Coronavirus: information and updates

Benefits and coronavirus

If you do not follow your claimant commitment, your benefits may be cut. These are called ‘sanctions’.

Talk to your Work Coach if you cannot meet your claimant commitment.

Warning Assessments

You may get a letter saying that you will be assessed by phone or in person.

If the assessment would not be accessible for you, contact the organisation that sent you the letter. This will be Capita or Independent Assessment Services.

Preparing for your PIP assessment

If you're employed

Ask your employer what options are available to you. Check their policy on:

Employee rights and coronavirus

If you're self-employed

If you’re self-employed, there may be other support. 

Self-employment support during coronavirus

New Style Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

If you have lost your job, you might be able to claim New Style JSA. This does not involve an assessment. You can get this even if your partner is still working.

Claim New Style JSA (GOV.UK)

You could claim this and Universal Credit.

Universal Credit

You can now claim Universal Credit online or over the phone.

If you are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you may be able to claim Universal Credit.

Self employment and benefits

Apply for Universal Credit (GOV.UK)

You can ask for an advance before you receive your first payment. This means you can ask for your first payment straight away. This is a loan. You will pay this back from your Universal Credit payments. If you stop claiming UC, you will still have to pay this back.

If you already claim Universal Credit and are working

Let your Work Coach know if the work ends and whether this is permanent or temporary.

If you get Statutory Sick Pay, this will reduce your Universal Credit in the same way as wages.

Warning If you receive Working Tax Credit

If you apply for Universal Credit, you will stop receiving Working Tax Credit.

You will not be able to re-claim Working Tax Credit. Most people who move from Working Tax Credit to Universal Credit have a fall in income.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Check if you are eligible to claim PIP. This is a disability benefit that can help you with some of the extra costs if you are disabled or have a long-term health condition. 

The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.


If you are struggling to pay your bills

Contact your utility companies to see if there is any help that they can give you. 

Help with energy bills

For rent or mortgage payments, speak to your lender as soon as possible.

Mortgages and coronavirus (Financial Conduct Authority)

Support with Council Tax

Emergency funding

Your local authority may have emergency funding schemes for people in extreme hardship.

See if your local authority has a scheme (Shelter)

In Wales, you can apply for a grant called Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP). It helps cover the cost of food, gas and electricity, clothing and emergency travel. You do not need to pay this back.

You may be eligible if:

  • you’re in extreme hardship for reasons like benefit delays
  • you need help with essential costs after an emergency
  • you’ve experienced a disaster like flooding or a fire in your home

See if you’re eligible and apply (

Financial support when someone dies

Last reviewed by Scope on: 24/02/2022

Was this page helpful?

We're sorry to hear that.

Tell us how we can improve it

More on coronavirus

Opens in a new windowOpens an external siteOpens an external site in a new window