Can I claim Universal Credit on furlough? Benefits

Furlough is a word that has very quickly become a part of our day-to-day conversations. However, with the way in which plans are constantly shifting and changing at the moment, it can be difficult to understand the ins and outs of what you are entitled to should you be furloughed.

If you find yourself in that situation, the information below should go some way to help you. In this article we will be answering the question: Can I claim Universal Credit on Furlough?

Can I claim UC while furloughed?

When you are furloughed, it means that you have been put on temporary leave by your employer and that 80% (up to £2,500 per month) of your wages will be covered by the government as part of the coronavirus job retention scheme.

The job retention scheme is a way of keeping individuals in a job, and able to pay their own bills, and avoid the need for mass redundancies across industries.

If you work and claim Universal Credit, you do not need to inform UC that you have been furloughed. At present, it is not considered a change of circumstance that you need to report, and any adjustments that need to be made will be done so automatically as HMRC informs universal credit of your reduced take-home pay.

If you don’t currently claim Universal Credit, but find yourself in a position where you may need to, there is support available and you may be eligible to make a claim. You can do so by applying online. If you need help understanding your Universal Credit claim, please read our handy guide, which has all the information you need for making a claim.

Changes To Universal Credit For 2020

In the new tax year (1st April 2020), the government announced there would be an increase of the standard allowance in Universal Credit for one year. This increase applies to both existing and new claims.

If you have been furloughed and find yourself unable to pay your bills or afford essentials, you can make a new claim for Universal Credit. If you are in urgent need of financial support, you can also apply for an advance on your first payment which, if approved, will be paid to you within five days rather than five weeks. It is worth noting that this advanced amount will be deducted from further payments and is therefore considered a type of temporary loan. There are also other things you can do to get help such as:

  • Get a Budgeting Advance to help with emergency household costs
  • Get a discount on your Council Tax
  • Apply for Discretionary Housing Payments
  • Find and get help from your local food bank

Universal Credit For Furloughed Workers

Like any Universal Credit claim, your new claim will be assessed on your income, savings, and individual circumstances. All of these will determine how much you can claim through Universal Credit to support you at this time.

If you already claim Universal Credit and have been furloughed, you do not have to do anything right now. Any adjustments will be made automatically as HMRC will communicate your change in pay with UC.

For further information and support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. While we aren’t holding any Work Clubs or Drop-In sessions at the moment, our team are working hard to support individuals in South Staffordshire and Stafford remotely where possible, and we can advise on a range of subjects such as employment, finances and your own mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We know that money troubles can be catastrophic and difficult to deal with – even more so considering the current situation. So if you do find yourself struggling, please reach out, we will do everything in our power to help you access the resources available to you and support you through these unprecedented times.