Coronavirus - Benefit Advice

WDCAB appreciate that people face uncertainty due to the COVID-19 outbreak and have a need for reliable information.

Often there is a lot of well-intentioned but misleading stories and advice that circulate - It can be difficult to know which advice to follow. Information is changing quickly and the sites below should be updated with the latest information

 

Benefit Entitlement Checks

WDCAB can carry out a benefit check but we will require information about your household circumstances, income (possibly for the previous year as well), housing costs, council tax and savings.

Citizens Advice Scotland's Advice for Scotland site has information about different benefits that you may be entitled to.

 

If you’re unable to work due to self-isolation

Statutory Sick Pay may be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. People will also be unable to work due to other illnesses at this time.
Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay on the Citizens Advice Scotland advice page

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you may be able to apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance

You may also be able to apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

 

New claims

It can be difficult sometimes to work out what benefit it is best to claim. WDCAB can assist if you phone or use the Contact Us page.

There is guidance regarding making new benefit claims at the present time and what to do if you are infected or self- isolating at this time

It may be that you have been paid off, laid off or put on short term working and need to make a new claim for benefit:

To claim Universal Credit
To claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance
To claim New Style Jobseekers Allowance

 

If you’re already claiming benefits

If you are staying at home as a result of coronavirus, your mandatory work search and work availability requirements will be removed to account for a period of sickness. You should contact DWP.

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You can do this by:

• using your online journal, or
• calling the Universal Credit helpline

If you are on Jobseekers Allowance, don’t go to the Jobcentre Plus. Tell the Jobcentre Plus you’re ill or self-isolating by calling the office you usually attend.


If you are in work and already claiming Universal Credit, and are staying at home on Government advice, you should report this in the usual way via your online journal. If this means you are working fewer hours, the amount of Universal Credit you receive will adjust as your earnings change.

If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit, and are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus, the Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied for a period of time whilst you are affected.

 

Attending Jobcentres

The government made an announcement that all Jobcentre in person appointments will be cancelled for 3 months (from 19the March 2020), but Jobcentre may still ask to speak with you by phone.

Universal Credit claimants should still log in to their journals and all claimants should follow any advice given by their work coach. If you think you have been affected by coronavirus you should message your work coach on your journal.

Jobcentres will still be able to assist people who cannot use phone or online methods of contact.

Updates on the situation regarding existing benefit claims will be published as new guidance is released

 

Health Assessments

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments  as well as all reviews and reassessments for health and disability-related benefits.

 

Help us to continue our work

Each Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland is a registered charity and raises its own funds, please contact us to find out how you can make a donation. Alternatively you can make a donation to Citizens Advice Scotland to help us support bureaux to give quality advice, deliver vital services like the Citizens Advice Consumer Service and carry out campaigning and influencing work so that those in power change things for the better.