Health and wellbeing Coronavirus - Benefits and money

Answers to benefits and money questions

Last updated 12.26pm, Monday 30 March

I can't pay my mortgage, what do I do?

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on: 

  • your mortgage
  • loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home

This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). It’s paid as a loan, which you’ll need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home.

You usually need to be getting, or treated as getting, a qualifying benefit to get SMI.

How to apply

When you apply for a qualifying benefit, you’ll be asked extra questions about your housing costs to find out if you’re eligible for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). You might also be sent a form asking for more detailed information.

If you qualify for SMI, you’ll be offered a loan.

If you already get a qualifying benefit contact the office that pays your benefit to find out if you could get an SMI loan.

If you get or have applied for Income Support, income-based JSA or income-related ESA contact Jobcentre Plus. Jobcentre Plus Telephone: 0800 169 0310

I am on a zero hours contract and have been laid off, what do I do?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs.

You can apply for this online

You will have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but you do not need to be married.

You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

I am self employed and am not earning enough to pay my bills

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs; this includes help towards your rent. You can apply for this online.

You should claim for help with support with your Council Tax from the Council as you may be entitled to Council tax Support.

For Universal credit you will have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but you do not need to be married. You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

Universal Credit helpline Telephone: 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The government has temporarily removed the Minimum Income Floor. If you are self employed and have low income levels your Universal Credit payment may be calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called a Minimum Income Floor. It’s based on what an employed person on minimum wage would expect to earn in similar circumstances.If you earn more than this, then your Universal Credit amount is based on your actual earnings.

The government has temporarily removed this minimum income floor and will calculate your Universal Credit based on your actual earnings.

I am off sick with corona virus- what are the rules?

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by this public health emergency, DWP is making a number of changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system. 

I have got no money for food?

You can apply for a cash grant of between £30 and £60 if you are in crisis or have an emergency that's out of your control.

To apply you must:

  • live in the area covered by Manchester City Council; and
  • be 16 or over; and
  • have no capital or savings; and
  • get one of the following benefits; Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • not be experiencing hardship because of a decision by the Department of Work and Pensions (call 0345 608 8545); and
  • not have already received a cash grant within the last 12 months.

If your application is successful, we'll email you a cash voucher.

You can use the voucher anywhere that has a 'Paypoint' terminal and will need to take an official letter or bill that confirms your name and address.

You can only apply online and you will need to know your National Insurance number to apply.

I have less income this month and cannot pay my rent?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount.
 
The DWP can help with rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit. This can include rent payments.

The Universal Credit money I get for rent does not cover the full amount of rent I have to pay? 

Discretionary payments can help if you are struggling to pay your rent. You must live in Manchester to apply for them.

To get a discretionary payment towards your rent you must either:

  • be entitled to to some Housing Benefit from us; or
  • be getting Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs.

There is no right for anyone to a discretionary payment. We will look at your case to decide if you need extra support.

My landlord is going to evict me because I won’t be able to pay my rent this month?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount.
 
The DWP can help with rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit. This can include rent payments.
If legal action is being taken against you because you owe money, get free support and advice from:

If you have been served an eviction warrant, or your home is about to be repossessed, call our homelessness prevention advisers on 0161 240 5036 / 5087.
 
Discretionary payments can help if you are struggling to pay your rent. You must live in Manchester to apply for them.

To get a discretionary payment towards your rent you must either:

  • be entitled to to some Housing Benefit from us; or
  • be getting Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs.

There is no right for anyone to a discretionary payment. We will look at your case to decide if you need extra support.

Is there any financial help I can get with my Council Tax?

If you need help to pay your council tax, whatever your age and circumstances, you should claim Council Tax Support.

If you are making a new claim for Universal Credit we have decided that in Manchester we will treat your Universal Credit claim as a Council Tax Support claim as long as you say you want to claim Council Tax Support at the same time. If your Universal Credit claim is refused you will then have to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support.

Everyone else must claim Council Tax Support

The government has announced financial support for working age people in receipt of Council Tax Support. These people will receive a payment of £150 towards their outstanding Council Tax Bill.  We are working with our software suppliers to provide these payments and issue new bills as soon as possible.  You do not need to contact us to make an application or request for this payment.

I can’t pay my Council Tax this month?

It is important that you keep in touch with the Council Tax Service and let us know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount. If you have any questions you can email us at ctax.enquiries@manchester.gov.uk
 
You can contact us online to tell us about a change in your circumstances.
 
The Council may help with Council tax costs and you should claim Council Tax Support

Help with debts bills and borrowing

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?