You can claim Universal Credit UC or contribution based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you paid sufficient National Insurance.
- UC Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support for their nil income
- advance payments can be claimed
- the 7 day waiting period will not apply if claiming as affected by COVID-19
There is a dedicated page on the Understanding Universal credit website for claiming benefits during the coronavirus crisis.
If you are in work, and are staying at home due to COVID 19 or reducing your hours, you should report this via your online journal. The amount of UC you receive will be adjusted. Your work availability requirements will be removed to account for a period of sickness and you will not be sanctioned
From 6 April your standard allowance in UC will increase for one year by £20 per week. Also if a private renter the Local Housing Allowance Rate for housing cost will increase.
If you are considering making a claim for Universal Credit, Employment & Support Allowance or Jobseekers Allowance, make a claim online in the first instance. Please do not attend your local Jobcentre.
Whilst Jobcentres remain open they may have significantly reduced staffing and their priority will be to support people who are not able to use telephone and online services. Additionally, people already receiving benefits do not have to attend any Jobcentre appointments for at least 3 months, which started from Thursday 19 March 2020. People will continue to receive their benefits as normal but all requirements to attend the Jobcentre in person are suspended.
Working Tax Credit
The basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year will increase by £20 per week from April for all existing and new claims.
Sites are still functioning, but access is now restricted. They will still deliver face to face services where customers cannot access online or by telephone, but this should only for our most vulnerable customers and to ensure timely payment. Sites will all display a local phone number, and all have security who will control access in agreement with local managers.
Page last updated: 03/04/2020