COVID-19 housing and benefits information

Self-employed

If you are self-employed and you have had to self- isolate or had a loss or reduction in income due to coronavirus you may be eligible for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance to help with your income. For further information please visit the government's Universal Credit webpage and New Style Employment and Support Allowance webpage.

You may be eligible to claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme, if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership. To see if you qualify or how much you can claim please find more information on the government website.

If you are unable to pay your Council Tax, you may be eligible for Council Tax Support. Find out if you qualify

If you already receive Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit, please report any changes.

Employed

If you are self-isolating and employed, you will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (£94.25 per week) from day one (rather than day four).

Depending on your income, you may also be entitled to Universal Credit. Please visit the government Universal Credit website for further information. You may also be entitled to Council Tax Support. Find out if you qualify.

If you already receive Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit, please report any changes.

Homeowners

Homeowners may be entitled to a mortgage holiday, including landlords. Please contact your mortgage provider, or if you are in private rented please discuss options with you landlord.

Tenants

We encourage anyone whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 to contact their landlord immediately, whether that be a registered provider such as Saffron or Clarion or a private landlord. We are aware that registered providers are keen to work with their tenants, however they will not know that you are in hardship unless you call them.

Please contact your landlord to discuss. If you have any problems our housing team may be able help call 0808 168 2222.

Council Tax Hardship Fund

We have created a fund to support our residents who are experiencing severe hardship due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The hardship fund is limited and is to support those who need it for a short period only, for example to help with food and daily essentials whilst you wait for you welfare benefit to be awarded or receive any advanced payments. If you or any members of your household (including partners) have any savings, capital, or investments it is unlikely that you will qualify for any hardship payments.

When considering your application we will also be looking at yours and your households circumstances and  if you have taken steps to maximise your income and decrease your outgoings, for example if you could potentially qualify for any welfare benefits or other discretionary payments already available, if you have contacted your landlord, mortgage provider and other debtors for payment holidays etc.

The amount you can receive will be limited and the fund will generally not be able to cover bills such as phones, television subscriptions, sky, virgin, utility bills, credit cards and car loans. It is for essentials for daily living such as food.

Complete the Hardship Fund form

DWP/Job Centre

If you need to claim Universal Credit but have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you will now be able to claim and to access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a Job Centre Plus.

If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day one of sickness, rather than day eight, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate.

Job Centres are now open for vulnerable customers only.  Please call your local job centre with any queries.