You will no doubt have seen the Governments interim guidance regarding tenants and arrears which have accrued due to loss of income as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic. This a worrying time for everyone and we understand that landlords are concerned about the impact on their businesses.

The Government has released a statement aimed at claimants who might be worried about what they should do next.

The Government measures are intended to prevent anyone losing their home if they can no longer work due to the impact of the Corona Virus, however, there are things tenants can be doing to reduce the impact of arrears such as applying for new or additional benefits.

It is important that tenants are aware of the options that are available to them and so we have put together some brief guidance for tenants.

Claiming benefits for the first time

If you normally work but have lost your income you should make a claim for benefits, if you rent your home you can also apply for help with Housing Costs. You should go to the Government page on Universal Credit to find out more and link to where you can apply.

You will need to make your claim online and you should have some information to hand such as your National Insurance number, details of what (if any) income you have coming into the house hold, details of when you last worked and what you were paid.

Claiming additional benefits

If you are already claiming Housing costs and your income has changed you should see if you are entitled to any additional benefits. Housing costs are means tested and if you have been working you might be entitled to more help towards your rent, you should contact either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to check your entitlement.

If you have a shortfall between your housing cost entitlement and your rent you might be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment.

More advice on benefits

Turn2Us is a dedicated online resource that helps people who are looking for advice about any benefits and grants that they might be entitled to. It includes an easy to use online benefit calculator and grants search tool.