Benefits and support available

We want to make sure you're receiving all the benefits and support you’re entitled to, especially if your circumstances have changed as a result of the pandemic.

If your income is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to working less, no longer working, self-isolating, or caring for someone who is sick, you may be able to claim additional benefits.

Here’s a quick overview of the support you could be entitled to.

Sick Pay

Who can apply for it?

You may be able to claim Sick Pay from your employer if you are ill or self-isolating. You are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay if you are employed and earning more than £118 per week, even if you had a zero-hour contract.

How much can I claim?

Sick Pay is paid by your employer and the statutory level is £95.85 per week.

Some employers pay more than this so you should discuss this with your employer. You will receive sick pay from the first day you are ill with COVID-19 or when you self-isolate. This will be paid in the same way you’re usually paid by your employer.

You can find more information about statutory sick pay on the government website.

Find out more

Depending on your household income, you may be also be able to receive Universal Credit and Council Tax Support in addition to your sick pay.

This link to the government’s Universal Credit website has more details and advice on what you need to claim Universal Credit.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (new style ESA)

Who can apply for it?

If you’re too ill to work, or are self-isolating and do not qualify for Sick Pay, you may be eligible for contributory Employment & Support Allowance. You will need to have paid a minimum amount of National Insurance contributions in the preceding two years to qualify.

How much can I claim?

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is usually paid at the rate of £74.35 per week for over 25s and £58.90 for under 25s.

Find out more

If you think you may be eligible you should claim as soon as possible as your award will date from the day of your claim. There are special rules as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak which means you won’t need to have a Work Capability Assessment to qualify for support.

Depending on your household income, you may also be able to receive Universal Credit and Council Tax Support in addition to ESA.

For more information take a look at the government’s Guide to Employment and Support Allowance.

Universal Credit

Who can apply for it?

You can claim Universal Credit if you are not working due to unemployment, not working due to illness, and in some circumstances if you are working.

How much can I claim?

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that provides or tops-up household income.  It includes help towards paying your rent, so the amount can vary.

If your income is affected by COVID-19 it’s important to claim as soon as possible as there is a 5-week delay to payment, though an advance is available to help with your living costs. You will then need to pay the advance back through your ongoing Universal Credit payments.

Find out more

To find out more and make a claim visit the Universal Credit website at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

£20 uplift
The £20 Universal Credit Uplift has now been withdrawn by the Government.

What does this mean for you?

For our residents, you will see a note on your Universal Credit journal, informing you of this change.

The standard allowance of Universal Credit per calendar month will change as follows under the following payment category sections*:

  • Single and under 25 – will reduce from £344 to £257.33
  • Single and 25 and over – will reduce from £411.51 to £324.84
  • A couple who are both under 25 – will reduce from £490.60 to £403.93 (this is a total – not an amount for each person)
  • A couple who are both 25 and over – will reduce from £596.58 to £509.91 (this is a total – not an amount for each person)

Council Tax Support

Who can apply for it?

If you are responsible for paying Council Tax you may be able to claim Council Tax Support which will reduce your Council Tax bill.

Find out more

It is administered by your local Council and you need to claim using your Council’s claim form. Go to your Council’s website to see if you qualify and how to make a claim.

You can find your local Council here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

How our Customer Support team can help you

We know times are tough and you might need some extra financial support or advice. Our customer support team is here to help.

The team can work with you to improve your finances and your ability to pay your rent. And they can point you in the right direction of other organisations if you need extra support.

Take a look at how the team can help you, and read about how they’ve already helped many customers, particularly at tough times during the pandemic.