Advice at your fingertips


How do I find out which Benefits I can claim?

I want to check myself:
Use an
online benefit checker, enter your details and get a free calculation of entitlement

I want to read more about benefits:

Use our Adviceguide information pages to find a comprehensive guide to benefits


I am not sure how to fill out my benefits form/online application …


Can you help me fill out the form?

Depending on the form, we might be able to help you. You can contact our enquiry team to see if we can arrange support.

If your deadline is close, it may be best (if possible) to attend our drop in Monday-Friday 9:30am onwards, due to the demand on the service you need to be at our office in Little Park Street before 9:30am to be guaranteed to be seen.

They will either try and arrange for an appointment before the deadline or complete the form that day, depending on their capacity.

Coventry Independent Advice Service could also assist you with forms, they have different venues around Coventry. Go to their website to find out more


I disagree with my benefit decision, what should I do?

How you appeal a benefit decision depends on the type of benefit you applied for and the date the decision was made. Follow the link for more information

Help, I’m in trouble!

My benefits have stopped, what can I do?
A sanction normally means Jobcentre Plus stops your JSA for a certain period, although in some cases they can reduce it instead. There are three different types of sanctions

If you are receiving Universal Credit you could be sanctioned if the Jobcentre Plus believes that you haven't followed your claimant commitment or the activities required. This process, including how to challenge a sanction is explained here.

Employment Support Allowance sanction means Jobcentre Plus reduces your ESA. You can only be sanctioned if you are placed in the work-related activity group and you are required to go to work focused interviews or do work-related activity.

I now have no money, what can I do?

Coventry Food Bank is part of a national service that provides free food parcels to help people in a crisis situation. A food bank voucher is needed to access this service. You can obtain a food bank voucher from our Citizens Advice office at Kirby House before 1:00pm every week day.

The food banks are located across the city and their are other organisations that can issue food vouchers, to find out where they are and who else can issue them you can check the food bank's website

A hardship payment is a reduced amount of Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance which you may be able to get if you have been refused one of these benefits, or had your benefit stopped, because of doubts such as whether you were available for and actively seeking work.

For Jobseekers Allowance you may also be able to get them if:

You are waiting for the Jobcentre Plus office to decide whether you meet the job seeking conditions.

You have been sanctioned or your JSA has been stopped for a fixed period following a benefit fraud offence.

If you want more information about hardship payments you should ask in your local Jobcentre about how to apply for this.

If you are on Universal Credit, call the Universal Credit Helpline on:

0345 600 0723 Monday-Friday 8:00am-6:00pm. Calls can cost up to 9p a minute from a landline, or between 8p and 40p a minute from a mobile (depending on supplier).

If you would struggle to call due to the cost, either call and ask them to call you back, or go into your local jobcentre to ask about hardship payments.

Coventry Food Bank is part of a national service that provides free food parcels to help people in a crisis situation. It can give you and your family

I have received a letter saying I have been overpaid and not sure what to do?
You may have been contacted by your benefit office because they think you are being paid more benefit than you should be getting. What to do if this happens.

I would like someone to contact me

We have a team of debt advisers, you can contact them here


I am being investigated for benefits, what do I need to know?
If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue or Customs or your local council suspect you may have misled them about something to do with your benefits you might be asked to go to an 'interview under caution'. This could lead to them suspending your benefits and taking you to court.

I look after someone who is sick, can I get any help?

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are giving regular and substantial care to disabled people in their own homes. Information on who can claim and how can be found here.

You may be able to get practical help from the local council to support you with caring responsibilities. This is usually free, but a council may charge for some services.

If you are eligible for a service where there may be a charge the council should assess your circumstances to see if it should be free.

To speak to Coventry Council about practical help call:

Adult Social Care Direct on 02476 833003 or email 

Complaining about the service you’ve received – benefits and tax credits.

You have the right to expect a reasonable standard of service from the people dealing with your benefits or tax credits. If you have received poor service or have lost out in some way because of errors or a slow response, you should consider complaining. 

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