Coronavirus COVID-19 Information

This page provides information for you if you are claiming benefits or considering claiming benefits during the COVID-19 Pandemic. You should continue to check this page as it will be updated frequently.

coronavirus covid 19 Jobcentre plus offices

Stay Home Save Lives

Employment Support Allowance ESA

Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

All appointments at local Jobs & Benefits offices have been postponed. If you have an assessment appointment scheduled you will be contacted by the Department.Assessments for all benefits will be carried out by telephone, or by considering medical evidence submitted by post.

Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

All appointments at local Jobs & Benefits offices have been postponed. If you are due to sign-on you will be excused from signing. If you are already receiving benefits, you will continue to receive your payments. 

Jobs & Benefits offices

Attending appointments & assessments

All appointments at local Jobs & Benefits offices have been postponed from 16 March. If you are due to sign-on you will be excused from signing. For those already receiving benefits, you will continue to receive your payments and rather than attend the office for routine appointments, Work Coaches will communicate with you via your on-line journal, the phone, or will simply re-schedule appointments for a later date. Nobody will be penalised for not attending the office.

All routine appointments have been postponed

All routine appointments have been postponed untill further notice

As of 16 March all routine appointments at local Jobs & Benefits offices have been postponed. Those due to sign-on will be excused from signing. For those already receiving benefits, you will continue to receive your payments and rather than attend the office for appointments, Work Coaches will communicate with you via your on-line journal, the phone, or will simply reschedule appointments for a later date.

Coronavirus employment and benefits support

Coronavirus benefits support for Employers and Employees

If you have been affected by coronavirus (covid19) or its effect on the economy, there is a wide range of Coronavirus benefits support available through the Jobcentre Coronavirus Employment and benefits support. You can find information about the changes the government has brought in Coronavirus benefits support to people that may be already claiming a benefit, information if you need to claim benefits, or you are at risk of losing your job as a direct result of the coronavirus(covid-19) pandemic.

jobcentre Coronavirus benefits support 2020

Also please note: You should not attend the jobcentre abou Coronavirus benefits support unless you are specifically directed to do so for an exceptional purpose. However, jobcentre plus offices staff will still be available to offer Coronavirus benefits support for our most vulnerable members of society, including those fleeing domestic abuse.

Use the links provided on this page to find the information you require.

The Department for Work and Pensions will continue to update Coronavirus benefits support information. Please check the official DWP website for the latest updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.

Universal Credit (UC)

Universal Credit Advice

New claims to Universal Credit will still be made on-line. All follow up activities that would ordinarily have been undertaken in the office, will be managed on-line or over the phone.

Access Government Financial Support

How to access government financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19

On 17 March, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses and hep them Access Government Financial Support, making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP. This was on top of a series of measures announced at Budget 2020, the government announced £30 billion of additional support for public services, individuals and businesses experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, including a new £5 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, to provide any extra resources needed by the NHS and other public services to tackle the virus.

Personal Independence Payment PIP

Personal Independence Payment Appointments

Face to face assessments will be suspended for a period of 3 months from 16 March. If you are claiming or considering claiming PIP all medical assessments will be carried out by telephone or by considering medical evidence submitted by post. 

Making a new claim

Making a new claim to Universal Credit and/or new style Employment & Support Allowance ESA

You can apply for Universal Credit online and ESA by telephone. If you need to make an appointment, call the number you are given when you submit your claim, and explain the situation. If you need to self-isolate, we are ready to provide help and support.

Finance Support Northern Ireland

Finance Support Northern Ireland

If you are in a crisis situation you can apply for financial help by contacting the DWP Support service on 0800 587 2750 (Freephone) or 0800 587 2751 (textphone for customers with hearing difficulties).

If claiming Universal Credit you can also apply for a Universal Credit Contingency Fund grant by contacting the Finance Support service and choosing option 2.

Arrangements have also been put in place to avoid anyone claiming Discretionary Support from having to call into their local office as part of that claim. Telephone number 0800 587 2750 (Freephone) or 0800 587 2751 (textphone for customers with hearing difficulties).

Guidance for schools & Colleges

Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolationhousehold isolation and social distancing.

And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

already claiming Universal Credit?

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus), please contact your Work Coach as soon as possible. You can do this via your online journal or by phone to explain your situation.

In Work And Not Claiming Benefits

If you’re in work and not claiming benefits

If you work on a short term contract or a zero hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or New Style Employment & Support Allowance.

Anyone self-isolating who is self-employed can apply for Universal Credit or new-style Employment & Support Allowance.

You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

Claim wages through Coronavirus DWP Job Retention Scheme

Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. You can read more information about the changes.

Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

  • you have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
  • you submitted your claim before 31 July

If you’re an employee you cannot claim for yourself, instead you should check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.