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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Money Advice and Support for Residents

Dedicated Covid-19 Helpline for Powys residents and businesses.
Telephone number 01597 826345  Open 9am - 4pm
Find out about Grants and Reliefs, Benefits and Awards, Managing your Money and Debt Advice, and other help and support.

Don't know what to claim or what you may be entitled to?

There are some tools on our benefits advice page  so you can find out what help is out there.

I'm struggling to pay my rent or mortgage.

Your mortgage company should give you a payment holiday and you should contact them in the first assistance. Further long term help is available through Universal Credit.

Your landlord cannot evict you during this COVD19 period. Also can apply for Housing Benefit which will help you pay your rent.

If you rent privately and you currently get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, the government have announced an increase in the level of rent payable. We will make the change to the rent level automatically, you don't need to apply.

What if I am now sick?

You can get sick pay or Employment Support Allowance (benefit if you can't get sick pay) if you have been affected by COVID-19 to claim from the first day of sickness  

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

As a response to COVID-19, the Statutory Sick Pay rules have been temporarily changed (for a period of eight months) as from 13th March 2020 meaning that people can now claim SSP from the first day where they:

  • have COVID-19; or 
  • are self-isolating; or
  • are staying at home to care for someone in their household who displays COVID-19 symptoms or who has been advised to self-isolate.

How to Claim: People must claim SSP from their employer by notifying them that they are off work sick/have been affected by COVID19. Normally people 'self-certificate' their sickness for the first 7 days.  The Budget announced that a temporary alternative to the Fit Note would be introduced in an attempt to relieve pressure on GP surgeries. The Budget confirmed that new guidance had been issued to employers, advising them to use their discretion and not to require a Fit Note for COVID-19 related absences. 

Note: To qualify for SSP an employee must still have average earnings of £118.00 per week (£120.00 per week) - being affected by COVID-19 is not enough in itself. 

Occupational Sick Pay: Some companies may have their own sick pay scheme meaning that people can get some sick pay in addition to any Statutory Sick Pay. Therefore, anyone affected by COVID-19 should check with their employer / trade union if they are eligible for any company related sick pay.

Employment and Support Allowance

Anyone who does not qualify for SSP (for example because their earnings are below £118.00 per week) or who has exhausted their entitlement to SSP should seek to apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

Those who are self-employed and affected by COVID-19 should seek to claim New Style ESA and/or Universal Credit.  

Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating will be treated as though they have 'limited capability for work' and so may be entitled to New Style ESA.

How to Claim: A claim for New Style ESA may be made on the NSESAF1 claim form which is available from the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance-esa-claim-form

Alternatively, a claim may be made through the Universal Credit Helpline. Telephone: 0800 328 5644. The line is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Normally people have needed a sick note (known formally as a 'Fit Note' and available from a person's GP). However, those who are self-isolating due to COVID-19 should not be required to submit a Fit Note to apply. 

 Note: The contributions conditions for New Style ESA entitlement can be complicated. If someone has not recently worked then it is unlikely that they will qualify. However, if in doubt, the best advice would be to claim and allow the Department for Work and Pensions to check a person's National Insurance contributions record. 

What help is there if I am self-employed and my earnings have stopped or gone down?

UK Government has announced some new support measures for self employed people.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit Changes re COVID19

How to claim:  Universal Credit must normally be applied for online.

If a person is unable to apply online then they should make a telephone claim through the Universal Credit Helpline. Telephone: 0800 328 5644. The line is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.

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