Coronavirus - benefits and support provided by central government

Universal Credit

For full details on coronavirus and claiming benefits please visit the Universal Credit website.

Don’t delay making a benefit claim, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus. If eligible interviews will take place by telephone. You can apply for Universal Credit online.

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You can do this using your online journal.

Standard allowance in Universal Credit and basic element in Working Tax Credit will increase for one year by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating.

Working tax credit

If you receive tax credit payments but can no longer work your normal hours because of coronavirus you will continue to receive your usual tax credit payments. HMRC will treat customers as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.

Statutory Sick Pay

If you cannot work due to coronavirus you may be eligible for £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay and if so you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three  months. This may be extended if needed.

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Find out more about this scheme on GOV.UK

Visiting a Jobcentre

You should not attend the Jobcentre unless directed to do so for an exceptional purpose. People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the Jobcentre in person are suspended.

Assessments for health and disability-related benefit

All face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits have been temporarily suspended. This is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.

Claiming child benefit

Parents of new-borns will still be able to claim child benefit despite the outbreak of coronavirus. Even though General Register Offices remain closed for now, parents can still claim child benefit without having to register their child’s birth first to ensure that they do not miss out.

First time parents will need to fill in CH2 child benefit claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office. If they haven’t registered the birth because of coronavirus, they should add a note with their claim to let HMRC know.

Support for renters

The government has announced a package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.