engaged in that employment or there has been a change which is likely to affect the normal pattern of business, over such other period as may, in any particular case, enable the weekly amount of the claimant’s earnings to be determined more accurately.

 

There’s a lot of wiggle room in how they might calculate it as well. Hopefully they’d be happy to accept the rate of SEISS of the average earnings over the previous 12 months; whichever is lower.


Just picking up on this point - I have a case where the person is recovering from cancer, getting CESA with IR top up (support group). She is usually a self-employed entertainer so earnings fluctuate wildly.  The DWP have previously accepted a year period over which to average profit/hours.

She has declared SEISS to them and the decision maker has automatically averaged the SEISS amount for a backdated period creating an overpayment.  The DM has referenced the new DWP guidance (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/897319/m-13-20.pdf) para. 12 says:

12. CJRS and SEISS payments are treated as earnings in the normal way1. Each SEISS payment will be treated as self-employed earnings over three months from the date of payment. 
1 ESA Regs, regs 95 & 97; JSA Regs, regs 98 & 100; IS (Gen) Regs, regs 30 & 35; SPC Regs, regs 17A & 17B

I have put in a MR on her behalf pointing out that there is no legal requirement to average over three months, and that an annual average produces a more accurate average in line with the ESA regs and case law (LB v SSWP (ESA) [2019] UKUT 153 (AAC). 

I hope I am correct?

EKS

 

 

Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare benefits - Craven CAB, North Yorkshire

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Greg B - 21 July 2020 02:18 PM

Interestingly enough - and worth remembering - Carer’s Allowance does not seem to be accounted for in the SEISS regs, and at present it looks like CA Unit are treating SEISS as a grant rather than earnings, i.e. a lot more favourably than NSESA.

Does that mean, in a case where someone had CA underlying their ESA, then the SEISS could expose the CA and so remove the caree’s SDP?

Probably not a common scenario for self-employed, but still, a weird interaction.

Charles
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The DMG memo referenced above says that SEISS does count as income for CA (para 17).