I have been affected by Coronavirus, can I claim benefits?18th February 2021
You might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits if your work has been affected by coronavirus.
This might be because you:
- are earning less than usual – including if you’re self-employed
- have lost your job or been made redundant
- have stopped being self-employed
If you can’t work because you’re self-isolating
The benefits you can claim are different – check what benefits you can get if you’re self-isolating.
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.
Each benefit has different rules – what you can claim depends on your situation and if you’ve claimed benefits before.
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.
If you’re already claiming benefits
Universal Credit is gradually replacing these benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
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.
If you claim Universal Credit you won’t be able to go back to the benefit you were on before. Check if you need to move from other benefits to Universal Credit.
There might also be changes to how you manage your benefits or how much you can get. Check if the government has made any changes to benefits.
If you haven’t claimed benefits before
You might be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income
- you’re not working
- you have a disability or illness
- you’re caring for someone
You can get Universal Credit even if you’re self-employed or on a zero hours contract.
The amount you could get depends on your situation and how much you earn. This includes money you get from furlough or from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
It’s best to apply for Universal Credit before trying to get other benefits. Check if you can get Universal Credit.
If you can’t get Universal Credit, you can try getting ‘new style’ benefits – you’ll need to have paid enough national insurance contributions. You might be able to get these benefits if you:
- are out of work – check if you can claim new style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- can’t work because of illness or disability – check if you can claim new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If you need help deciding which benefits to claim, you can talk to an adviser.
If you’re struggling to pay your bills
You can check what help you can get if you can’t pay your bills. This includes things like your mortgage, energy bills, council tax or court fines.
You might be able to get other benefits – for example, if you’re a carer or have a long-term health condition. If you’re not sure which benefits to apply for, you can talk to an adviser.
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.Back to News