COVID-19 and claiming benefits
The government has announced that certain benefits will be increased as part of the package of measures to help households affected by COVID-19. This will see the standard rate of Universal Credit and Tax Credits increased by £20 a week (£1,040 per year) for one year from 6 April 2020.
It has earlier been announced as part of the Budget measures that the self-employed are to be provided with easier access to Universal Credits and the Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. This means that the self-employed with no income can effectively claim Universal Credit in the same way as someone who’s unemployed. However, there is a five-week waiting period before a first payment is made. An advance payment can be claimed once a claim is accepted but must be paid back. The usual requirement to attend a Jobcentre in person is currently not required and claims can be made on-line.
There will also be up to £1bn of additional support for renters through increases in housing benefit and Universal Credit. From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area. This applies to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.
For more information on COVID-19, Book a Free Consultation