Information on claiming benefits

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many of our residents and that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on the economy.  There are a range of benefits available to provide financial support at this time. 

Child Benefit 

If you’re not able to register the birth of your child because of coronavirus, you can still make a claim to receive Child Benefit.

If this is your first child, fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office. If you haven’t registered the birth because of Covid 19, add a note along with your claim. 

If you already claim Child Benefit, you can complete the form or add your baby’s details over the telephone on 0300 200 3100. You will need your National Insurance number or Child Benefit number. Find out more. 

New Style Employment Support Allowance 

You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re under State Pension age, have paid sufficient national insurance contribution , you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work and your have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer that you are required to Shield.    New Style ESA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit.  

New Style Job Seekers Allowance  

If you’re unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week you may be able to get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).  New Style JSA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit.  New Style JSA is a contribution-based benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid and/or been credited with enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you’re claiming in.

Statutory Sick Pay 

You should be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you are:

  • classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week
  • have been ill, self-isolating or ‘shielding’ for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)

Find out more to see if you are entitled to SSP.

Universal Credit 

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs, including housing costs.  You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work. For Universal credit you will have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together married or unmarried .You might need to phone the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.  

If you are self-employed and have low income levels your Universal Credit payment may be calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called 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.  The government has temporarily removed this minimum income floor and will calculate your Universal Credit based on your actual earnings.  

Help with your Council Tax Bill

Council Tax Reduction may be claimed in addition to your Universal Credit to help reduce your Council Tax bill.  

Help with your housing costs 

You can make a claim for Universal Credit for help with your housing costs.  
You may claim Housing Benefit if you are responsible for paying rent in the property you live in and you have reached state pension age. You may still be able to make a claim for Housing Benefit if you are working age and you: 

  • Live in temporary homeless accommodation, a local authority hostel or a refuge for victims of domestic violence, or 
  • Live in accommodation where you are provided with support, care or supervision (supported accommodation) by or on behalf of your landlord, or 
  •  Already get Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income-Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income-Related) or Income Support and your award includes the severe disability premium.  

If you already get the Universal Credit Housing Costs Element or Housing Benefit, you can still apply to the council for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you need further help with your rent.  

Find out more about getting help with your housing costs

If you are a homeowner and you are in arrears with your mortgage, then you should claim on your mortgage protection insurance if you have it.  Mortgage lenders are also allowing payment breaks.  Speak to your lender to find out what support is available.  

For up to date guidance around what to do if you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments, please visit the Shelter website. 

The Money Saving Expert website also provides helpful information regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) financial help and rights and is constantly being updated in a fast-changing situation.  

Apply for a Crisis Grant

A crisis grant is money given to those in financial crisis. The grant is tax free and you don't have to pay it back.  

You can also apply by calling the Scottish Welfare Fund application line on 0800 03 04 713. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. 

The Scottish Government has made additional funds available to help people affected by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic.  If you are no longer able to work or have had hours reduced, and do not have any savings or other sources of income, we may be able to help.

If you have made a claim for a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit and you have 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 have already applied for the same item in the last 28 days, unless your circumstances have changed.  

If you are successful in receiving a grant you will receive a text message with a code that can be used to redeem a cash award from a Paypoint vendor.  

We aim to make a decision on your crisis grant application by 4.45pm the next working day, however the expected increase in demand due to Covid-19, will place pressure on the normal processing times for Scottish Welfare Fund grants. Grants will be processed as soon as possible. 

Information for people off work sick  

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

Further information about benefits for specific circumstances 

If you are currently employed and have COVID-19 or need to self-isolate

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4. 

If your household income/savings are low enough you could apply for Universal Credit   

If you are currently employed and your hours have been reduced

You may be entitled to New Style Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) if you have paid enough national insurance contributions; your working less than 16 hours per week and your income own is low enough; this excludes your partners income. 

If your household income/savings are low enough you could apply for Universal Credit

If you are on a Zero hours contract/Gig Economy and have COVID-19 or need to self-isolate

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you have earned enough in the last 8 weeks.  

If you're not eligible for SSP then you could claim Universal Credit.  
 

If you are on a Zero hours contract/Gig Economy and your hours have been reduced

You may be entitled to New Style Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) if you have paid enough national insurance contributions; your working less than 16 hours per week and your income own is low enough; this excludes your partners income.  

If your household income/savings are low enough you could apply for Universal Credit. 

If you are Self-employed and have COVID-19 or need to self-isolate  

You may be eligible to claim New Style Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if you have paid enough National Insurance contribution.

If you are not entitled to claim (ESA) then you could Universal Credit  

If you are Self -employed and your income has dropped

If your household income/savings are low enough you could apply to Universal Credit.

The Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied when claiming Universal Credit and will be based on actual earnings received.


 


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