Council Tax, benefits and welfare - Coronavirus advice

Support for employees and self-employed

If you’re out of work, you may be entitled to a range of benefits including Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance.

Apply for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance 

Please do not attend a Jobcentre as they won’t be able to take your claim.

If you’ve made a claim for a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit and you’ve not received a payment yet, you should apply for a DWP hardship payment, a short term benefit advance or a Universal Credit advance payment before applying for a Crisis Grant.

You won't qualify for a grant if you’ve already applied for the same item in the last 28 days, unless your circumstances have changed. If you’re claim is approved you’ll get a text message with a code to redeem a cash award from a paypoint vendor. Find your nearest paypoint by searching for your postcode. We aim to make a decision on your crisis grant application by 4.45pm the next working day.

Universal Credit helpline is available 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday

0800 328 5644.

I’m off sick with coronavirus, what are the rules?

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by this public health emergency, The DWP is making changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system. 

I am on a zero hours contract and have been laid off, what do I do?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs. This includes help towards your rent.

Apply for Universal Credit

You’ll need to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but you don’t need to be married.

You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

You should also claim for help with your Council Tax, as you may be entitled to a Council Tax reduction.

I’m self-employed and not earning enough to pay my bills

Get the latest information on the UK Government’s Income Support Scheme for the self-employed.

The Government has temporarily removed the Minimum Income Floor and will calculate your Universal Credit based on your actual earnings.

Normally if you’re self-employed and have low income levels, your Universal Credit payment may be calculated using an assumed level of earnings - a Minimum Income Floor. It’s based on what an employed person on minimum wage would expect to earn in similar circumstances. If you earn more than this, then your Universal Credit amount is based on your actual earnings.

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs. This includes help towards your rent.

Apply for Universal Credit

You’ll need to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but you don’t need to be married.

You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

You should also claim for help with your Council Tax, as you may be entitled to a Council Tax reduction.

If you are currently in receipt of Housing Benefit and your income has been affected please tell us about these changes and we will adjust your payments. You should let us know as soon as your circumstances change again to avoid any overpayment of benefit which you may have to pay back. This includes if you receive a grant via the Self Employed Income Support scheme.