During the COVID-19 outbreak the following may help answer any of your questions regarding payment of EMA.
Those young people who are in receipt of EMA and who are unable to meet their agreed attendance requirements either through self-isolating, contracting the virus or through the learning institution being closed will continue to receive their EMA payment.
Q: If schools/colleges close will EMA continue to be paid?
A: The guidance states that an authorised absence would include a scenario where the learning centre is closed due to unforeseen circumstances. This would apply in this instance.
Q: Will students who are in Self Isolation because of Coronavirus receive their EMA payments?
A: The guidance states that an authorised absence includes ill health and additionally the breakdown of a students method of transport to from institution, a scenario which could arise in future. This also applies those who have self-isolated due to their parents carers having issues put them at risk.
Q: Will everyone whose application has been authorised on the system continue to receive EMA over any self -imposed isolation and/or complete shutdown of the schools/colleges?
A: Yes. As stated above the guidance allows for absence for unforeseen circumstances, which is applicable in this current situation. We appreciate that many doctors surgeries will not be in a position to issue medical certificates in most cases and would urge that you view such cases sympathetically and follow the discretion which the guidance allows.
Q: If in future our office closes will you accept an electronic copy of the final claim instead of a hard copy?
A: Yes, in these exceptional times with many people being advised to work from home we would accept an electronic copy.
Q: Do schools require evidence that students have been advised to self-isolate because they are experiencing some symptoms?