What if my income has been reduced?
If your income has been reduced, there are several options available depending on your circumstances.
Already receiving help?
Receiving Universal Credit
If you are currently receiving Universal Credit and employed, your benefit should automatically adjust to any reduction in your earnings. On Friday 20 March 2020 the Government announced that for the next 12 months the Universal Credit standard allowance, and the Working Tax Credit basic element, will both increase by £1,000 a year.
If you are receiving universal credit and self employed you must ensure you keep the Department for Work and Pensions up to date on your earnings. However, your next self-assessment payments will be deferred until January 2021.
Please use and check your journal to ensure your circumstances are correctly recorded.
Receiving Housing Benefit
If you currently receive Housing Benefit you may be eligible for other benefits depending on your circumstances. It is important that you get correct advice on which other benefit to claim.
If you are currently not receiving any benefits and your income has reduced, you should check for any benefits that you maybe entitled to.
Even if you are employed and receiving statutory sick pay or self-employed with sickness insurance you may still be entitled to assistance.
If you are self-employed, you will now be able to access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
Making a claim
Depending on your circumstances you may need to claim Universal Credit, New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or New Style Job Seekers Allowance (JSA).
To make a claim for Universal Credit you need to apply online.
Unsure how to apply for Universal Credit? Watch the official video here.
Or you can get support from the CAB website to make your claim.
You can also find out about claiming new style JSA here.
Please be aware that neither ESA nor JSA offer help with paying your rent. However, you should still make a claim if these are your only options.