Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you’re already getting benefits

Guidance for people who were receiving benefits before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Universal Credit

You’ll continue to get Universal Credit as normal during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

If you’re working while claiming Universal Credit, your payment will be adjusted if you can no longer work due to coronavirus. Tell us about the hours you’re working in the usual way in your online account.

The standard allowance increased on 12 April 2021. For example, for a single Universal Credit claimant (aged 25 and over) it has increased from £409.89 to £411.51 a month. This rate will remain in place until the withdrawal of the temporary uplift.

You must still tell us about changes to your circumstances.

Interviews and medical assessments

Interviews and assessments will be done by telephone. You should not go to a Jobcentre Plus unless asked to do so for an exceptional purpose, for example to collect your Payment Exception Service vouchers.

If you’re self-employed and claiming Universal Credit

Since 30 March 2020, the way your Universal Credit payment is worked out has changed because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Payments are no longer calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called a Minimum Income Floor. They are now based on your actual earnings.

If your payments were calculated using the Minimum Income Floor, they may change.

You must still tell us about changes to your circumstances.

Other benefits

Your payments will not be affected if you get:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Child Benefit

Interviews and assessments will be done by telephone. You should not go to a Jobcentre Plus unless asked to do so for an exceptional purpose, for example to collect your Payment Exception Service vouchers.

You must still tell us about changes to your circumstances.

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit

If you’re currently getting tax credits and you cannot work or you’re working fewer hours because of coronavirus, you do not need to tell HMRC about this change as long as you’re still employed or self-employed.

You must still tell HMRC about other changes to your circumstances. This includes if you or your partner lose your job, are made redundant or cease trading.

The basic element of Working Tax Credit is £2,005 from 6 April 2021 until 5 April 2022. Find out what this means for you.

You cannot claim Universal Credit and tax credits at the same time. If you get tax credits, they will stop when you or your partner applies for Universal Credit and you will be unable to claim them again, even if your Universal Credit claim is unsuccessful. Check how tax credits and Universal Credit affect each other.

Published 8 April 2020
Last updated 12 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated with the latest rates effective from 12 April 2021.

  2. Child Benefit has been added to 'Other benefits' section.

  3. Added that interviews and assessments are done by telephone. You should only go to a jobcentre when asked to do so.

  4. Added information about how coronavirus (COVID-19) affects tax credits.

  5. First published.