Financial support for residents
There are a range of financial support options for anyone who has to self-isolate or whose income has dropped as a result of the impacts of coronavirus.
Test and Trace self-isolation support payment
If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and you are on a low income, you may be eligible for a £500 payment. Find out more and apply.
Already receiving benefits and your income has stopped or dropped
If you are on benefits already, it is really important that you tell both us and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about any changes to your income so that we can adjust the amount you are entitled to. You can do this by filling in our change in circumstances form. You can tell DWP about a change to your circumstances, visit the GOV.UK website for the Benefits: report a change in your circumstances guidance.
Accessing benefits for the first time
If you are struggling financially and not on benefits already, you may be eligible to apply for the following:
New to Universal Credit
If you are not claiming benefits at the moment and you are now unable to work or your income has dropped, as long as you fit the criteria, you can apply for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) manages this so you will need to apply, visit the Universal Credit website or visit GOV.UK for the how to claim Universal Credit: step by step guidance. You do not need to go to the job centre, and you can receive advance payments from DWP.
Furlough leave has been continued by the government to provide employers with an option to keep employees on the payroll without them working. Businesses can claim a percentage of their employees’ wages from the government. The company can top up this pay if it chooses. It must write to affected employees to let them know they have been furloughed.
For more information visit GOV.UK: Coronavirus Work and financial support.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
Support is also available for those customers that are self-employed known as Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), find out if you are eligible and apply at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension
Council tax support
We want to support people who are struggling to pay their council tax during the coronavirus pandemic and there are a couple of options available to you:
Council Tax Reduction: Council Tax Reduction provides support for people on a low income. You can apply for a Council Tax Reduction on our website.
Spreading your instalments out: you can spread instalments over 12 months rather than 10 or if you are unable to make your April payment and would like us to amend your instalments to run from May to March, email us at CorporateContactCentre@southglos.gov.uk using the subject title: Council Tax instalment amendments and include your name, address and billing number in the body of the email.
Housing benefit is a means tested benefit designed to help people on a low income to pay their rent. Find out if you are eligible and apply
Welfare Grant Scheme
This scheme can help with basic essentials in the event of a crisis or emergency. Visit our welfare grant scheme page for more information.
Our partner agencies can provide further help and support if you are struggling with your finances. Details can be found on our advice agencies and Welfare Advice Partnership page.
If you are in severe financial hardship and need an emergency payment to pay utility bills or buy food you can apply for help through our local Welfare Grant Scheme.
Support with concerns about your home
If you are struggling to pay your rent, you can apply for Universal Credit. If you are already receiving Universal Credit or Housing Benefit you can apply to the council for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
If you’re a homeowner, you should call your mortgage provider to explain your change in circumstances they may be able to pause mortgage payments for up to three months
Advice available for landlords and tenants
The government has produced the following guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sectors on measures relating to repossessions, property access and health and safety obligations during the Covid-19 outbreak. Visit GOV.UK: Guidance Covid-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities.
Where else can I go for assistance?
There are a number of other routes available for assistance outside of the council. These can be found on our Alternative sources of assistance leaflet.