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Coronavirus information for benefit claimants

See details further down this page about how to get help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep contact to a minimum - We are currently experiencing high volumes of phone calls and applications for CTS. You will help us to assess these quickly if you:

  • make your claim through any claim for Universal Credit (UC) you make.
  • avoid calling us to check progress of your claim. Our staff who answer the phones are the ones who assess the claims. Increased calls delays the assessment. We anticipate backlogs so please only contact us if you have not heard from us within 4 weeks of making your claim .
  • If you already have a claim or account, sign up for or use My Tax and Benefits account for access to your account and any claims. 
  • supply the proof we require as soon as you can (see below)

You should not post in any documents to support your claims for CTS or HB. We have the facilities to upload electronic documents, such as photos from your smartphone, scanned or downloaded images, to support your claim.

For information about coronavirus and Universal Credit, see the GOV.UK website

Further advice about what wider help is available to residents and businesses, can be found on the Merton Coronavirus page.

Please read the advice below for details of how to apply for help with your Council Tax and help with your rent.

Help to pay your Council Tax

If you are on a low income, you may get help to pay your Council Tax.

You can apply for Universal Credit whether you are working or not. If you are making a claim for (UC), you will be asked if you wish to claim CTS, as part of your UC application and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will automatically send us the details of your claim. That is all you need to do.Do not fill in a Merton online form if you have told the UC centre that you want to claim CTS. If we need more information, we will write to you to complete your claim.

If you are applying for Pension Credit (PC), please tell the DWP Pension Service you want to claim CTS. They will send us details of your claim.

You can claim CTS using our online CTS claim form if you are

  • not claiming UC (e.g. your earnings are too high to get it); or
  • already made your claim for UC or PC but didn't ask for help to pay your Council Tax or
  • already getting UC or PC or
  • you are claiming any other type of benefit.

Help to pay your rent

If you are of working age, on a low income and need help to pay your rent, you will need to claim Universal Credit, unless you are in one of the exempt categories below. There is no option to choose whether to claim Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit.

If you want to make a claim for Universal Credit please go to GOV.UK Universal Credit.

Exempt categories

You should claim Housing Benefit using our online HB form, if you and your partner (if you have one):