In all, since March 2020, we have dealt with 15556 client contacts with 22152 issues. We have helped clients gain £7.6 million; this is money that in all likelihood is being reinvested in our communities. We have also managed a 230% increase in employment issues for clients. WE CAN HELP MANY MORE. 

DAGCAS is complying with government guidance to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Due to the sharp rise in Coronavirus cases in Wigtownshire our bureau in Stranraer will STOP face to face contact with the public. 

However, Dumfries, Annan and Stewartry will remain open for URGENT appointments and a drop-in service and to see people who have no access to telephone and internet.

If you can contact us by telephone or through our website then you should continue to do so. This will be a quicker way of speaking to an adviser. 

We will deliver an essential service that focuses on telephone, webchat and email enquiries. 

For the latest updates on the Covid-19 outbreak and what it means for you, take a look at our advice website

For the latest Government Guidance on new stay at home regulations in effect, click here. 

Find out more about Coronavirus by visiting nhs inform. 

You can access our essential services: 

We are extra busy during these challenging times and appreciate your patience. 

💙💛  Thanks for understanding, stay safe and well from everyone from Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice💙💛

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Home | COVID-19 | I have been affected by Coronavirus, can I claim benefits?

I have been affected by Coronavirus, can I claim benefits?

3rd July 2020

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus, you might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits. 

This might be because you: 

Each benefit has different rules – what you can claim will depend on your situation.

If your employer has told you not to work, you might be able to keep getting paid. You should check if your employer can pay your wages and claim 80% back from the government.

If you’re not a UK citizen, you might still be able to claim benefits – check the rules for the benefit you want to apply for.

Although lots of people are applying for help due to coronavirus, it’s important that you still apply as soon as you can. Don’t be put off by longer waiting times.

If you need emergency help

If you need urgent help to pay for essentials like food, gas or electricity because of coronavirus, you could apply for a crisis grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

The council will check your eligibility. They’re getting more money so they can pay out more grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund because of coronavirus.

Read more about crisis grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Check if you can get Statutory Sick Pay

You might get statutory sick pay (SSP) if you’re following government guidance to self-isolate or you’re shielding.

You could get SSP if:

You can read the government guidance about self-isolating on NHS inform.

If you have a health condition but you’re not classed as extremely vulnerable, you can find out what to do if you’re worried about working.

Find out more about getting SSP.

If you’re self-employed or can’t get SSP 

You might be able to claim contribution-based or new-style Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if:

You’ll need to have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions for 2 tax years – in 2020 the tax years are 2017-18 and 2018-19.

If you can get ESA, you’ll be paid from the first day you were sick or self-isolating.

Check if you can get ESA

If you’ve been employed in the past, you might have paid enough National Insurance contributions to get ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). 

Check if you can get JSA.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get extra help. 

If you’re already claiming benefits

You might be able to get more money if you’re earning less because of coronavirus. Check if the government has made any changes to your benefits.

Universal Credit is gradually replacing these benefits:

You can usually stay on one of these benefits unless something about your situation has changed – this is called a ‘change of circumstance’. Not every change of circumstance means you need to claim Universal Credit.

Find out more about moving to Universal Credit from other benefits.

If you’re on Working Tax Credits

You’ll only get more money if your income drops by £2,500 or more across the tax year, which runs from April 6 to April 5. If you report your income will drop by this much and it doesn’t, you’ll have to pay back any extra money you got.

If you don’t think your income will drop by that much, you should check if you would get more money on Universal Credit. If you start claiming Universal Credit, you won’t be able to claim Working Tax Credits any more. It’s best to talk to an adviser about moving on to Universal Credit.

If you’ve not claimed benefits before 

You might be able to claim Universal Credit as well as SSP, ESA or JSA. You can still get Universal Credit if you’re self-employed.

If you’re newly self-employed, check if you can get help from the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund.

You can still get Universal Credit if you’ve had a drop in your income but you’re still working. This includes if you’re on a zero-hours contract. 

Check if you can claim Universal Credit.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get extra help.

Can’t find the answer to your question? Call our freephone number 0300 303 4321 or email us by filling in our online enquiry form.

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