We know that managing your finances may be hard during this difficult time. We want to make sure that you’re prepared and have all the important information to help you look after yourself and your family over the next few months.
To support you, we’ve pulled together the latest information from the Government so you can get as much help as possible during the coronavirus outbreak.
We are always on hand to support you. If you have recently lost your job, have experienced a reduction in your working hours or are generally struggling with money and are worried about paying rent during this difficult time, we want to help.
Contact us by phone on 0300 123 5522, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or via live chat to discuss your rent account with us.
Universal Credit / Working Tax Credits
If you’ve recently lost your job, or had your working hours reduced because of the coronavirus outbreak, you can still apply for Universal Credit. You may also be able to receive up to a months advance upfront, without actually going to a jobcentre, depending on your situation.
To apply, visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
From 6th April 2020, Working Tax Credit payments and the standard allowance for Universal Credit will be increased by up to £20 per week, from £317.82 to £409.89 per month for people aged 25 and over.
There’s no need for you to contact HMRC, the increase in your payments will automatically start from 6th April 2020.
For more information, click here.
If you’re having difficulty to make a claim for Universal Credit, or need additional advice, visit:
Cheshire West & Chester: https://www.citizensadvicecw.org.uk/News/help-to-claim
Face to face assessments
To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, for three months, DWP have suspended all face-to-face appointments for anyone receiving benefits. This includes disability benefits and job seekers allowance.
If you have an appointment already booked, you no longer need to attend. Don’t worry, your benefits will still be paid as normal.
If you’ve experienced financial loss because of the coronavirus outbreak, and will need help to pay your Council Tax in the coming months, the Government have set up a £500m hardship fund.
Split across all councils in the UK, the fund can help provide Council Tax relief to those have been most affected by the virus. To check if yourhousehold is classified as “vulnerable” and to see if you can claim this relief, please click here.
Statutory Sick Pay
If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus, or are self isolating, you are able to claim Statutory Sick Pay from day one instead of day four.
You are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay if you are following government advice to self isolate, not just if you’re infected. To get a doctors note, please visit NHS 111 online.
For more information, click here.
To protect jobs, the Government is working hard to set up the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
If your workplace is put on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you will be eligible to receive 80% of your monthly wages up to £2,500 and for a period of three months.
To support people who are self employed, the Government has recently set up the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. Through this scheme, you may be able to apply for a taxable grant of 80% of your trading profits up to £2,500 for the next three months. To check if you are eligible, or to apply, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-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 3 months.
If you are self-employed, unable to work during the coronavirus outbreak and are not entitled to the scheme mentioned above, you are able to apply for Universal Credit to top up your wages.
To find out more visit: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
If you’re self employed and have seen a loss of earnings during this difficult time, make sure to let DWP know, as your minimum income floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied for the time you are affected.
If you are an employer, an employee or own your own business, you can find all the support and advice you need here:
Although the Jobcentre has suspended all face to face appointments for three months, they will still be open to offer support to those without digital access.
If you, or a loved one, aren’t able to use a phone or have no access to the internet, Jobcentres will be remaining open to support you with your benefits . To find your nearest JobCentre, visit https://find-your-nearest-jobcentre.dwp.gov.uk/
We know that school closures can be difficult to manage at home.
Families with children who are eligible for free school meals will be offered Government vouchers, food, or meals to make sure they’re supported whilst not in school.
For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-set-out-to-support-pupils-eligible-for-free-school-meals