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From comfortably off to benefits overnight - I can’t believe this is happening to us

(293 Posts)
greatbighillofhope Sat 28-Mar-20 08:24:57

My husband and I own and run a business together which has closed due to corona. We have overheads that still must be paid and also suppliers to pay. We could never foresee a scenario where we would be unable to trade other than fire or flood. Even in the case of illness/death we could still trade as we employ staff who could keep it going for periods without either of us. Regardless, we have insurance cover for all those eventualities.
Because we cannot trade now our rainy day savings are more than wiped out paying our continuing overheads and suppliers. We have gone from being entirely secure with a good income to having absolutely nothing overnight.
We have been 26 years in business, we have declared every penny of income and paid every tax in full and on time.
Thanks to Rishi Sunak’s bizarrely unfair self employed support scheme our family can claim nothing. I feel so let down, left behind and forgotten about.
It is incredibly unfair that someone whose business has been only mildly affected may still be eligible, can now claim 80% and also continue to trade. Why do we get nothing In this scheme when we have nothing to live on?
I have put in an online claim for universal support. I think our family could be eligible for around £500 per month (including carers allowance as our son has special needs). it won’t cover our expenses as our lifestyle is based on a much higher income. We can cut down on many things of course but It won’t even cover our fixed costs.
But, I cannot get through by phone to UC to book a telephone appointment. I tried all day yesterday, but the line keeps cutting off. at one point I had been on hold for 1.5 hours before it just cut me off. What else can we do?

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Sat 28-Mar-20 08:27:13

Why can you not get the chancellor's package?

Parker231 Sat 28-Mar-20 08:27:48

Are you a PAYE of your business? If so you should be able to claim the 80% up to the £2,500 a month. If your DH is also PAYE he could also claim.

LittleLittleLittle Sat 28-Mar-20 08:29:31

As per Parker231 see Martin Lewis' tweet

Pickpick101 Sat 28-Mar-20 08:29:32

I'm not sure it's fair to say it's bizarre , it was done in a few days usually things like this take months , we are all struggling , people will fall through these cracks.

Hercwasonaroll Sat 28-Mar-20 08:29:38

You can claim for employee salaries.

Years of taking home dividends to avoid tax are coming home to roost for some.

Charley50 Sat 28-Mar-20 08:30:00

I don't know if this will be helpful but i saw it somewhere... Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan. More details can be found using this link

StormzyinaTCup Sat 28-Mar-20 08:30:50

If you have a Ltd company were you drawing a salary through PAYE or were you taking dividends only?

SubjectMatterExpert Sat 28-Mar-20 08:30:53

I’m really sorry for your situation. First thoughts;

1) why can’t you claim the 80%?
2) you HAVE to make your outgoings for your incomings. What are your fixed costs
3) most supermarkets are recruiting

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 28-Mar-20 08:31:32

Why can you not use the Chancellors offer?

imausernamenotanumber Sat 28-Mar-20 08:31:40

Oh I’m sorry, that sounds so tough. Can I ask industry you were in? Is there no way you’ll be able to restart after this settles down?

In the meantime, can you look for temporary work - the supermarkets are desperate. I know it probably won’t be any near what you did make but it will be significantly more than UC. (Which is frankly ridiculous.)

Have you applied for your mortgage holiday?

We’re in a similar position as neither of us is entitled to support. But we’re freelance (unrelated fields/ clients) rather than business owners so we’re more able to pause and don't have overheads. It is shitty though that we don’t qualify for assistance like everyone else. Our savings will be wiped out.

I’m really sorry - this is such a tough time.

StormzyinaTCup Sat 28-Mar-20 08:32:10

I feel sure you would qualify for either self-employed package or 80% of PAYE.

greatbighillofhope Sat 28-Mar-20 08:32:57

We can’t get it because the business made average of over £50k profits in last three years. That’s between the two of us.
Totally crazy as if we had two separate self employed businesses we could each earn £49,999 and still get the max amount. Because we are partners in the same business we are screwed.

fedupfrida Sat 28-Mar-20 08:33:01

What an utter nightmare op.
The only thing that sprang to mind is to phone your bank? I know my bank are offering emergency loans and overdrafts to tide people over. You’ll get through to UC eventually. They’re just overrun right now. Also do you claim DLA for your son? Usually DLA and Carers Allowance go hand in hand ie, if you’re eligible for one you’re eligible for the other. I’m not very clued up on self employment but wondered why won’t the government support help you specifically?

UncleMatthewsEntrenchingTool Sat 28-Mar-20 08:34:44

On the self employed package if your profit is more than£50k pa you get nothing

chipsandgin Sat 28-Mar-20 08:35:51

You should speak to your accountant - everything above plus many other options available. Plus if you genuinely have no income & have had to go down the UC route then you would get a lot more than £500, plus a mortgage holiday. Are you not registered as a Ltd company?

carriebreadshaw Sat 28-Mar-20 08:37:09

It's horrible and scary and will take time to adjust. I'm tired of hearing the same old - stop moaning you can go and work at Tesco's from some people.

What you need to hear right now is that it's okay to feel scared and sad. Give yourself a couple of days to get your feelings together then make a plan.

I do a small amount of self employed work and it's topped up with UC so I'm very fortunate to already be in the system now that my work has totally dried up. Yes, I could go and work at Tesco as some helpful friends have suggested but I'd have to leave my daughter alone all day, risk infection, spend money on public transport and end up worse off at the end of it.

We are all suffering in some way right now and if you feel helpless and need to vent then others should allow that thanks

greatbighillofhope Sat 28-Mar-20 08:38:12

Pickpick101, we are not all struggling. The vast majority of people are either still on the same income as normal or on 80%. We are making a loss every day.
I have thought about getting a job in a supermarket but we still have work to do in our business to keep it going even without trading. Plus we have two children off school now, one of whom has special needs. I will do if we can’t get benefits, but I think we must be entitled as have nothing left in savings already.

SubjectMatterExpert Sat 28-Mar-20 08:38:38

It’s not the self employed benefit you should be looking at. You can furlough yourselves and claim as employed people. See MSE tweet

carriebreadshaw Sat 28-Mar-20 08:38:57

Apologies, that hit a nerve!

FunnyInjury Sat 28-Mar-20 08:41:14

Partnerships have to complete personal tax returns too.
Surely its your individual taxable profit that needs to be under £50k?? (I dont know this...but surely it must be?!)

Pickpick101 Sat 28-Mar-20 08:41:31

I guess the scheme is set above 50k as it would be expected that profits above this after wages etc people would have savings to manage for a few months.
Yes alot are struggling if not with money other aspects of the situation we are all in.

SubjectMatterExpert Sat 28-Mar-20 08:42:31

@carriebreadshaw as lovely and supportive as your message is. People are still going to need money. And the system is OVERLOADED like never before. Just because a person doesn’t WANT to work at Tesco, doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to be the best solution. Thousands of people work in Tesco everyday with those risks

greatbighillofhope Sat 28-Mar-20 08:43:29

Ds gets DLA so presumably we will get carers too as I have no earnings now.
Accountant had already said there is nothing to be done.
Worse thing about ringing up for UC is that you have to listen to a long recorded message every time that tells you that if you are calling about self employed support scheme to hang up. I have to stay on the line every time, fells like I’m having salt rubbed in the wound when I’ve heard it over 50 times now and still not got through.

Monstamio Sat 28-Mar-20 08:43:32

You need to get some proper advice. Do you have an accountant? What you're saying doesn't seem to stack up. As far as I'm aware, the £50k cap is for self employed people, which wouldn't be applicable to you anyway as you have employees.

If you are a limited company with premises you might be eligible for one of the small business grants announced last week. And should also be able to furlough your staff (including yourselves) and claim 80% of salaries back from the govt. Not if you have only paid yourselves in dividends tho...

Please speak to an expert before panicking.

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