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Financial hardship

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 3821 1966.

Been let go by your employer

You could ask your employer to consider rehiring you and put you on temporary leave (furlough). They can then apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to pay you 80% of your pay up to £2,500 per month.

Your employer has agreed to keep you on and has granted you temporary leave (furlough)

UK workers who are placed on furlough can keep their job and be paid via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Government will pay up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, as long as they were employed on 19 March 2020. This will initially be for three months, to be extended if necessary.

Employers can choose to top up their employee’s salary, but don’t have to. Employers can't claim this help until the end of April 2020.

If you were not employed on 19 March 2020, you can make a claim for Universal Credit. This will compensate for your reduced income if awarded, based on your individual circumstances and income.

For more information, visit TUC.

Self-employed and no longer earning

You may be able to claim a grant through the Coronavirus Income Support Scheme. If eligible you could get a taxable grant which will be 80% of your average profit from the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019. It will be a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months. This will not be available until June 2020.

You can claim Universal Credit while you are waiting to see if you are eligible.

Sick or self-isolating

Talk to your employer to see what you will receive. You may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from day one. If you are you can get £94.25 per week.

More information

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

Council housing tenant

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 rent.council.housing@enfield.gov.uk.

Please note there is a ban on evictions, and additional protection as a result of emergency legislation is being put in place.

Temporary accommodation

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 incomerecoveryteam@enfield.gov.uk.

Please note there is a ban on evictions, and additional protection as a result of emergency legislation is being put in place.

Private rented sector

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 may be covered due to the additional increase in Local Housing Allowances to be applied from April 2020. These benefits will automatically be recalculated, and you will be told if this change affects you.

Please note there is a ban on evictions, and additional protection as a result of emergency legislation is being put in place.

Enfield Council Housing Advisory Service

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

Homeowner

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.

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. 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.

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
  • receive a severe disability premium
  • 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. 

Working Tax Credits (Automatic change)

If you’re receiving Working Tax Credit, or the equivalent in Universal Credit, this will be automatically increased by £20 per week. The increase will be disregarded in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit calculations so will not affect these awards.

Local Housing Allowance (Automatic change)

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. These benefits have been recalculated and notifications have been sent to those affected.

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 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 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:

  • change your instalments from ten months to twelve months
  • pay what you can until the situation changes
  • delay the payment for up to three months
  • suggest another option you’d like us to consider

Working age residents receiving Council Tax Support

The Government has provided funding to allow local authorities to give more help to reduce the amount of Council Tax you're being asked to pay after Council Tax Support has been awarded. They have suggested a one-off payment of £150 (or up to £150 if what you owe is less than this).

We are waiting on clarification of the support we can give you. While we are waiting, please do not pay any Council Tax in April if you're receiving Council Tax Support.

Wait for a new bill to be sent (from the end of April 2020) to see what support you have been given and what your revised payments will be.

A community hub has been set up to help those affected by COVID-19. You can complete the community support request form below if you need help with any of the following:

  • Picking up medicine or a prescription
  • A friendly phone call
  • If you are out of food, a basic food parcel will be delivered to you

If you need help completing the form, call 020 3821 1966.

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.

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:

  • You've been furloughed from work
  • You're self-employed
  • Claiming Universal Credit
  • You have no recourse to public funds

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