Government support RE coronavirus

There is support from Government available for those who are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus.

Updated 2 April 2020

General and financial support

Visit the Government’s coronavirus site to find out everything from how to protect yourself, financial support, and advice for schools and businesses/organisations - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

If you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, register at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.  You’ll be able to ask for help, including in getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.

For advice on Universal Credit, for either current or new claims, including advice on what support is available, applications etc, visit: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance.  You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because there is a risk to public health.

From 6 April the government is increasing the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.

Advice on money and debt 

You can get help and advice from a Jobcentre Plus work coach or:

Useful numbers

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2)
Textphone: 0800 328 1344 (choose option 2)
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calculators

Use one of the following:

  • Turn2us - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.
  • Policy in Practice - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.
  • entitledto - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.

Changes to health assessments

In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. 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.

If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. Your assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.

If you have made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) but do not have a date for an assessment appointment, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.

If you are already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or IIDB you will continue to receive your current payments as normal.

Last date edited: 2 April 2020