COVID-19 has caused many residents immediate 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 financial support 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.
If you are unable to work and have not been furloughed, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Universal Credit (UC) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
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 30 September 2021.
From 16 August 2021, 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:
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:
You will not be eligible for a discretionary payment if you have savings of more than £10,000.
The government has announced that, from 8 March 2021, 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:
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include your reference number in any correspondence.
View the self-isolating payments FAQs (PDF).
The government announced on 3 March 2021 that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) will be extended until 30 September 2021.
This means that employees who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic will receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The employer will cover pension and National Insurance contributions. They will also contribute 10% towards the payments from July and 20% in August and September 2021.
As part of the scheme, anyone who was made redundant after 23 September 2020 can be rehired and put back on furlough.
You can also be furloughed if you:
The self-employed will continue to receive government support under new measures announced by the Chancellor. This has been extended to September 2021 under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) with access to grants widened.
The grant will cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.
For more information about support for those affected by COVID-19, visit GOV.UK.
If you have 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 email@example.com.
If you have 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have 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, more of your rent will be covered due to the additional increase in Local Housing Allowances from April 2020.
If you are homeless, threatened with homelessness, or need advice or accommodation, call 020 3821 1769.
If you have had a change in income due to COVID-19 and think you may struggle to pay your mortgage, you should contact your mortgage provider and apply for a three-month payment holiday.
If you're no longer working and have no income, you may be entitled to the following:
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.
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.
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. All online claims are being verified by phone. Please be aware that this call may come from a private or 0800 number. It is important you answer the call so payments and advances can be made as quickly as possible.
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.
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.
Changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay following the impact of COVID-19. For more information, visit GOV.UK.
If you need help paying rent, you should claim Universal Credit. You can only claim Housing Benefit if you:
For more information and to make a claim, see our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support page.
If you're no longer working or your income or pay has changed, email email@example.com. Make the subject line your benefit reference number inside pointed brackets, for example, <XXXXXXXX>.
Let us know if:
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.
If you're receiving Working Tax Credit you will receive a one-off payment of £500 in April 2021. You do not need to apply for this payment. HMRC will contact you directly. The £20 increase in Universal Credit has also been extended to 30 September 2021. The increases will be disregarded in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit calculations so will not affect these awards.
If you get help to pay rent through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, more of your rent may be covered due to the additional increase in Local Housing Allowances which has been applied from April 2020.
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.
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 have 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the subject line your Council Tax account number inside pointed brackets, for example <XXXXXXXX>.
Let us know if you want to:
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.
If you are currently isolated at home and don't have family or trusted friends you can rely on, please visit our local support page. You will find information on getting necessary items, such as food and medication, and advice on financial hardship.
If you've had a change in income due to COVID-19 and think you may struggle to pay your Housing Benefit overpayment, email email@example.com. Make the subject line your benefit reference number inside pointed brackets, for example, <XXXXXXXX>.
Let us know if you want us to:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 020 8379 8056.
For more information, visit Healthy Start.
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 email@example.com.
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 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.
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.
You can contact Citizens Advice if you need help or advice on any of the following:
For more information on access to public funds, visit GOV.UK.