How we can support you
The Test and Trace Support Payment has been introduced to help people on a means-tested benefit and a low income, who are advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, but are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result. For more information: Coronavirus Financial support for those self-isolating
Help with rent costs
If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your rent.
There are 2 benefits that support this:
Housing Benefit, which is provided by the Council – for more on how to claim see our Benefits and Council Tax section.
Universal Credit, which is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions – for more on how to claim see our Universal Credit page.
To understand more about which of these 2 benefits is the appropriate one for you, you can use our free Benefits Calculator which will advise you on all the benefits you may be entitled to and how to claim them, this includes people affected by Coronavirus.
If you still need extra financial help with your housing costs you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) – for more on this and how to claim see our Discretionary Housing Payment page.
Help with Council Tax charge
If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax. This is called Council Tax Reduction (CTR) – for more on how to claim see our Benefits and Council Tax section.
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax due to current circumstances and need to talk to us for advice please contact the department to discuss with a member of the team on 01702 215001.
If you do qualify for CTR and are of working age, a further reduction of £150 will be applied to your Council Tax charge for the financial year 2020/2021.This reduction is a standard Government set rate. You do not need to contact the Local Authority, the reduction will be automatically applied when your CTR claim is processed.
If you have any questions please email us.
Housing Benefit overpayment
Please contact the team direct if you are unable to make your normal payment. Please email us with your concerns or queries. If you do not have access to email then please telephone 01702 215241 between 8.45am and 5.00pm.
Essential Living Fund (ELF)
The scheme is designed to ease pressures on people unable to meet short term needs, through the provision of food and fuel funds.
All families, especially those on low incomes, face pressures at various times so that in itself is not a reason to award an ELF grant, the circumstance must be exceptional, beyond pressure than might normally be associated with low income.
More information is available and a link to apply can be found on our Essential Living Fund page.
If you do not have access to the internet, are having difficulties or need advice please telephone 03007900124 between 8.45am and 5.00pm.
Once you have submitted your application you will be contacted by phone to confirm if your application has been successful and details of any award that has been granted.
Tribunal for Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit
Face to face hearings (hearings where the parties are expected to be in attendance at a tribunal hearing centre) will be converted either to a case management hearing, a final hearing by telephone or other electronic means. The hearing will take place (unless advised otherwise) on the day already allocated for the hearing.
Have you been made redundant?
Being made redundant can be a confusing and stressful time especially if you are unsure what to do next. There is a range of help and advice on what you need to do if you are made redundant available on the Business-on-Sea webpage: Redundancy Support