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Support our Benefits Awareness Campaign

£15bn of welfare benefits goes unclaimed every year. Find out what we are doing in 2016 to promote benefits awareness

woman with baby

Shockingly, an estimated £15bn in welfare benefits goes unclaimed every year. Many people in financial hardship simply aren’t aware that support is available or have faced barriers in claiming.

This May, we’ll be launching a Benefits Awareness Campaign to help more people to access the welfare support available to them. We would appreciate any help you can give us in spreading the word and reaching even more people.

The campaign will focus on highlighting the positive impact that welfare benefits can have and we’ll be sharing stories of some of the people we’ve helped. We’ll be encouraging anyone in need to use our free Benefits Calculator to see what they might be entitled to claim.

The campaign will have a national reach and will also include additional activity in the North East of England to tie in with our upcoming Comic Relief funded training programme

We’re inviting charities and other organisations across the UK to get involved in the campaign. Sharing our campaign posters and supporting on social media can make a huge difference and help us reach more people who need our support. So we'd be glad of any help you may be able to give us.

If you’d like to get involved, please contact Emma Lamberton, Communications Manager for more details. 

Thanks for your support.

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.