If you are unable to work and your income has been affected due to COVID-19, there may be financial help available.

It is always worth checking to see if you are eligible for benefits such as Universal Credit (UC). You may also be eligible for New Style Job Seekers Allowance or New Style Employment Support Allowance, depending on your previous employment circumstances.

You can use our benefits calculator to see what benefits you might be entitled to and to see how much you might get.

Job Retention Scheme

If your employer cannot cover staffing costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and continue to pay you 80% of your wage up to £2,500 per month. Both you and your employer must agree to put you on furlough - so speak to your employer about whether they can claim. You cannot apply for the scheme yourself.

You can find out if you are eligible, and check to see how much your employer could claim if they put you on temporary leave.


If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit; and are required to stay at home, or are ill as a result of Coronavirus; the Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied for a period of time whilst you are affected.

You may be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

The Government has provided only guidance regarding the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. These online resources will provide guidance about who can apply, how much you will get and how to apply. 

Corona Virus Business Support Fund

The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund is being administered by Local Authorities. 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you cannot work due to COVID-19 and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness.  SSP will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, or shielding under NHS advice, not just if you are infected by COVID-19.

The Government has provided online resources and guidance to provide you with the information you need to know.  

Help with Rent & Council Tax

If you have been receiving help through Universal Credit (UC) for your rent and your income has reduced further; you should report a change of circumstances via your UC Journal. If you are not currently receiving any help with your housing costs, you may be eligible to claim UC.

If you are also struggling to pay your council tax you should call 01786 233210 and explain your financial situation to the team.

You can now apply for council tax reduction and make a claim for Universal Credit online.

Help with mortgage

Mortgage lenders have announced support for those who need to take time off work because of Coronavirus, such as a repayment holiday. You will need to speak with your lender directly to find out if they will be able to offer you this, or any other form of support, based on your personal circumstances. 

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Last updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 9:19 AM