Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau – benefits special

31st Mar 2020

This morning, Tuesday 31 March on the James Cameron morning show there will be an update on Benefit changes because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Kay Taylor from Citizens Advice Scotland, Renfrewshire manager, will be providing an update to James.

Here for your information is what Kay said this morning on the programme:

  • From April 6th the standard allowance element of universal credit (received by all claimants) and working tax credit basic element will both be increased by up to £1,040 a year for 12 months.
  • If you’re self-employed, the minimum income floor for Universal Credit will be temporarily abolished from 6 April 2020.
  • The Local Housing Allowance (that is how much housing benefit or universal credit you get if you rent from a private landlord) will return to its original calculation principles
  • Remember, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment for any shortfall in rent.  This can be done by using Renfrewshire Council’s “My Account” myaccount.renfrewshire.gov.uk
  • The government has postponed all face-to-face benefit assessments or appointments at the Jobcentre Plus until at least 19 June 2020.
  • There will be no new reviews or reassessments across all benefits for three months – this includes Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended for the next 3 months including for any new claims.
  • For PIP, ESA and UC claimants, if an assessment has already taken place this will continue to be processed. If an assessment has been scheduled, claimants will be contacted by the assessment provider to discuss how this will be taken forward.

Kay says: “Stay safe, stay well and I’ll be back soon with more updates.”

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