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Universal Credit

Universal Credit

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Impacts on Universal Credit & DWP Updates

Updated: October 2021

Covid-19 and claiming benefits

Universal Credit and other benefits – up to date information from DWP

The DWP have a dedicated page which provides information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It provides updated information on changes the government has brought in to support people who are already claiming benefits, need to claim benefits, or are at risk of losing their job.

You can also get help with managing your money with the DWPs ‘How to manage your Universal Credit claim’ guide.

Please check this page regularly for updates.

Support for those affected by the end of the Universal Credit £20 a week uplift

In response to the pandemic, a temporary £20 a week increase to Universal Credit (UC) payments was introduced.

The scheme officially ended on 6 October with each UC claimant  will notice the change at different times depending on when they receive payments.

We want to make sure that you know, that if you are affected by the reduction, that we are here to help and support you.

Please do not struggle alone, we have dedicated teams here to help you and your family.

Click here to find what support is available and how we can help.

End of the Furlough Scheme

Furlough, the Governments ‘Job Retention Scheme’ ended on the 30 September 2021.

We understand these are uncertain and worrying times for many of our customers and know that lots of people are struggling financially and Torus are here to help.

Let us help if you are affected by these changes

If these changes will affect your income, your job, redundancy or if you’re facing money issues at the moment, then do not struggle alone, we are here to help, so please contact us for help and support.

We have dedicated teams to help you with:

  • Paying your rent – working with you to reach a solution.
  • Maximising your income and budgeting.
  • Getting into or closer to employment, including.
  • Improving your skills and accessing training – help to improve your job options
  • Benefits advice and application support.
  • Sustaining your tenancy – support to get back on track

Click here to find what support is available and how we can help.

If you are worried about money, paying your rent or are struggling, click here to find out more about help and support.

DWP Updates

Face-to-face assessments to resume for health and disability benefits (27/4/2021)

In line with the latest public health guidance and adhering to strict safety protocols, the DWP plans to begin reintroducing face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits.  People will be invited for their appointments by letter, which will clearly set out what to expect at their appointment.  Face-to-face assessments will take place alongside existing paper-based assessments, and telephone assessments (for Work Capability Assessments and Personal Independence Payments), which will continue to take place where suitable. Find out more here.
Universal Credit  

The Government has introduced the new Universal Credit (UC) welfare benefit, which replaces several existing benefits including Housing Benefit. UC will affect people who are both in and out of work, and of working age.

Although you may not be claiming benefits at the moment, you or a member of your household may have a change in circumstances.

If you’re struggling to make an online claim, contact the UC Helpline on 0800 328 5644 available Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm.

How will I know if I am affected?

You will only be affected if you have a change in circumstances or need to make a new benefits claim and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will advise you of this. 

How do I make a claim?

UC claims need to be made online via which can be completed via Job Centre Plus or at home, using a PC, tablet or smartphone. You can get online at a free digital hub near you which is run by our charitable arm, Torus Foundation. 

To make a claim, you will need:

  • An email address
  • A bank, building society or credit union account
  • You will need to know your weekly rent charge (including service charges if applicable)
  • Your income details and for those living with you (including benefits)
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number and the NI for each family member who are part of the claim

What happens once you’ve made the claim?

  • You will receive a Job Centre appointment to verify your claim - remember to take photo ID (a passport or driving licence), your tenancy agreement and an up to date rent statement.
  • Go online to make an appointment with your Work Coach to agree and sign your ‘Claimant Commitment’. Remember to keep your search for work and journal up to date and regularly check your online ‘to do list’ to see if the DWP has sent you actions regarding your claim.
  • Failing to comply with these UC requirements may affect payments towards your housing costs.
  • If you do not pay your rent to us it could result in action being taken to recover the tenancy.

Is there any financial help while waiting for my claim?

  • You can apply for an advance payment during your interview with the work coach. This advance payment is interest free and you will have 12 months to pay this back, but please note that your UC payments will be reduced during that time to cover the repayments of the advance payment. 
  • If you have any concerns about your rent during this time, please speak to your Rent Officer.

Support Available

Our charitable arm, Torus Foundation can offer you advice on making an online claim by assisting with:

  • Free IT training and access to the Internet, including setting up an email address
  • Advice on setting up a bank, building society or credit union account
  • Employment training and support
  • Signpost to services for budgeting, debt, energy & utility debt and benefit advice
  • Food bank vouchers


Universal Credit Payments

The Monthly Assessment Period will commence one month from the date the claim is made*.

*Based on advice from the Government

Remember to pay your rent as soon as your first UC payment is received.

Talk to us today

If you’re having difficulty, don’t struggle alone. Contact our Welfare Reform Team via 0800 678 1894.