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13 March, 2020 Open access

Temporary reforms to employment and support allowance and universal credit in Northern Ireland to support claimants during the coronavirus outbreak

New statutory rule introduces measures announced in Budget 2020, including removal of waiting days, treating affected claimants as having limited capability for work, and changes to the minimum income floor

New legislation has been issued in Northern Ireland that introduces temporary reforms to employment and support allowance (ESA) and universal credit to support claimants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In force from 13 March 2020, the Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 (SR.No.33/2020) make provision for those claiming or entitled to ESA and/or universal credit who are infected or contaminated with coronavirus, self-isolating, or caring for a child or qualifying young person who falls into either of those categories, to provide additional support to help with the financial impacts arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

In particular, the regulations enable the Secretary of State to exercise discretion to -

SR.No.33/2020 is available from legislation.gov.uk