Coronavirus benefits guide

Services

As the Government’s guidance around the coronavirus situation changes, our customers have been calling us with a range of queries about benefits and other assistance. We will amend this guidance regularly as soon as we receive updates.

Coronavirus benefits advice

Last updated 30 March 2020

People on Universal Credit

You will need to update your Universal Credit (UC) journal if your circumstances change. If you are not earning as much money as you were previously, your entitlements will be automatically updated.

There are no face-to-face interviews at JobCentres for the time being, which means you’ll need to check your UC journal regularly.

More information

People not on Universal Credit

If you are not already on UC, but your circumstances have changed due to coronavirus, you can apply for UC online. Our Tenancy Sustainment team are on hand to help you with the process if you need it.

More information

Furloughed employees

If you are currently in employment and you and your employer both agree, your employer may be able to keep you on the payroll when they’re unable to operate or have no work for you because of coronavirus.

Your employer could pay 80% of your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

More information

People on legacy benefits (Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Council Tax Support)

You’ll need to report any changes to your Local Authority and HMRC as soon as possible. All assessment for Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is currently suspended.

More information

Self-employed people

If you, or someone else in your household, is self-employed and your earnings have reduced, you may be entitled to claim some benefits.

The government’s Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) can give advice if you are self-employed.

If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to Coronavirus, you may be eligible to claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

More information

Going to JobCentres

JobCentres will remain open for now to help people access services over the phone or online. All face-to-face assessments for PIP/DLA are suspended. If you are due to renew your PIP/DLA award, you must still send in your review application with supporting documents.

More information

Statutory sick pay

If you have coronavirus you are entitled to statutory sick pay from your first day of absence, instead of your fourth day.

You can self-certify your sickness for the first 7 days, but you will need a medical certification for any other days. To avoid people visiting GP surgeries, you can do this online.

Prepaid gas or electricity meter debt

The government has put in place several ways to help people who may struggle to top-up their prepaid energy account, whether due to financial issues or sickness.

More information

School meals

Eligible pupils will continue to receive school meals provided:

  • They or a family member are affected by coronavirus
  • The school is still open for certain groups.

Speak to the school catering team provider for information specific to you.

Community hubs

The government will begin rolling-out community hubs across the country to help people access essential services such as medicine and food.

Care parcels will be available for vulnerable people. More details will follow in the coming days. If you are a vulnerable person please contact us to talk about your needs.

Our Tenancy Sustainment team

Our team are on-hand to help you with any financial queries you might have including changes to benefits, access to funds and budgeting. Call our Customer Contact Centre and ask to speak to a TSO.

Remember to revisit this article for updates.

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