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Like many of the people we help, Amy was struggling financially despite being in full time work. She was finding it especially difficult to afford to keep her home warm and her family fed. Here she shares her story…

“I’m a single mum with two young children, and I work full-time. Although my job pays reasonably well, my rent is nearly two-thirds of my take-home wage, and I was finding it increasingly difficult to pay my bills.
I had to decide regularly between food and electricity, and when it got to the point where I wasn’t sure how I’d afford to feed my children, I knew I needed to get some help.

I found information on benefits confusing and conflicting and got the impression I’d be ineligible because I’m working full-time. But after speaking with a friend I decided to try again and have a look online.

After using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, I discovered that I was eligible for Housing Benefit and I now receive £100 per week.

The extra income has made a dramatic impact. My basics are now covered which is brilliant, and I have the security of knowing that I can pay my bills and put food in the table. I feel 100% less worried, and feeling less stressed means I can now spend more quality time with my children.”

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.