Langstane Housing Aberdeen

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How you can secure help claiming benefits whilst self-isolating or being laid off? 19/03/20

Please see below a Q&A example about claiming assistance with housing costs due to self-isolation.  Further down you will find links of where to go for information and advice.

Jargon busting glossary:  

SSP = Statutory Sick Pay
SRS = Social Rent Sector
PRS = Private Rent Sector
UC = Universal Credit
DWP = Department for Work and Pensions
CAB = Citizens Advice Bureaux
LHA = Local Housing Allowance
HB = Housing Benefit

The Question:

I have been advised to self-isolate for 4 weeks with the possibility of this being extended to 12 weeks due to underlying health conditions.  Until yesterday I was working in full time employment.     

Am I right in saying that I will receive statutory sick pay (SSP) from day one of my isolation and that I will need to now apply for universal credit (UC) to cover my housing costs?  Can I also ask if I would be entitled to work allowance as I have been employed full time?

The Answer:

  • Based on the information you have provided you should, assuming you’ve previously earned enough, qualify for SSP from the first day of self-isolation if this is on or after 13th March.  Please click here to link to the Gov.uk site to see if you qualify. 
  • Yes please submit an application for UC to help cover your housing costs – click here to link to the UC webpage.
  • If you are single and aged 25 or over then your standard allowance would be £317.82 (until April when it increases by 1.7%).
  • In addition, as an social rent sector (SRS) tenant you would qualify for your ‘housing costs’ including eligible rent, less any under-occupation penalty (bedroom tax) if that was appropriate.
  • If on the other hand you are a private rent sector (PRS) tenant, the rate of your ‘housing costs’ would be dictated by age.  So, if you are 35 or over, it would be paid at 1 bedroom rate of local housing allowance (LHA).  If you are not in that age range then you would receive a shared rate.

How much income you can expect:

  • If you are 35 or over and an SRS tenant and you pay £500 rent per calendar month (pcm) for a 1 bed property, you could expect to receive £817.82.  This would be less your SSP amount.  If your rent is higher or lower than the amount in the example above would need to be adjusted.
  • If you are in the same age bracket as the example above but are a PRS tenant you could expect to receive the same £317.82.  Along with the LHA rate for 1 bedroom property for the area you live in.  To find out more information please check your local Council's website searching for ‘LHA rate 1 bedroom’.

Useful contacts:

Please click on the links below for information from various government bodies that can provide you with help:

Please click on the name of your local council below to link to their website:

In addition to the help you can receive from CAB there is also your local council, voluntary organisations and church groups who can provide free information and advice services for:

  • Welfare Rights
  • Money Advice
  • Debt Advice and;
  • Financial Inclusion services

Please contact CAB, however if you are looking for help with filling out forms, querying and pursuing things with councils or the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).  Otherwise, simply Google 'benefits advice' and put in your post code and you should be taken to good sources of advice.

Another useful resource is the new briefing that has been published by the House of Commons library called ‘Coronavirus and Claiming Benefits’.  It details some of the new measures and relaxations introduced by the DWP that should make claiming less bureaucratic.

Please feel free to contact the Association directly if you need help or clarification on any of the above information.  Call us on 01224 423000 or email info@langstane-ha.co.uk. 

We also have our own in-house Tenant Welfare Advisor, David Campbell.  David can assist with benefit advice and filling in forms (mostly online), so don’t hesitate to get in touch.