The Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance – “MERA” – will be payable to eligible persons from Wednesday 3 March. Claims will be able to be made on line at gov.im from 9 a.m. on Thursday 4 March. Anyone who is unable to make their claim on line should phone +44 1624 648125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MERA will again be available to both employed earners who are made redundant, laid off or put on nil pay by their employer, and self-employed individuals who are prevented from carrying out their work due to the restrictions and who meet the qualifying conditions.
Broadly those conditions are that the person 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 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 COVID19 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 £200pw, 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; and
- have no earnings or earnings of less than £50 in any week for which they claim.
Employed applicants must confirm with their employer that they will not be paid by their employer before claiming MERA.
MERA will be paid at a standard rate of £230 a week, representing a £30 per week increase. Initially MERA will be available between 3 – 23 March.
Unemployed people and self-employed people who are not eligible for MERA may be eligible for jobseeker’s allowance instead.
Queries regarding MERA can be directed to the allocated MERA telephone line which is now open and the number is +44 1624 648125, or queries can be sent by email to email@example.com.
More information will be made available on line as soon as possible.