Find out about benefits, discounts and support schemes that you may benefit from.
Coronavirus-related benefits and support
We know that this is a difficult time for so many people who have been affected by the impact of Coronavirus. There are lots of schemes and benefits available to help.
- Furlough scheme extended until 31st April 2021
The furlough scheme has been extended until 31st April 2021
You DON'T need to have been furloughed before to take part. However you do need to have been on your employer's PAYE payroll on 30 October to be eligible. And, if you were made redundant or left your job since 23 September, you could be rehired and furloughed.
The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November, has now been postponed until furlough ends.
- Universal Credit and employment benefits
If you experience financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus please get in touch.
Please email us via myhomeonline or on firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so we can provide advice and support with managing your rent payments.
We are here to help so we can all get through this together.
Benefits you may be entitled to
If you have lost your job or are working reduced hours you may be able to claim:
- Universal Credit
- New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (New Style JSA)
- New Style Employment and Support Allowance (New Style ESA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
New Style JSA and New Style ESA can be claimed on their own or at the same time as Universal Credit, so it may be a good idea to apply for Universal Credit anyway, particularly if you pay rent or have children to support.
Please note that depending on your circumstances it may not always be the best option to claim Universal Credit and we would urge you to get advice before making a claim.
You can use a benefits calculator to find out what benefits you might be entitled to.
- Self-employment grants and tax extensions
Self employment grants
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been extended until April 2021, with an additional two grants, making four grants in total.
For all the grants you need to have been adversely affected by coronavirus during the period the grant is running for.
Defer your tax payments
And, if you’re self-employed and struggling to pay your taxes, you may be eligible to defer your tax payments.
- Working from home during coronavirus?
If your employer requires you to work at home, you could be eligible to claim tax relief on £6 per week – that’s worth £1.20 to you a week.
- Self-isolating and can't work from home?
The government has announced a £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people claiming qualifying benefits or working tax credit, who are required to self-isolate to avoid coronavirus transmission.
It's available from 28 September 2020 and is limited to people unable to work from home during isolation.
The new payment will be administered by local authorities and you will need to apply to them.
Contact your local authority to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.
- Free school meals and food parcels
School meals should be available free of charge to:
- all infant pupils
- pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria
Children entitled to benefits-related free school meals, are also entitled to receive food parcels if they are unable to attend school due to coronavirus.
- Don’t forget to book your MOT
Was your MOT due at the height of lockdown?
Vehicle owners with an MOT due date between March and 31 July were allowed to delay the test for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For example, if your MOT was due on 1st April, you must now complete your test by 1st October.
All MOT’s which were due from 1st August should be booked as normal.
- Expired driving licences extended by 11 months
Photocard licences that expire between 1 February and 31 December 2020 have been extended for 11 months from the date of expiry. The temporary extension is automatic, and drivers do not need to do anything.
Other benefits, discounts and support schemes
- Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2020 to 2021 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The scheme for 2020 to 2021 opened on 12 October 2020.
The money is paid as a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March.
- Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual one-off payment of between £100 and £300 to help you pay for heating during the winter.
You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5 October 1954.
You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
- Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold.
You’ll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time.
You’ll only be eligible if you already get:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Grants to help pay off your energy debts
If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you may be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off.
British Gas Energy Trust - open to anyone
The British Gas Energy Trust offer grants to clear domestic gas and electricity debts. These grants are open for anyone to apply for, you don't need to be a British Gas customer.
Energy company grants for customers
There are also companies who offer grants specifically for their customers, including:
npower Energy Fund
Scottish Power Hardship Fund
Ovo Debt and energy assistance
E.on Energy Fund
When you apply for a grant, you'll be asked to provide detailed information about your financial situation. The Citizens Advice service may be able to help you with your application.