We have launched an action plan to continue an essential service that focuses and targets those who are most vulnerable in our region.

DAGCAS has a duty of care to our clients, our staff, our volunteers and the public in complying with government guidance to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Therefore we have taken the difficult decision to paused all face to face contact with the public across all our bureaus and outreach clinics.

We are delivering an essential service that fully focuses its attention on telephone, webchat and email enquiries.

These are unprecedented times for everyone, we will be here to help people navigate through these challenges that we are facing. DAGCAS offers independent, impartial, free advice to people in Dumfries and Galloway. People are currently contacting us for help with issues such as Universal Credit, employment, debt, finance and other benefits.

We are extra busy during these challenging times and appreciate your patience. To manage demand and pressure on our telephone lines we have a minium of 10 Advisers answering the phone lines and we are dealling with email enquiries as quickly as possible.

To help relieve the pressure on our phone lines please only call us if your enquiry is urgent, for all non-urgent enquiries please email. We thank you for this in advance.

People can access our essential services:

Find out more about Coronavirus by visiting nhs inform.

For more information about what Coronavirus means for you, check out our COVID-19 page.

💙💛  We will give regular updates on our services. Best wishes 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?

17th April 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: 

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 your employer has told you not to work, you might be able to keep getting paid. You should check if your employer can pay 80% of your wages and claim it 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.

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 be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you have coronavirus or you’re following the government guidance to self-isolate. You can’t get SSP if you’re self-employed. 

This says you will need to have coronavirus symptoms yourself or be living with someone who does. Read the government guidance on GOV.UK.

You would get SSP from the first day you were ill or you started self-isolating. It will be paid in the same way as your wages.

To get SSP, you need to: 

If you’re an employee, you should also check your work contract – your employer might pay you more than SSP when you’re sick.

If you’re self-isolating and can’t work from home, you should still get SSP and you’ll get sick pay from your employer if your contract allows it.

If you’ve received a letter from NHS Scotland advising you to shield because you’re extremely vulnerable, this letter is evidence that you’re not fit to work outside your home. You don’t need to get another fit note from your GP.

If you’re on a zero-hours contract and you’ve already been offered work with an employer, you might still be able to get SSP. You’ll need to meet all the normal eligibility rules too. You’ll only get SSP for the work you’ve already been offered.

You can also check your rights to sick pay if you get coronavirus on the Acas website. Acas gives free information to employees and employers.

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 have coronavirus or you’re self-isolating. 

You’ll need to have paid 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. 

You’ll also be able to get ESA if you’re caring for a child who has coronavirus or who’s been told to self-isolate.

Check if you can get ESA

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

If you’ve not claimed benefits before 

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

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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