Help with Rent & Income

Reviewed 21 December 2020

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 March 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. 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. 

You may be able to claim a further taxable grant worth 70% of your trading profits (up to a maximum amount of £6,570) for a second three-month period. If you didn't claim the first grant you may still be able to make a claim for the second grant.

You must have made your second claim on or before 19 October 2020.

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

This scheme has been extended for a further 6 months commencing from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021. You may be eligible for two further grants if you are continuing to trade but have seen a reduction in your income due to COVID-19.

The third grant will cover a 3-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2020 You may be able to claim up to 80% of your trading profits for this three-month period (up to a maximum of £7500). A fourth grant will be available covering the period February 2021 to March 2021.

You may be able to make a claim if you have not claimed the previous two grants however you must have previously been eligible.

The online application to make a claim is expected to be available from 30 November 2020.

Further information on eligibility can be found here:

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.

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. 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. This payment is expected to be in place by 12 October 2020.

More detailed 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 notified that you are going to be made redundant you may be entitled to support with your living and housing costs. This will be dependent on your individual circumstances as to which support you may be entitled to.

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 are able to remain entitled to the benefits that you currently claim or 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.