Facebook Campaign enables us to measure response and retarget from campaigns we run on Facebook and Instagram

Financial hardship

The impact of COVID-19 continues to cause many residents financial hardship, due to loss of employment or changes to income. This could leave you with no income and affect your ability to pay Council Tax, rent, mortgage and other household bills. Please check our advice and information below to help you during this difficult time.

If after reading this you're still unsure what to do and need further help, you can complete our referral form. Our Welfare Advice and Debt Support team will then contact you to help.

If you are in crisis now and cannot afford food or basic essentials, please ring 020 8379 1000.

Sick

If you are unable to work, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Universal Credit (UC) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If your income is affected by coronavirus from working less hours you may be able to get some help. Visit GOV.UK for information on how to claim.

Self-isolating

A Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support payment of £500 is available for people who need to self-isolate for 10 days and are unable to work from home. This scheme has been extended to 31 March 2022.

Residents who are fully vaccinated and residents under the age of 18 years and six months are no longer required to self-isolate if they have been identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact. This means they are no longer eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate. They are still eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

To be eligible for a payment under the main scheme you must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19
    or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated
    and
  • have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently receiving either:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

If you meet the first five criteria above but do not receive any of the benefits listed, you may still be able to claim for a £500 discretionary payment, when you apply for the Self-Isolation Support Payment. To qualify for this, you also need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • have no recourse to public funds
  • be in receipt of a Personal Independence Payment or State Retirement Pension
  • be in the process of claiming for or appealing against a refusal of one of the benefits listed above, and able to provide evidence
  • be in receipt of Council Tax Support
  • have a low income, defined as a gross annual salary of less than £23,000, or a net profit of less than £23,000 if self-employed

You will not be eligible for a discretionary payment if you have savings of more than £10,000.

Parents or guardians who have had to take time off work to care for a child under 16 or young person aged under 26, who has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in place, can claim a payment if both:

  • the person making the claim satisfies all of the criteria for an award listed above, other than the requirement that they, themselves, have been required to self-isolate
  • that child or young person has been told to self-isolate by either:
    • Test and Trace because the child has tested positive
    • the education establishment or care setting that the child or young person attends. The school or care setting must have consulted the local health team and added the child as a close contact of a positive case with NHS Test and Trace, and the child must have a valid Account ID with Test and Trace.

Please note your application will be checked with your child or young person's education or care setting, and this process may take longer during school holidays.

If you are self-isolating yourself then please do not claim as being a parent or guardian of a young person who is self-isolating but make a claim in your own right.

The Self Isolation Support Payment scheme does not cover people who are not fully vaccinated and returning to the UK from abroad. You are legally required to quarantine and are not eligible for the payment, irrespective of whether you test positive or been identified as a close contact.

Your application should be submitted within six weeks (42 days) of the first date of your or your child’s isolation period. It's important to provide all the information and evidence asked for.

Before you apply, make sure you have:

  • your 8-digit Test and Trace ID number
  • your National Insurance number
  • your most recent bank statement
  • proof of your self-employed income or your wage slips

To apply, please complete our form using the link below. If you need help with your application, please call 020 8379 1000. to apply. Choose option seven, then three and an agent will help you make the claim.

If your application is successful, payment should be made within three working days from the date that all supporting documentation is received.

If you have made an application within the last ten days and have not yet had an outcome, you don't need to apply again. You will be told the outcome of your claim as soon as possible.

Due to a large number of applications, this has impacted the speed at which we can process the claims. We apologise for the delay and thank you for your patience.

If you want to submit further documents in support of your application once you've submitted it, you can email us at selfisolationpayment@enfield.gov.uk. Make sure you include your reference number in any correspondence.

View the self-isolating payments FAQs (PDF).

The Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) ended on 30 September 2021. If you have not returned to work or are on a reduced income you may be able to claim Universal Credit. For more information visit GOV.UK.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme also ended on 30 September 2021.

The Minimum Income Floor (MIF) set by DWP assumes a certain level of self-employed profit, based on the national living wage for a person’s age. This was suspended during the pandemic but has restarted from 1 August 2021.

The £20 temporary increase in Universal Credit ended on 30 September 2021. If you need extra help, visit our Benefits section for Discretionary Housing payments, short-term emergency support and Council Tax hardship information.

More information

For more information about support for those affected by COVID-19, visit GOV.UK - affected by COVID-19.

Council housing tenant

If you had a change in income due to COVID-19, but don't qualify for help through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and think you may struggle to pay your rent, we can offer you specialist advice. For advice or to rearrange rent payments, email rent.council.housing@enfield.gov.uk.

Temporary accommodation

If you had a change in income due to COVID-19, but don't qualify for help through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and think you may struggle to pay your rent, we can offer you specialist advice. For advice or to rearrange rent payments, email incomerecoveryteam@enfield.gov.uk.

Private rented sector

If you had a change in income due to COVID-19, but don't qualify for help through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and think you may struggle to pay your rent, you may want to tell your landlord.

If you do get help to pay your rent through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, check the Local Housing Allowance Rates.

Enfield Council Housing Advisory Service

If you are homeless, threatened with homelessness, or need advice or accommodation, call 020 3821 1769.

Homeowner

If you had a change in income due to COVID-19 and think you may struggle to pay your mortgage, you should contact your mortgage provider. More information can be found at GOV.UK – mortgage support.

Applying for benefit

If you're no longer working and have no income, you may be entitled to the following:

New style Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

If you're actively seeking work and have paid enough class 1 National Insurance contributions, you can claim JSA.

For more information and to make a claim, visit GOV.UK.

New style Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

If you're ill or have a health condition and have paid enough class 1 National Insurance contributions, you can claim ESA. This can be claimed alongside Universal Credit.

For more information and to make a claim, visit GOV.UK.

Universal Credit

If you're of working age and need help with your living needs, including rent, you can make a claim for Universal Credit by visiting GOV.UK.

The DWP have made changes to claiming Universal Credit, due to the impact of COVID-19. For more information, visit Universal Credit/GOV.UK.

The DWP are currently very busy, due to the increase in benefit claims following the COVID-19 outbreak.

An advanced payment will be offered when making a claim for Universal Credit, that needs to be paid back over twelve months. The paying back can be delayed by up to three months if requested. For more information, visit GOV.UK.

Pension Credit

If you and a partner are both of pensionable age, you can make a claim for Pension Credit by visiting GOV.UK. If you also need help paying your rent or Council Tax, you can claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

Statutory Sick Pay

Changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay following the impact of COVID-19. For more information, visit GOV.UK.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

If you need help paying rent, you should claim Universal Credit. You can only claim Housing Benefit if you: 

  • live in temporary accommodation
  • live in supported accommodation
  • are of state pension age

For more information and to make a claim, see our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support page.

Reporting a change of circumstances

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

If you're no longer working or your income or pay has changed, email revs@enfield.gov.uk. Make the subject line your benefit reference number inside pointed brackets, for example, <XXXXXXXX>.

Let us know if:

  • your pay has reduced but you're still working, when this happened and how much you now get
  • you have stopped working, when this happened and what you and your family are now living on
  • you are waiting to see if you will get furlough pay, lay off pay, sick pay or any other payments. Let us know this information now, and again when it is paid.
  • you have claimed Universal Credit as you have no income

Universal Credit

If you're no longer working or your income or pay has changed, you should update your Universal Credit online journal to let the DWP know. They will adjust your claim and let us know to award or change your Council Tax Support.

Still struggling to pay rent and Council Tax after changes have been made

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you do get help to pay rent through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, and still have problems paying rent, you may also qualify for further support through a Discretionary Housing Payment.

If you already get Council Tax Support, this will also act as a claim for Council Tax Support Hardship.

Council Tax Support Hardship payments

If you do get help to pay Council Tax through Council Tax Support, and still have problems paying Council Tax, you may also qualify for further support through a Council Tax Support Hardship payment.

If you had a change in income due to COVID-19, but don't qualify for Council Tax Support and think you may struggle to pay your Council Tax, email revs@enfield.gov.uk. Make the subject line your Council Tax account number inside pointed brackets, for example <XXXXXXXX>.

Let us know if you want to:

  • extend your instalments to the end of March 2022, if this has not already been done
  • pay what you can until the situation changes
  • delay the payment for up to two months
  • suggest another option you'd like us to consider

If you want to apply for a discount, disregard or exemption, view the Council Tax discount information

If you want to apply for Council Tax Support, view our benefits page.

Household Support Fund

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided £2,847,994 funding to Enfield Council to support residents this winter (6 October 2021 to 31 March 2022) with food, energy, water bills and other essential costs.

At Enfield this funding will be targeted (not claimed) by:

  • sending food vouchers to all children from Enfield schools that get Free School Meals, and need support with food and uniforms, to cover the holiday periods during October 2021, Christmas 2021, February 2022, and Easter 2022. See Schools Household Support Fund FAQ (PDF).
  • sending a one-off payment of £100 through PayPoint to those most in need, using information we hold about people receiving Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Universal Credit. Payments will be sent before Christmas and paid in March 2022. See PayPoint Cash Vouchers FAQ (PDF) and Household Support Fund FAQ (PDF).

If you don’t receive this targeted support but are in financial hardship, please read the rest of the information on this page to see what advice and support is available for income and debt issues.

If after reading this, you need further help, you can complete a referral form. The Welfare Advice and Debt Support team will make contact to see what help they can give you.

Help with food

Help with food if you can’t afford it

Many voluntary and community organisations are offering help with food for Enfield’s diverse community. If you need urgent food supplies and can’t afford them, you can:

You could also try the OLIO food sharing app, a free app allowing neighbours to offer perfectly good, unwanted food to each other. Everything shared on OLIO is free. They have also developed safe sharing ‘no-contact pickups’ in response to COVID-19.

Online food deliveries

If you need to self-isolate and can't get to the shops, you can book an online food delivery through a supermarket:

If you can’t use online food deliveries

Some supermarkets offer special services for people to order food over the phone if you can’t access online deliveries. Options you can try include:

  • Morrisons – call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5
  • Sainsbury’s – call 0800 328 1700 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll need to register over the phone before your first order. (This service is only for housebound residents with no internet access or support network.)

Help with bills

You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Visit Warm Home Discount Scheme to check eligibility. You can then contact your electricity supplier who will tell you how you’ll get the discount.

You could get some help with paying water bills if your usage is high and you are on a water meter or have applied to get one fitted. Check your eligibility at Citizen’s Advice – WaterSure scheme and apply by filling out a form from your water company.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or are in arrears, the council has an advisory service that might be able to help.

You can also visit Citizens Advice – get help with bills.

Tips on how to save energy

There are many people struggling to pay for the energy they use, particularly with higher than usual fuel prices. We want residents to stay safe and warm so here are a few tips to save on energy:

  • Turn down and switch off – try putting heating a degree or two lower and switch off lights and appliances when not in use
  • Keep things closed – close doors to keep in heat and pull the curtains or drop the blinds when it gets dark
  • Use what you need – only use the hot water you need, for example have a shorter shower or boil just enough for a brew
  • Make small improvements – draught proofing and switching to LED light bulbs are cost effective ways to reduce energy use

The Energy Saving Trust has more on quick tips for saving energy at home.

We have also teamed up with the HEET project to offer a free energy advice service for eligible residents. You can check if you’re eligible and ask for a visit on the HEET website, or by calling 020 8520 1900.

SHINE pan-London also offers help with energy bills and ways to keep well and warm.

Help if you're struggling to pay your bills

Citizens Advice has a range of useful guides and information including one specifically about getting help with paying energy bills.

The North Enfield Foodbank can provide access to debt advice as well as to a fuel bank.

Housing Benefit overpayments

If you've had a change in income due to COVID-19 and think you may struggle to pay your Housing Benefit overpayment, email revs@enfield.gov.uk. Make the subject line your benefit reference number inside pointed brackets, for example, <XXXXXXXX>.

Let us know if you want us to:

  • stop or reduce the amount being deducted from your earnings
  • stop or reduce the amount being deducted from your Housing Benefit or other benefits
  • stop or amend the amount you have agreed to pay by instalments

Loans or other non-priority debts

If you are struggling to pay loans or other non-priority debts due to COVID-19, contact your lender for help. You can also get advice from organisations such as:

Sundry debts

We will send you an invoice for payment of a fee or charge for a service you have received. For example, housing voids, fines, building control, enforcement, licencing, waste and collection, cemeteries, allotments, room bookings and pitch lettings.

If you've had a change in income due to COVID-19, and think you may struggle to pay your invoice, you can contact the Exchequer Accounts Receivable Team by email at accounts.receivable@enfield.gov.uk, or phone 020 8379 8056.

Healthy Start food vouchers

For more information, visit Healthy Start.

Universal infant free school meals

Children who receive universal infant free school meals may be entitled to a free school meal under this scheme. If you haven't already done so, you should register your child as eligible for free school meals. For more information, ask at your child's school or contact Pupil Benefits on 020 8379 5367 or email freeschoolmeals@enfield.gov.uk.

During school closures, if children are entitled to free school meals you will need to contact the school to confirm what provisions have been put in place.

Extra help

Extra help is available for low income families to support children with complex needs. Further information can be found at GOV.UK.

Help can also be provided for families with seriously ill or disabled children. This includes the cost of equipment, goods or services. For more information visit Family Fund.

If you're working from home, find out if you're eligible for tax relief by visiting GOV.UK.

Funeral Expenses Payment

Make sure you follow the correct process when contacting the DWP Funeral Payments team. If not, they won't receive the claim. This may delay help with funeral costs. You can contact the DWP Funeral Payments team on 0800 169 0140.

Further more information, visit GOV.UK.

Citizens Advice

You can contact Citizens Advice if you need help or advice on any of the following:

  • Claiming Universal Credit
  • You have no recourse to public funds

For more information on access to public funds, visit GOV.UK.