Benefits and financial support
Whether you are currently in or out of work, if you are on a low income and affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, you will be able to access the full range of the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
From 6 April the Government will increase the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.
If you are receiving Universal Credit you will still need to make a new claim for council tax support
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
You will only need to claim housing benefit if you:
- live in supported or temporary accommodation, or
- are of Pension Credit age or
- are in receipt of Severe Disability Premium
If your circumstances are not included in the list above then you must claim Universal Credit for help with your rent.
Making a housing benefit or council tax support claim online is quick and easy to do. Your claim will be processed quicker and will provide you with a receipt when you have submitted your claim.
When you make an online claim for benefits you may not need to provide evidence to support your application, we may be able to check certain information internally.
In some circumstances you may be required to provide evidence but this will be requested at the point you complete the online form, so if we haven't asked for it don't upload it or send it to us.
Change in Circumstances
Before you start your online form:
- You must continue to the end of the form to complete your submission
- Details already entered on the form can be saved if you can't finish it all at once
- There will be a unique reference number on the form - save this number in case you need to go back to the form later
- To report changes online you will need your email address.
Your online form will provide you with details of what evidence we require and how best to provide that evidence to us. You can return to your form at any time using your unique reference number.
For most changes we do not require evidence and your online form will automatically not request any further evidence from you.
Extra help with your housing costs / Council Tax
Some council residents may be eligible for further financial support with their Council Tax as the Council aims to provide further financial support to help economically vulnerable people and households most effected by coronavirus.
The Council is in the process of looking at the detail and how these additional reductions can be applied to bills as soon as possible.
If you are already in receipt of council tax support you do not need to contact the Council; we will issue a revised council tax bill as soon as we are able to.
Due to the coronavirus these changes and new bills may take a while to come through, please bear with us.
Discretionary Housing Payments are for people who need extra help with their rent when housing benefit, Local Housing Allowance, or Universal Credit doesn’t cover the full amount.
The Council Tax Support Discretionary Hardship Payment scheme is available to further help claimants who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bills.
You can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments and for a Council Tax Support Discretionary Hardship Payment by using our online form.
Local Welfare Provision
Birmingham’s Local Welfare Provision (LWP) scheme helps vulnerable people in short-term crisis with food and essential items. It is grant-based, which means people who receive help from it will not have to repay anything.
For more details on how the scheme is operated, look at the Local Welfare Provision policy.
There are 2 types of payment made from this provision:
- Crisis payments are made to citizens to meet their needs for subsistence in terms of essential food and/or clothing.
- Community Support Grants are paid to citizens to meet their immediate needs for essential furniture or white goods to sustain their housing needs and to gain greater independence within the community.
Applications must be made online.