Help with Rent & Income

Reviewed 21 April 2021

We are working hard to support our residents who have been financially impacted by Covid-19.

·       Useful information can be found on the sections below: What help is available if my income has otherwise been reduced because of Covid-19

·       What help is available for my employer to keep me in my job?

·       What help is available if I'm self-employed and unable to work?

What help is available for my employer to keep me in my job?

The Government is providing financial support to employers who cannot cover staff costs due to the Coronavirus. This scheme has been open since 1 March 2020 and was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020. This has now been extended to the end of September 2021.

Your employer may be able to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wages (capped at £2,500 per month) through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 November 2020 until 30 June 2020. From 1 July 2021 the amount of grant that your employer can claim will reduce to 70% (capped at £2,187.50 per month) and then from 1 August 2021 to 60% (capped at £1,875 per month). You will continue to receive 80% of your wages for hours not worked during this period if you have been furloughed.

If you are working reduced hours, then your employer can access the scheme for the hours that you have not worked.

You employer may be able to access support from the scheme to pay you even if you have not previously been furloughed before 31 October 2020.

Your employer will pay Employer National Insurance Contributions and Pensions Contributions if you have been furloughed.

Further information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-furlough-to-march-and-increases-self-employed-support

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credit and your hours have been reduced due to Covid-19 you will continue to be able to claim Working Tax Credit whilst this scheme is in place.

What help is available if I'm self-employed and unable to work?

If you are self-employed you may be able to access support through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. 

The scheme was announced in March 2020 and there have been three grants made available under this scheme so far. The deadline for making an application for the third grant was 29 January 2021.

You may be able to claim a further taxable grant worth up to 80% of your trading profits (up to a maximum amount of £7,500) for a fourth three-month period from February to April 2021. If you didn't claim the previous three grants you may still be able to make a claim for the fourth grant. You will be able to make your claim from late April 2021 and you must make your claim on or before 1 June 2021.

If you became self-employed in the tax year 2019 to 2020 and have submitted a tax return for this period, you may now be eligible for support under this scheme. To be eligible previously you need to have traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted a tax return for this period.

A fifth grant will be made available for the period May to September 2021. The amount you receive will be calculated based on how much your turnover has reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021. If you have seen a reduction of more than 30% the grant will be worth up to 80% (capped at £7,500) of your trading profits and if your reduction is less than 30% the grant will be worth up to 30% (capped at £2,850).

Further information on eligibility can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

What help is available if my income has otherwise been reduced because of the Covid-19?

If your income has reduced because of the Coronavirus, you may be eligible for Welfare Benefits to top up your income. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, any payment received through these schemes must be reported as income through your journal.

The standard allowance for Universal Credit was increased by £20 per week on 6 April 2020. This increase will continue to apply to your claim for a further six months.

Working Tax Credit was increased for the period 6 April 2020 and is due to end on 5 April 2021. This increase amounts to up to £20 extra per week depending on your circumstances.  This increase will not be extended, however, you may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500. If you are eligible HMRC will contact you in April to confirm. This is expected to be paid by 23 April 2021.

More detailed information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-one-off-500-payment-for-working-households-receiving-tax-credits?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae

If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace you may be eligible for a £500 payment if you cannot work from home and will lose income as a result. You need to make a claim within 28 days of your first day of self-isolation.

To be eligible you need to be claiming at least one of the following benefits Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit or on a low income.

To make a claim you will need to apply through your local council.

More detailed information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payment

Further information can be found on the following websites:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses  

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/

Have you been recently made redundant at your workplace?

  • If yes, we can help and support you to apply for benefits
  • If the redundancy is happening in the future, you can still call us.

If you have recently be made or been notified that you are going to be made redundant, you may be entitled to support with your living and housing costs. The support that you are entitled to will be dependent on your individual circumstances.

If you are currently in receipt of benefits you will need to update the relevant benefit departments of your change in circumstances to see if you still entitled to the benefits that you currently claim or if you will need to make a new benefit claim.

Are you new to apply for benefits?

If you are claiming benefits for the first time you are likely to need to make a claim for Universal Credit for support with your living and housing costs depending on your circumstances.

If you are unsure if you are entitled to make a claim you can check if you are entitled on our benefit calculator which can be accessed here https://swan.entitledto.co.uk/home/start. Alternatively a member of our Welfare Team on 0300 303 2500 who will be able to support you.

There is further information available on which benefit you may be entitled to available here Redundancy: help finding work and claiming benefits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Housing Benefit

If you have had a change in circumstances and you are currently receiving Housing Benefit you will need to update the benefit department as to the reduction in your income. You can continue to receive Housing Benefit as long as your continue to meet the eligibility criteria and do not need to make a new benefit claim to cover your living costs.

Tax Credits

If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credits you may no longer be entitled if you have been made redundant. If you and/or your partner are no longer working enough hours to be eligible then your entitlement will end.

The number of hours that you need to qualify depends on your circumstances.

If you no longer qualify then your Working Tax Credits will continue to be paid for four weeks following your employment ending.

Further information about Working Tax Credit can be found here Working Tax Credit - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Universal Credit

If you have had a reduction in your income following a change of circumstances you may be entitled to make a claim for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit has replaced Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance and income based Employment and Support Allowance.

If you are currently in receipt of one of these benefits and have a change in circumstances which means you would need to claim another benefit you may need to make a claim for Universal Credit.

Your final pay, pay in lieu of notice and holiday pay will be counted as Income during the assessment period in which you receive this payment when calculating you entitlement to Universal Credit.

Any payment of statutory or contractual redundancy payment is treated as capital when calculating your entitlement. You are not able to make a claim for Universal Credit if you have more than £16,000 in savings or capital.

Further information can be found here Universal Credit - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

‘New style Jobseeker’s Allowance’

If you are available for work and looking for a job you may be entitled to received new style Jobseekers Allowance. This can be claimed at the same time as Universal Credit if you are eligible to make a claim.

This is awarded based on your National Insurance contributions and to qualify you will have need to have paid or have been credited with enough contributions in the two full tax years up to April 2020. If you qualify you can received this for up to 182 days.

As this is not a means tested benefit if you qualify your entitlement is not affected by any savings or capital that you may have. You can also apply if your partner is working and receiving an income as this will not affect your award.

Further information can be found here New Style Jobseeker's Allowance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

‘New style Employment and Support Allowance’

If you are not able to work or your availability to work is limited due to illness, health condition or disability you may be able to claim new style Employment and Support Allowance. This can be claimed at the same time as Universal Credit if you are eligible to make a claim.

This is awarded based on your National Insurance contributions and to qualify you will have need to have paid or have been credited with enough contributions in the two full tax years up to April 2020. If you qualify you can received this for up to 182 days.

As this is not a means tested benefit if you qualify your entitlement is not affected by any savings or capital that you may have. You can also apply if your partner is working and receiving an income as this will not affect your award.

Further information can be found here New Style Employment and Support Allowance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you are unsure which benefits you may be entitled to and would like further support then please contact a member of our Welfare Benefit Team on 0300 303 2500.