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 not currently claiming benefits and you are now unable to work, or your income has dropped, you can apply for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance. To apply or for further information 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

Furlough leave has been continued by the government to provide employers with an option to keep employees on the payroll without them working.

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 here

Following government announcements, we are now able to offer an extra £150 discount for every working age customer in receipt of Council Tax Reduction. This amount will automatically be applied to your account and a revised bill will be issued.
If your bill is less than £150 you will receive a credit up to reduce your bill to £0. For example, if after we have applied Council Tax Reduction your bill is £100 we will apply a credit of £100 resulting in a nil balance and nothing to pay for the 2020/21 financial year.
You do not have to contact us as we will issue these new bills. However, please note there may be a slight delay in doing so due to the high volume of cases we have to resolve.

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.

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.

Grants and Support

There are various grants and support that we can provide to support people with food and fuel costs.  Email OSSAppointments@southglos.gov.uk and someone will contact you to go through an application

Partner Agencies

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.

The Citizens Advice service offers information and advice on a range of issues. They are currently offering their services via the Citizens Advice website or you can phone: 03444 111 444.

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.

Our Financial information and advice pages offer more general guidance on how to get independent financial advice should money worries be affecting your health, information on benefits as well as financial advisers and independent advice.

Health and mental wellbeing

Further information on staying safe, keeping active at home and looking after your mental wellbeing can be found on our Health and Mental Wellbeing web page.

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