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Already claiming benefits | South Lakes Housing

Already claiming benefits

Managing your Universal Credit claim

You can manage your Universal Credit claim using your online account. You do not need to call DWP as part of your new Universal Credit claim anymore.

Your Universal Credit payments

Your Universal Credit statement will show how much you will be paid this month. You can find the day your statement will be available, and the day you will be paid, in the ‘Home’ section of your online account, under ’What Happens Next’.

If you or your partner have received any wages or income since applying for Universal Credit these will be taken into account when calculating your first payment. Remember to keep checking your online journal for messages from DWP.

Changes to jobcentre appointments

You do not need to attend the jobcentre unless we ask you to do so. If you need to contact us the quickest way to do this is online or by phone.

If you need to attend a jobcentre, they are open and one of our colleagues will be able to assist you. You will be required to wear a face covering when entering a jobcentre, unless you are in an exempt category. Please also follow the latest government guidance on meeting with others safely and local restrictions

If we need to make an appointment with you, this will be on the phone. We will leave a message in your journal before we call you.

If you are an existing Universal Credit claimant you will be paid as normal, you do not need to contact us. Our online service is working as normal and everything you need should be available in your account.

Although staff are working on our Universal Credit telephone lines as normal, we are exceptionally busy. You do not need to call us unless you are not able to use your online account. It is important that our telephone lines are available for our most vulnerable customers, using your online account as much as possible will help protect this service.

People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible. Find out more about making a new claim

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, using your online journal

See the frequently asked questions on suspending jobcentre appointments.

DWP can support you if you are a victim of domestic abuse. We are here to help.

We can help you access temporary accommodation such as a refuge, and put you in touch with expert local advice and support networks. The jobcentre can support you by helping you make a new application for Universal Credit, and you can apply for an advance payment where needed, which can provide quicker access to money. From this moment your ex-partner will not have access to any information about your new claim.

Changes to health assessments

In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.

If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. Your assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.

If you have made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) but do not have a date for an assessment appointment, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.

If you are already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or IIDB you will continue to receive your current payments as normal.

If you have made a new claim or wish to make a new claim, DWP will continue to take claims for all benefits. Due to unprecedented demand, it is advisable to make a claim online and to avoid peak hours where possible. Find out more about making a new claim

Read the current NHS guidelines on coronavirus, including advice on those who should stay at home.

See the frequently asked questions on suspending face-to-face health assessments.

Changes to how much you’ll get

The government has increased the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year. Both have increased by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This applies to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.

This means that for a single Universal Credit claimant (aged 25 or over), the standard allowance has increased from £317.82 to £409.89 per month.

Local Housing Allowance rates have been increased to the 30th percentile of market rents. This applies to all private renters who are new Universal Credit claimants, or have an existing Universal Credit claim that includes a housing element, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.

Test and Trace Support Payments

You may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if all of the following apply to you:

  • You live and work in England
  • You have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (by phone, email, letter or text message) on or after 28 September 2020. This can be either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • You are employed or self-employed
  • You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • You are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

If you are not eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment, you may be able to get a £500 ‘discretionary payment’ instead. You could get this if you are facing financial hardship because you cannot work from home, and as a result will lose income while you are self-isolating.

Your local authority will have details of how to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment and the discretionary payment in your area. The eligibility rules for the discretionary payment are set by local authorities – they will have information about how it works where you live.

Read more about the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Read about the £500 self-isolation payments that are being introduced in Wales.

If you receive a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment, this will not affect your Universal Credit payments.

Changes to your earnings

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.

Self-employment

If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit, see the section on self-employment

Childcare costs during the coronavirus outbreak

If you are getting Universal Credit, you will be repaid costs for childcare that has taken place and you have already paid for.

You will continue to be repaid childcare costs with your Universal Credit if you are a critical worker or if you are a non-critical worker who has access to registered childcare. You will be able to claim back up to 85% of those costs, up to a maximum amount of £646.35 per month for one child, or £1108.04 per month for 2 or more children.

Read more about Universal Credit and childcare

It’s important to note that – at the end of any assessment period – you can only be reimbursed for childcare that has actually taken place during that assessment period. Read more about paying for childcare in advance

Read more about all government childcare offers on Childcare Choices