Coronavirus — We are currently asking people to only come into our offices for essential visits. Where possible, people should contact us by phone or email or through our website. For up-to-date information about our services and links to useful advice, see our Coronavirus page

Housing and Benefits: coronavirus update

Self-employed

If you are self-employed and you have had to self- isolate, or had a loss or reduction in income due to Coronavirus you may be eligible for Universal Credit or Employment and Support allowance to help with your income. For further information please visit the Government's Universal Credit webpage and New Style Employment and Support Allowance webpage.

You may be eligible to claim a grant through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership. To see if you qualify or how much you can claim please find more information on the Government website.

If you are unable to pay your Council Tax, you may be eligible for Council Tax Support. Find out if you qualify

If you already receive Council Tax support and/or Housing Benefit, please contact us on 01603 430602 to advise of any changes.

Employed

If you are self-isolating and employed, you will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (£94.25 per week) from day one (rather than day four).

Depending on your income, you may also be entitled to Universal Credit. Please visit the Government website for further information. You may also be entitled to Council Tax Support. See if you qualify.

If you already receive Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit, please contact us on 01603 430602 to advise of any changes.

Homeowners

Homeowners can get a 3-month mortgage holiday, including landlords. Please contact your mortgage provider, or if you are in private rented please discuss options with you landlord.

Tenants

We encourage anyone whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 to contact their landlord immediately, whether that be a registered provider such as Saffron or Clarion or a private landlord. We are aware that registered providers are keen to work with their tenants, however they will not know that you are in hardship unless you call them.

Government has announced that private landlords can ask their mortgage provider for a 3-month payment holiday, when their tenants are affected by COVID-19. It is therefore expected that this saving be passed to you, whilst your welfare benefits are put into payment.

Please contact your landlord to discuss. If you have any problems our housing team may be able help, please email [email protected] or call 01603 430641.

Other Information

Council Tax Hardship Fund

As announced by central government we have received funding to help people who are suffering financially as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Those that are in receipt of Council Tax Support/Reduction will automatically receive up to £150, which will be used to reduce your Council Tax bill from April 2020. You don’t need to apply for this and when we receive the funds we will amend your account and let you know.

View our Q&As for more information about this scheme.

Complete the Hardship Fund form here.

DWP/Job Centre

If you need to claim Universal Credit but have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you will now be able to claim and to access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a Job Centre Plus.

If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate.

People receiving benefits will not have to attend job centre appointments for three months starting from 19/03/20.