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End of Universal Credit £20 top up and furlough scheme

With the World attempting to find a new ‘normal’, restrictions and temporary measures are starting to ease throughout the country. In recent announcements, this includes a number of changes that could affect residents’ income and rent payments.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the government introduced:

–       Furlough scheme (also known as job retention scheme)

–       A temporary increase of Universal Credit (UC) by £20 per week.

These measures will now end in September, meaning your income may reduce. Below is some information about what you should think about now to ensure you can pay your rent and not run into debt with your other bills.


If you were on Furlough, there is a chance you may not be able to go back to your old job, so you might have to find alternative employment. If this is the case, there are local services to help.

Compass Support is offering a dedicated service to jobseekers looking for new career opportunities. They can offer tailored one to one employment and coaching sessions, covering meaningful interventions essential for personal development.

Local residents are encouraged to get in touch if finding yourself struggling with financial hardship, sustaining tenancies, mental health and well-being and those wanting to move into a rewarding and satisfying career.

The team specialise in helping achieve:

  • A pathway into employment
  • Employability skills
  • Training and Qualifications
  • Carers advice and guidance
  • Maximising household income

Compass Support are also working in partnership with various employers such as HS2 and NHS and have vacancies across all sectors including Hospitality, Retail, Construction and Customer Service.

For more information get in touch today by either contacting or by speaking to a member of the team on 0121 748 8111. 

Universal Credit

If you are in the process of looking for a new job but need additional support to pay your rent, you could be eligible for Universal Credit depending on your household’s income.

UC is means tested. So, when deciding your award, your income will be looked at and anyone else’s income who lives with you. Remember that UC will not replace your wages, but it can help for daily living costs.

If your circumstances need to consider an option that doesn’t take into account the overall household’s income, you may be eligible for a new-style Job Seeker’s Allowance if you have previously been in employment for a consistent period.

To find out what you could get or for other support, check out the benefits calculator.

Remember: If you do claim for UC, your first payment can take five weeks, so if you are in arrears with your rent, it is a good idea to start paying a bit more towards this now to stop you from getting into debt later.

To avoid any unexpected debt building up, you can use this handy budget calculator or download a printable income and expenditure form to keep track of your outgoings.

Universal Credit – £20 increase

From the end of September, the £20 weekly increase for Universal Credit will come to an end, so it’s best to start thinking about how you will manage without the extra payment.

You may not be able to pay for some of the things you have been paying for in the last year, therefore it’s best to plan now by looking at your income and expenditure (budget planning) to make sure you can still pay for essential things such as rent, council tax, water, and energy supplies. There are a number of additional support payments for Winter Fuel expenses also which you can read more about in our latest article by clicking here.

If you are in rent arrears, and your rent is paid to The Pioneer Group directly, the amount towards your arrears will reduce as your UC award is based on your current earnings. This means your debt with us will reduce at a slower rate.

It is important you act quickly before things become out of control. If you need help with money advice, benefits or budgeting, The Pioneer Group fund a money advice service for all CVCH residents so you can get help quickly. Please call and speak to your Income Officer for a referral. You won’t be asked to share details with us and you don’t have to be in arrears with your rent to access this service.

For more information, contact our team today on or call 0121 748 8100.