The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily changed the way we live and as a result many of us have lost jobs, been furloughed or are working reduced hours.
Universal Credit is a payment option that can help with living costs; such as rent, food and utility bills. Jamie Ellis, Johnnie Johnson Housing’s Welfare Benefits Advisor, has been encouraging tenants to apply for Universal Credit if they need help with paying rent and don’t already have a Housing Benefit claim.
Jamie recommends applying for Universal Credit online or, if that’s not possible, contact the DWP to make a claim over the phone.
It does not matter if you have a job or not, the award will be based on how much you are earning. If you have no income then your maximum award will include a standard allowance, as below, plus help towards any rent payable and then additional amounts if you have children or a health condition that affects your ability to work.
Universal Credit Standard Allowance
Monthly standard allowance
|Single and under 25||£342.72|
|Single and 25 or over||£409.89|
|In a couple and both under 25||£488.59 per couple|
|In a couple and either of you is 25 or over||£594.04 per couple|
To apply for Universal Credit online visit: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim. If you have no way to apply online, contact the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Once you’ve completed your application, the DWP will ring you. The call comes from a withheld number and they won’t leave a message, so be sure to answer it!
If you need additional help, Citizens Advice’s Help to Claim Service can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim, from the application, through to your first payment. It’s free, independent, confidential and impartial – 0800 144 8 444
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