Coronavirus advice for people with money worries | Coronavirus advice for people with money worries | Sevenoaks District Council

Coronavirus advice for people with money worries

If you are worried about your finances, including paying your rent, mortgage or bills:

  • Firstly, talk to your landlord, preferably before missing a payment.
  • Social landlords will offer help and support to assist their tenants. If you live in a property owned by a housing association, contact them or look on their website for support.
  • If you are on a low income and are not entitled to sick pay, you can make a one-off Universal Credit application for financial help.
  • If you think you are going struggle to make your mortgage payments, contact your mortgage lender before you miss a payment. They can help by offering a three-month payment holiday. It won’t affect your credit rating.
  • If you are struggling to pay your home bills, speak to your suppliers. Depending on your circumstances, they may be offer lower tariffs and assistance.
  • If you have a key meter installed at your home and you cannot get out because you are self-isolating or unwell, contact your supplier. They may be able to add money to your meter that can be repaid at a later date.
     

Help with your rent and living costs

If you're required to stay at home or are infected by Coronavirus and you need urgent financial support, view the benefits you can claim.

If you’re struggling to pay your home bills, speak to your energy suppliers as soon as possible. Depending on your circumstances, they may offer lower tariffs. Many of the larger energy companies will be willing to extend payments for customers affected by Coronavirus and many offer other financial assistance schemes to help you pay your bills.

For advice and help with applications and grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills, visit the Citizen's Advice website or call Citizens Advice free on 0800 144 8444.
 

Extra help with housing costs if you are on Benefits

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can help with your housing costs. To qualify you must be entitled to and receiving either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (that includes a housing element). Apply for a DHP or email benefits@sevenoaks.gov.uk or call 01732 227000.
 

Homeless or threatened with homelessness

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, please contact our Housing Advice Service as soon as possible on 01732 227000 or complete the Help with Homelessness form and we will contact you.

The Government has announced that private and social landlords will not be able to evict tenants who are financially disadvantaged due to the Coronavirus outbreak and have brought in measures to protect renters and landlords.
 

Help with your Council Tax

You may be eligible for help with your Council Tax. To discuss your situation, including deferring the April and May instalments for two months (for residents who pay in 10 monthly instalments), call us on 01732 227000.

 

HERO advice service

Our HERO (Housing, Energy, Retraining and Options) team offer personalised advice and guidance on a range of issues such as housing problems, help with money worries (including if you are struggling to pay bills, rent or mortgage), support to claim the right benefits and supporting you into employment.

 

Free school meals

If you are a family on a low-income with children who are eligible for free school meals, local schools can offer vouchers, food or meals to make sure you continue receiving this support, even if your children are no longer attending school due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Contact your local school for further information.

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