Who can get extended benefit
You can get extended benefit if all the following apply:
- you expect the change to last for at least five weeks, and
- either you or your partner were claiming a qualifying benefit or a combination of qualifying benefits for at least 26 weeks continuously before the change, and
- if the change is a move into work or an increase in working hours, the work is for 16 hours or more a week, and
- you have not already had a benefit extension in the last 26 weeks
The following benefits count as qualifying benefits:
- Job Seekers Allowance – the 26 weeks can include either or both of income-related and contributory JSA, but if you are on contributory JSA at the time of the change you can’t get an extended payment
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Contributions-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Contributions based Job Seekers Allowance
Universal Credit doesn’t count, and any extended benefit you get will stop if you start getting Universal Credit.
How to apply for extended benefit
You don’t need to apply for extended benefit. When you tell us about the change we will look at your situation and extend your benefits automatically if you are eligible.
You must tell us about the change as soon as possible. We can normally only give extended payments for Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit if you tell us within one calendar month of the change. If you wait longer, you will need to give us a good reason for the delay.
What to do when extended benefit ends
You don’t need to do anything when the extended benefit ends if your circumstances are the same as they were at the start of the extended benefit period. We will stop or reduce your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support based on the information you gave us then. If your circumstances have changed again, you need to tell us about the change.