Coronavirus has had a huge impact on all of our lives. It’s an unsettling time, and while our primary concern is health, we know that many of you are worried about your job or are being affected financially.
We want to firstly reassure you that we are here to support you if you are struggling to pay your rent as a result of financial hardship caused by coronavirus. Our Tenancy Support team can support you back into work and ensure you’re getting all the benefits that you’re entitled to – you can also use our online benefits calculator to check this yourself.
If you’ve been financially affected by coronavirus (if you’ve been made unemployed, are off work due to sickness or have been furloughed, had a reduction in wages or made redundant) you may be able to claim additional benefits, for example New Style Employment and Support Allowance or New Style Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit. If you aren’t sure what benefit to claim we can help if you get in touch, or you can contact the Help to Claim service (run by Citizens Advice) on 0800 144 8 444.
Key information about Universal Credit
You'll be paid once a month into your bank. This includes your rent money - you'll need a bank account and have to make arrangements to pay all of your rent. Click here for the easiest ways to pay your rent.
You’ll have to wait 1 month 7 days for your first payment - and most of your benefits being replaced will stop immediately (apart from Housing Benefit which will run for a further two weeks). You can apply for an advance, but you have to pay this back over a 12 month period.
In most cases you need to apply and manage your claim online - contact us if you need help with the application or need support to improve your digital skills.
Remember to claim Council Tax Support at the same time - this isn't included in your Universal Credit payment. Claim through your council if you're eligible.
If you’re making a claim because you’ve been made redundant, please seek advice about when to make a claim if you’re receiving ‘pay in lieu of notice’ as this may affect how much you receive.
Once you’ve made a claim, make sure you regularly check your online journal – you need to make sure that you follow your agreed responsibilities (called your ‘claimant commitment’), or your UC payments may stop.