Coronavirus: Financial help

2. Benefits system

Depending on your financial and other circumstances, there are various benefits you may be able to claim.

Please see our benefits information section for general information about benefits.

Highlighted below are the most common benefits which you may need to apply for if you are affected by Coronavirus and links for further information.

Unemployed and fit for work

Jobseeker's Allowance (contribution based)

Universal Credit (means tested)

Sick and unable to work

Statutory Sick Pay (from your employer)

Employment and Support Allowance (contribution based)

Universal Credit (means tested)


You may qualify for the benefits listed above under "Sick and unable to work" as well as a Test and Trace Support Payment 

* Please see also the information below about reduced working hours

Reduced working hours / On the furlough scheme

If you are already receiving Universal Credit or "legacy" tax credits (Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit), you may now be able to receive more of these benefits or you may qualify for the first time, because of your reduced income. You cannot normally make a new claim for "legacy" tax credits and will need to claim Universal Credit instead.

If you are an employee, you may also qualify for help towards your wages from the Job Retention Scheme (often referred to as the furlough scheme)

Self employed

* Please see the information above about reduced working hours

You may also qualify for help from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.

Housing Costs (rent and mortgage)

Help with rent is available through Universal Credit. Some existing claimants may qualify instead via the Housing Benefit scheme from local district councils, although you cannot normally make a new claim for Housing Benefit and you should get help via Universal Credit instead.

A limited amount of help with mortgage interest (in the form of a loan) is available via the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme. You normally have to be receiving a means-tested benefit such as Universal Credit for 9 months before being eligible.

Help with Council Tax

Each council is responsible for their own Council Tax Support scheme and eligibility criteria vary from council to council for residents under state pension age. Most councils base eligibility on your income and capital (means-tested).

To find out more about your local scheme you should contact the local council which you pay your Council Tax to.

Further information

You can find detailed information about Coronavirus and claiming benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website.

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