Lockdown financial support

As part of the circuit breaker lockdown announced tonight, the Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA) and Salary Support Scheme are back. In case you’ve forgotten, MERA is a £200 per week allowance paid by the gov to help provide an income for people who are unable to work as a result of the lockdown.

MERA will again be available to both employed earners and self-employed people who are made redundant, laid off or put on nil pay by their employer. It will also be available to those who are self-employed but are unable to work due to the lockdown. Claims can be made online at gov.im/coronavirus from 9am on Thursday 7 January. Anyone who is unable to make their claim online should call 648125 or email mera@gov.im.

Broadly,  a claimant must:

  • be aged 18 or over but below state pension age

  • be present and ordinarily resident in the Island, and have been ordinarily resident in the island for at least 13 of the 26 weeks immediately before the date on which they make their claim

  • be unemployed or been furloughed without pay by their employer, or, if self-employed, are unable to carry out their work because of the restrictions

  • be  available for, and capable of, work – those who are extremely vulnerable and at very high risk of severe illness from Covid-19 who have been told to shield themselves from others and cannot work from home will be treated as if they are available for and capable of work

  • have been working as an employee earning on average at least £200 per week, or been a self-employed person who has paid class 2 National Insurance contributions for at least 13 of the 26 weeks immediately before the  date on which they make their claim

  • have no earnings or earnings of less than £50 in any week for which they claim

Unemployed and self-employed people who are not eligible for MERA may be eligible for jobseeker’s allowance instead. Queries regarding MERA can be made by calling 648125 from 9am on Wednesday, January 6 or by email to mera@gov.im.

The Salary Support Scheme is designed to ensure that businesses impacted by lockdown can continue to pay their employees. The method of claiming remains the same, along with the amount of support, which provides financial assistance to any qualifying business of up to £280 for a full-time equivalent employee per week.

Both schemes will be open for an initial period up to January 31. 

For more info, see: https://covid19.gov.im/businesses/funding-support/salary-support-scheme/