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Coronavirus: What financial supports are available to you?

There have been many financial burdens to hit both individuals and businesses because of the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down large sectors of the Irish economy.

However, there have been measures introduced by the government of late to help support those who have been most affected by the coronavirus.

If you have been made redundant or laid off you should be entitled to the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment which has been recently increased to €350 per week up from the original rate of €203 per week.

This is also available to the self-employed who have been affected.

The temporary wage subsidy scheme introduced by the government gives up to 70% back to employees of their take-home pay – up to €410 per week, tax-free.

This will run for 12 weeks and available for employers to keep staff on the payroll as long as they can demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 25%.

The government are encouraging companies to maintain employees on their payroll and to keep their income as close to 100% as possible during the coronavirus crisis.

If you are unable to work because of an illness linked to the virus you may be able to claim illness benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

This also applies if you are required to self-isolate. Rules have been introduced concerning this payment to help prevent the spread of the virus, including an improved rate of €350 per week compare to the usual €203.

Added to this, if you are diagnosed and required to self isolate, you do not have to wait the usual six days before being able to apply for the benefits.

Another benefit you may be able to claim from is privately paid income protection cover.

It will pay out in the event that you were unable to work through illness or injury for a continuous period longer than their deferred period.

Anyone signed off for longer than the deferred period because of the coronavirus would be able to claim.

The length of the deferred period varies between the different providers. As far as we are aware self-isolation would not be covered.

In regards to life insurance, most policies will cover death as a result of COVID-19 infections.

Serious illness cover will not cover diagnosis of the virus but some policies may still pay out if a separate critical illness developed out of complications from the infection.

There are various supports for those working at home. Employers have the option of paying staff a tax-free sum of €3.20 per day to cover the cost of running a Home Office.

It is important to note that any additional expenses incurred such as heat, light and electricity can be claimed by the employee for income tax purposes.

Receipts are required to be kept. Revenue have confirmed that they will accept that 10% of household expenses incurred can be regarded as a business expense.

For example, if you incurred €1200 household expenditure (electricity heating and broadband) for two months when working from home revenue would agree that €120 is for business purposes.

 

Joe Bruen is managing director of Bruen Financial in Galway City, an award winning financial brokerage. To see more about the financial services he can provide for you visit www.bruenfs.ie.

Joe Bruenhttp://bruenfs.ie
Joe is the owner of Bruen Financial Services, an award-winning Galway financial brokerage
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