Advice and help about benefits and money

Advice and help about benefits and money

In this difficult time, there’s support available immediately for all who need it, we appreciate many of you will find yourself suffering unprecedented financial hardship as a direct result of the ongoing coronavirus.

If you are in employment

Many employees will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they fall ill. Recent changes have been made to make this payable from the first day of illness.

The government has advised people who aren’t entitled to SSP, including those who are self-employed, to claim Universal Credit (UC) or contributory ‘New Style’ Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim other means tested benefits. Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what you can claim.

Landlord and tenants

Read the guidance on how the current situation is effecting eviction procedures and health & safety standards in rented dwellings.

If you are a tenant experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, and are having difficulty paying your rent the government has put in measures ensure you do not face the threat of eviction for at least 3 months:

·       landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least 3 months period. This applies to both private and social renters

·       all new evictions are suspended, and no new possession proceedings will be permitted during the period of national emergency.

·       at the end of this period or the of the national emergency, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances

·       In the meantime, if you are able to pay your rent you should continue to do so

·       If you are not able to pay your rent please let your landlord know so you can work out a plan and so that they can speak to their bank if they need to (banks have put in place measures to support those with mortgage during this period of uncertainty

Energy bills

Any energy customer in financial distress will be supported by their supplier, which could include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary, while disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.

Customers that are unable to top up their pre-payment meter are advised to contact their supplier immediately to discuss how they can be kept on supply.

General support

The Money Advice Service have up to date information and guidance:

·       coronavirus and your money – planning for the financial impacts of the current situation

·       coronavirus: what it means for you – your rights to sick pay, changes to claiming your benefits and what it means for travel

ACAS have up to date advice for employers and employees.

Citizen Advice Bureau has set up a dedicated helpline for universal credit on 0800 1448 444.

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