Information and advice

All details were correct at the time of going to press.
*Information last updated: Friday May 22nd, 1.15pm*

We would like to reassure you that we are working hard to keep you up to date with the latest information regarding what the Coronavirus outbreak means for you.

Scroll down for how to get advice and information from us. You’ll also find answers to some commonly asked questions.

Please note that all information below is correct at time of going to press, but information and guidance is changing rapidly. Please keep an eye on our social media pages for the most up to date information:
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How do I reach Citizens Advice services in West Sussex?

For services in the Arun and Chichester area, please click here.

All of our advice locations are closed for face-to-face advice due to the outbreak.
However, you can still get information and advice from us without leaving your home.

You can connect to a BSL Interpreter by clicking on the SignVideo link on our Contact Us page.
For all the latest Coronavirus information and guidance in British Sign Language, please visit the Signhealth website.

Please click here to read a message from our CEO, Emma Cross, on Coronavirus and how we are supporting local people.

Commonly asked questions:

Please note: information and guidance on Coronavirus is changing rapidly. All information is correct at the time of going to press.

Please click on the sections below to access the information. 

Local support and help if you're at risk or vulnerable

I have a health condition which makes me extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus. I know I need to stay at home, but how do I get supplies? Is there any extra support for me?
You can register for the government’s ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ service if:
– you have a medical condition which means you’re classed as being clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus
– you’ve been told by your GP or hospital clinician that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable and need to ‘shield’.
Click here to find out more and to register.

You can also register for local support via the Community Hubs, as below.

 

Someone I know needs extra support: they don’t have a computer or phone, they have a mental health condition and they’re isolated. What can I do to help?
Local councils in West Sussex have set up Community Hubs to give extra help to people who may be vulnerable, with things like food, medicine, emotional and mental health support, and more.
Please click here for further information.

You can report yourself or another person as vulnerable via the pages below, for localised support.
Please note: eligibility criteria may vary.

Adur and Worthing Councils: please click here
Crawley Borough Council: please click here
Horsham District Council: please click here
Mid Sussex District Council: please click here
West Sussex County Council: please click here

 

I’m disabled and I’m worried about how I’ll get supplies – is there any help for me?
Check the above questions for information on the vulnerable person’s register and the local Community Hubs, for the extra support available locally. If you have friends, family or trusted neighbours you could ask them for support with shopping, etc. A number of supermarkets are setting aside specific opening times for older or vulnerable people and carers to shop away from the general public. Many local communities are setting up support schemes to help people with shopping etc. Many foodbanks are arranging delivery of emergency parcels. Click here for information on local foodbank services.

 

I can’t get food for myself or my family – what should I do?
In many cases we will be able to refer you for a foodbank voucher, and we can point you towards local services and community groups. Please click here for further information on local services in West Sussex. 
 
 
 
 
 

I can’t go out as I’m shielded or isolating – how do I get cash?
The Post Office Ask-a-friend scheme may help you to get cash if you’re shielded or isolating.
**Please be sure to only ask friends and volunteers who are completely trusted**
You can read more information on the scheme here.

 

How do I apply for or renew my Blue Badge?
In normal circumstances, you can apply or renew your Blue Badge by post or online. However, due to the current Coronavirus crisis, wherever possible, West Sussex County Council is asking to apply online: “Due to the current situation with COVID-19, wherever possible, apply for your Blue Badge online and not by paper/post. It will be extremely difficult for our staff to process paper applications or information sent by post”.

Please click here to read more information on the West Sussex County Council website.

Please click here to apply for or renew your Blue Badge. 

 

 

I want to use the internet/my smartphone more to stay in touch with people, but I’m not confident. How do I learn?
West Sussex Libraries have great online resources for learning how to use technology (smartphones, laptops, etc.) from home. It is a way of getting digital support remotely from the library!

Click here to access more information on the West Sussex Libraries website. 

Benefits

My income has dropped due to the Coronavirus outbreak; I’ve been made redundant or dismissed, but I can still look for work. What benefits could I apply for?
If you are no longer employed but you are able to work, you may want to consider claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (previously known as Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance):
This is a benefit payable to people who are actively seeking work and who may not qualify for means tested benefits such as Universal Credit For example, you may have more than £16,000 in capital or savings, or your partner may still be working and your income is too high to qualify for Universal Credit.
To qualify for New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will need to meet the two tests that are applied:

  • You must have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions for at least 26 weeks, in the previous two tax years from your claim date.
  • You must have been credited with Class 1 National Insurance contributions for 50 weeks at the lower earnings limit for the previous two tax years. For 2019/20 the lower earnings limit was £118 per week.

This benefit is paid at a flat rate for 6 months.
To claim, please click here, or call 0800 055 6688.
If you are confused and you’d like more information, please contact us.

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance:
This benefit (for people seeking work) has been replaced with Universal Credit for most people.
Click here for more information on the different types of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Universal Credit:
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit paid to people of working age, who are on a low income.  It does not depend on your National Insurance record, and is not taxable.  You can claim if:

  • You are looking for work
  • You are unable to work due to sickness or disability
  • You are a lone parent
  • You are caring for someone
  • You are working and your income is low.

To qualify for Universal Credit, there are some criteria you would need to meet. For example you must have under £16,000 in savings and not be subject to Immigration Control.
There are other qualifying criteria: please click here for the full list.

If you are already in receipt of other benefits, including Tax Credits or Housing Benefit, it is important that you check eligibility to see if you would be better off, remaining on those. Your existing benefits may stop if you receive Universal Credit, and you may receive less income.

Universal Credit is calculated according to your personal circumstances, and is made up of various elements that may or may not apply to you. For example, if you have a mortgage, the Housing element will not apply. However it may apply if you are renting.
For further information or advice, please contact us.
You can also use a benefit calculator.

You may have heard about long wait times for phoning to claim Universal Credit. Now you only need to phone if:
  • you can’t use digital services at all
  • you have a question about your claim and cannot access your online claim
The UC team will phone you if you can’t verify your ID or they need more info: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim
If you need help, call Citizens Advice’s Help to Claim team: 0800 144 8 444
 
 

 

 

 

I receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). I am waiting for an assessment. Will I still have to go?
Face-to-face assessments for PIP and ESA have been suspended for 3 months. The assessments will go ahead based on the information that has been sent in. The Assessors may also carry out telephone interviews if they think it necessary. The DWP says they will contact everyone who has an appointment, to tell them about these arrangements.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-to-face-health-assessments-for-benefits-suspended-amid-coronavirus-outbreak

 

I have never applied for benefits before, are there any tips?
Most benefit claims are straight forward. Many benefits require you to apply online, so if you struggle with the internet it may be helpful if you get support from someone you know and trust. Some benefits are claimed over the phone. Try to get together all of the information you think you might need and follow the guidance. There are instructions on how to apply for different benefits.
You will also find details of phone numbers if you need to make a telephone claim: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Beginner-s-Guide-to-Benefits/Claiming-benefits

 

Should I still go to the Jobcentre?
Jobcentres are only open for urgent enquiries, for people who are homeless and people who cannot access digital channels. Here is how to contact your local Jobcentre: https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

 

I am a European National and might lose my job because of coronavirus. What are my rights?
As a European National, you have the same protection in your job as any other employee or worker. If you are laid off, the same employment practice should be followed as for other workers.

If you have a right to reside and have been in the UK for more than 3 months, you should be entitled to claim benefits and get help with housing if necessary. https://www.gov.uk/right-to-reside

If you have been in the UK for 5 years you should consider applying for Settled Status. This will reinforce your rights in the UK. https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status

 

My job isn’t secure due to Coronavirus. However I don’t think I qualify for benefits or the furlough scheme, due to my immigration status; I have no recourse to public funds. What can I do?
Furlough pay is not deemed as public funds for this purpose, so you can still receive it even if you have no recourse to public funds. Other payments NOT deemed as public funds are:

  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Educational grants
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • All contribution-based benefits

Click here for further information, and please get in touch with us so we can help you to understand what you’re eligible for.

 

I don’t know how I will pay my Council Tax now that my income has dropped. What can I do?
If you are on a low income and you have limited savings, you can apply for Council Tax Support at your local Council. You may also  qualify for a discount, for example:

  • if you are the only adult
  • if there is an adult who is severely disabled living with you
  • if you are a carer

Remember that each area may have different rules so please check with your local Council benefits office or local Citizens Advice. 
Take a look at our short video for information on the schemes available, and how to get in touch with us.

Consumer

We’ve added some frequently asked questions below, and you can also contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service.

Citizens Advice consumer helpline0808 223 1133
Textphone
: 18001 0808 223 1133
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Lines are closed on bank holidays.
An adviser will answer your call as soon as possible, usually within a few minutes. Once you’re speaking to an adviser your call should take an average of 8 to 10 minutes.
Calls from mobiles and landlines are free.
Web chat: chat to the Consumer team online – click here.

 

I have a holiday booked, will I get my money back if I don’t go?
This will depend. Talk to your travel company or travel insurance company. They should advise you on your rights and what to do next. Be mindful that they are likely to be very busy at present and be unable to respond to phone calls quickly. Do read any terms and conditions that came with your booking and do check the company’s website, as they should provide information there. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/#h-if-you-re-planning-on-travelling-abroad

 

I’ve seen lots of ads for Coronavirus-related products, like testing kits. How do I know if they’re for real products?
It’s important you’re aware of the many new scams around at the moment because of coronavirus. Scams to look out for include:

  • advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices
  • emails or texts pretending to be from the government
  • emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
  • people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity.

If you see emails or texts about coronavirus from someone you don’t know, or from an unusual email address, don’t click on any links or buy anything.
Don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust – for example someone who knocks on the door and offers to help.
Contact the Citizens Advice Scams Action service, or use our online checker – click here.

 

I want to get a cat or dog for my family but I’ve heard there are scammers operating – how do I check?
Trading Standards have released this article about pet scams.
The RSPCA has warned that getting an animal from an adoption centre or a reputable breeder is unlikely during lockdown, and travelling to collect an animal is not considered essential travel. Many fake ads have been circulating for buying pets, and also for getting vaccinations and other add-ons. If you’re worried, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2050 or use the online form reporting tool.

Debt and money

I’m worried I’ll struggle to pay my bills. What can I do?
There are things you can do if you’re struggling to pay things like your rent, mortgage or energy bills because of Coronavirus. It’s important you don’t ignore your bills. Speak to the organisation you owe money to – they might be able to help by letting you pay smaller amounts or take a break. It’s also worth checking with your bank or building society – they might be able to help you with your debts or let you delay loan or credit card repayments. Don’t forget you may be eligible to claim for benefits.

If you already receive benefits, you might be able to get more money if your income is reduced – click here for more information.

Be careful to avoid scams. Don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust – for example, if someone knocks on your door and offers to help.

Various measures have been put in place to help you – for information on the different sorts of bills you may be asked to pay, please click below for more information:

Paying your mortgage
Watch our short video clip on what to do if you’re worried about paying your mortgage – click here.
Paying your rent
Paying your energy bills – including prepayment meters
Paying your water bill

What about my broadband and mobile package?
The UK’s major internet service and mobile providers have agreed to remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services.

All providers have agreed to offer some new, generous mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported. For example, some of these packages include data boosts at low prices and free calls from their landline or mobile.

All providers will ensure that vulnerable customers or those self-isolating receive alternative methods of communication wherever possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out.

Talk to your provider to find out what is available, and for more information click here.

I’m struggling to pay my TV Licence, is there anything I can do?
The TV Licence call centre is currently closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. If during this time you are struggling to pay for your TV Licence, you can stop your direct debits or payments. You will have to pay missed payments once the centre is re-open.

You can read more information on how to manage your payment here.

 

What things can I do right now to manage my money better?
There are a number of ways that you can plan ahead to save money during this time. Have a look at the Money Advice Service website to see what you can do right now.

You can read the guidance here.

 

I don’t know how I will pay my Council Tax now that my income has dropped. What can I do?
If you are on a low income and you have limited savings, you can apply for Council Tax Support at your local Council. You may also  qualify for a discount, for example:

  • if you are the only adult
  • if there is an adult who is severely disabled living with you
  • if you are a carer

Remember that each area may have different rules so please check with your local Council benefits office or local Citizens Advice. 
Take a look at our short video for information on the schemes available, and how to get in touch with us.

 

Can bailiffs still enforce the debt collection?
The Civil Enforcement Association has suspended all enforcement activity. This means that bailiffs cannot enforce debt collection during the coronavirus crisis. You may still receive letters relating to your debt.

You can read advice on how to deal with bailiffs on the Citizens Advice website.

You can read the announcement here.

 

I have a personal loan*, credit card, store card or catalogue credit and I am struggling to make the monthly payments.
New measures have been introduced by the FCA to help you through the next 3 months if you are facing short term cash flow problems due to coronavirus.  The major banks and Building Societies will implement these changes from 14th April, it’s probably best to apply online as it will be difficult to get through to call centres.

The measures include:

  • a temporary payment freeze on loans and credit cards for up to three months, for consumers negatively impacted by coronavirus
  • allow customers who are negatively impacted by coronavirus and who already have an arranged overdraft on their main personal current account, up to £500 charged at zero interest for three months
  • make sure that all overdraft customers are no worse off on price when compared to the prices they were charged before the recent overdraft pricing changes came into force
  • ensure consumers using any of these temporary payment freeze measures will not have their credit file affected

You should think carefully before making use of these measures. If you can still afford to make the payments, you should continue to do so.

Read more on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.

* Personal loans include guarantor loans, logbook loans and home collected credit such as Morses Club or Provident.

If you have longer-term financial problems lenders are required by the FCA rules to help you if you’re having financial difficulties. For example, if you’re having difficulties making your loan payments, firms should consider suspending, reducing, waiving or cancelling any further interest or charges, deferring payment of arrears or accepting token payments for a reasonable period of time. Contact your lender and ask for the option that is most appropriate for your circumstances.

If you need help writing letters to your creditors, click here to access useful letter templates on the Citizens Advice website.

 

I’m finding it difficult to pay my tax bill, is there any help for me?
You may be able to delay some of your payment without paying a penalty. Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) coronavirus helpline as soon as possible.

HMRC Coronavirus helpline
Telephone: 0800 0159 559
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Calls to this number are free.
You can find more information here.

Domestic violence and abuse

I am feeling threatened by someone I live with – what can I do?

**If you are in immediate danger you should call 999 – and press 55 on a mobile if you are unable to talk**
Click here for more information on the Silent Solution system. 

 

If you’re a victim of domestic violence or abuse, there are organisations which can help you. You can find how to access some of them below.

 

WORTH Domestic Abuse Service:
They support people in West Sussex experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse.
Telephone: 0330 222 8181
(Monday to Friday, 9am- 5pm)
Telephone: 07834 968539
(weekends, including Bank Holidays, 9am – 5pm)
Email: DomesticAbuseServicesCentral@westsussex.gov.uk

 

Organisations for women

National Domestic Abuse helpline
They can advice, support women and refer them to emergency accommodation.
Telephone: 0808 200 0247
Online submission form: www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/Contact-us
Website: www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors (FLOWS)

FLOWS gives legal advice and they can help to complete non-molestation orders or occupation order.
Helpline: 0203 745 7707
Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm
Email: FLOWS@rcjadvice.org.uk

Please click here for more information.

 

Women’s Aid

Their website provides a wide range of resources to help women and young people victims of domestic violence.

You can access The Survivor’s Handbook here.

A partnership between train companies and Women’s Aid will offer free travel to those fleeing domestic abuse during the Coronavirus lockdown.
*The scheme is also available for men who have received a place in one of the 22 members of Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE) that provide refuge accommodation for men.*
Click here to read more information. 

 

Rights of Women

Rights of Women offers confidential legal advice on domestic and sexual violence. They produce free information sheets which can be downloaded from their website – www.rightsofwomen.org.uk.

 

 

Organisations for men

Respect – Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line offer advice to all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. They provide emotional support and practical advice.

Helpline: 0808 801 0327
Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 8pm
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am to 5pm
Email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk
Website: www.mensadviceline.org.uk

ManKind Initiative

The ManKind Initiative is a charity offering information and support to men who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. This can include information and support on reporting incidents, police procedures, housing, benefits and injunctions. They can refer you to a refuge, local authority or other another support service if you need it.

Telephone: 01823 334 244
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
Email: admin@mankind.org.uk
Website: new.mankind.org.uk

 

Organisations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline

Galop provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.

Helpline: 0800 999 5428
Monday to Tuesday, 10am to 5pm
Wednesday to Thursday, 10am to 8pm
Friday, 10am to 5pm
Tuesday 1pm to 5pm is a trans specific service

 

You can find more information and useful resources in the Citizens Advice website. Please click here.

Employment

Our FAQs below contain useful information on employment issues relating to Coronavirus. You can also visit the ACAS website for up to date information on all things employment-related.

What help can I get if I have to self-isolate and I can’t work?
Employees and workers must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate because:

  • they have Coronavirus
  • they have Coronavirus symptoms, for example, high temperature or new continuous cough
  • someone in their household has Coronavirus symptoms
  • they’ve been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111

If someone has symptoms, everyone in their household must self-isolate for 14 days. Those who live alone must self-isolate for 7 days. Employers might offer more than SSP – ‘contractual’ sick pay. If an employee or worker cannot work, they should tell their employer:

  • as soon as possible
  • the reason
  • how long they’re likely to be off for

You can now request an isolation note online, if you’re off work for more than 7 days due to Coronavirus.
See the guidance on the ACAS website for further updates.

 

My boss says they cannot pay me because of Coronavirus, is that allowed?
It will depend on your circumstances but if your employer cannot give you pay, you may be able to get help from benefits. If you are unable to work because you are ill you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Click here for more information.

 

I’m self-employed, and my work’s been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. What help is there for me?
You can apply for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. This is worth 80% of profits paid up to £2.5k per month – over 3 months with a possible extension. If you’re eligible, HMRC will contact you to apply by mid-May 2020, and will make payments by early June 2020. The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.
**Please note, you’ll need to have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for 2018-19 by 23 April 2020.**
For full eligibility criteria and further information on claiming, please click here.

 

I’m self-employed and will apply for the self-employed support scheme, but what if I have no income until the self-employed grants are paid?
You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant. You should record the grant as part of your self-employment income, and it may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. This will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.
If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

 

Can my employer ask me to take unpaid leave or a sabbatical?
The first advice is that you should check your contract to see if these or layoffs are included. If not they should enquire in writing if the alternative would be redundancy. It is unlikely any employer could insist on unpaid leave or a sabbatical without a fundamental (repudiatory) breach of the employment contract. If this is imposed on a client without their agreement, the case should be referred to a specialist.

 

I have been advised by the NHS and government to shield for 12 weeks as I am in the high risk category but my employer has advised me this will be unpaid. I have enquired about being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but the company aren’t being supportive with this request. What can I do?
First check the NHS classification of extremely vulnerable in the guidance on gov.uk here.

Also look at the information on the Citizens Advice website.  “Your employer can furlough you and pay you through the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. They can do this even if the business isn’t shutting down”. You need to first check you were on your employer’s payroll on 19 March 2020. You can find more information on the Furlough scheme here. 

ACAS has a good section on isolation and sick pay. This has helpful information on how to prove that you are vulnerable to your employer. Please click here to access the information.

Gov.uk has helpful information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: “Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, but can be furloughed after this. Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough”.

If you need additional money whilst you are waiting for payment you may want to use our benefits calculator to check if you’re eligible to claim any benefits, or contact us to talk to an adviser.

 

I’ve been asked to go on Furlough leave – what are my rights?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now been extended until October 2020.
If your employer wishes you to go on Furlough leave, they must first write and get your permission. This could also be applicable if you are employed by an agency, or on flexible working or a zero hours contract.

The furlough should not begin while you are sick or self-isolating. It only commences when you are returning to work. You can refuse. But they could decide instead to dismiss you with notice pay if under 2 years’ service or make you redundant. Ensure the furlough is agreed in writing and also for a defined period of time as this is in effect a temporary change to your employment contract.

You should not be instructed to do any work for the employer whilst on this leave except for training. The employer might also state they will change your contract on your return to work from contractual hours to zero hours. If you are not happy to accept this change, we would advise you to immediately write back to the employer. You should state you have not accepted this proposed change to your contract of employment when the furlough ends.

Employment tribunals
Hopefully any problems with an employer can be resolved through negotiation and discussion. There are times however where you may want to take further action. An Employment Tribunal claim can only  begin after making an application to ACAS for early conciliation.
Tribunal hearings are currently suspended with many hearings being converted to a case management hearing by phone on the same day as the original hearing. Please note the strict time limits  of 3 months less 1 day are in still place for initiating a Tribunal claim.

 

I’m on a Zero Hours Contract – am I entitled to sick pay?
If you have a Zero Hours employment contract, you are entitled to sick pay if you earn above £118 per week, averaged over the last 8 weeks. To receive this you will normally need to have a regular pattern of work. e.g. from a rota or sign in sheets. Other Statutory Sick Pay requirements are similar to those for contracted hours employees.

Family

My child’s school has closed, does my employer have to give me time off?
In most cases, you will be entitled to take time off to look after your children. This may be unpaid unless your employer makes a separate arrangement. https://www.gov.uk/parental-leave/entitlement  

 

Do I need to pay nursery fees if the nursery is closed?
To know whether you still have to pay the nursery even if is closed, check the T&Cs in your contract; you may find variations between nurseries’ policies.

Housing

I rent my home but my wages have stopped, is there help for me? 
It will depend upon your circumstances but if there is not enough money coming into the household to pay the rent, you may be able to claim Universal Credit and get help with your housing costs. https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim
You may also be able to get help with your Council Tax bills. Contact your local council to get details of the support they offer.

 

Could I get evicted if I can’t pay my rent?

All eviction notices have temporarily been extended to three months for some types of tenancies:

  • assured, assured shorthold and starter tenancies – you’re likely to have this if you rent from a private landlord or housing association
  • secure, introductory and flexible tenancies –  you’re likely to have this if you rent from the local council
  • protected tenancy – you’re likely to have this if you started renting from a private landlord before 15 January 1989
  • demoted tenancy – you may have this if you rent from your local council or from a housing association

If you’re a lodger in your landlord’s home the rules are different – click here for information.

 

I rent my home and I need to get some repairs done – what do I do during lockdown?
The government has said that landlords are responsible for keeping people’s homes safe, and carry out urgent repairs. For full details please click here.

 

I’m worried I can’t pay my mortgage due to Coronavirus – is there any help for me?
If you ask your mortgage provider, they might agree to pause your mortgage payments for 3 months. This is called a ‘payment holiday’. Click here for more information.

**On Friday May 22nd it was announced that mortgage payment ‘holidays’ will be extended for three months.** However if you can afford to pay your mortgage, you’re urged to continue making payments.

Be aware that after your payment holiday you’ll still need to make up the payments you missed, plus interest added during the ‘holiday’ period. This means you’ll have to either:

  • pay more each month

  • keep making payments for longer

You can check if you should ask for a payment holiday and what else you can do if you can’t pay your bills.

 

I don’t know how I will pay my Council Tax now that my income has dropped. What can I do?
If you are on a low income and you have limited savings, you can apply for Council Tax Support at your local Council. You may also  qualify for a discount, for example:

  • if you are the only adult
  • if there is an adult who is severely disabled living with you
  • if you are a carer

Remember that each area may have different rules so please check with your local Council benefits office or local Citizens Advice. 
Take a look at our short video for information on the schemes available, and how to get in touch with us.

Self help information from Citizens Advice

You can also visit Citizens Advice’s Coronavirus page for all the latest information, including:

  • What to do if you’re claiming benefits or asked to go to a medical assessment
  • If you’re off sick from work or told to stay home due to Coronavirus
  • Your rights to sick pay, including statutory sick pay
  • If you are self-employed
  • Taking time off work to look after a dependant
  • Travel: claiming compensation for a cancelled holiday or flight, claiming travel insurance
  • Coronavirus scams: what to look out for
  • And more.

You can also find vital information on consumer and employee rights here.
For information on support for employers, employees and businesses, visit the gov.uk website.

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