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Financial Support for Households

Where to get help if you can't pay your mortgage, rent or council tax, or you have no money for food or bills as your finances have been impacted by coronavirus.

Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Online

IMPORTANT: If you have made a claim for Universal Credit you do not need to make a claim for Council Tax Support. Universal Credit will send your application to us.

You can only claim Housing Benefit if:

  • You and your partner are pension aged, or
  • You are working age and living in Temporary Accommodation provided under the Homeless Persons Act
  • You are working age and living in Supported Accommodation
  • You are entitled to the Severe Disability Premium

If you do not fall into one of the categories above you must claim Universal Credit for help with your rent:

Apply for Universal Credit Online

Do I still have to pay my council tax?

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many of our residents and that the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on the economy.

Please note: your council tax pays for our essential services that are delivered to all residents in the East Riding of Yorkshire, so it is really important that if your financial circumstances have not changed that you continue to pay what you should and maintain your direct debit payments or payment plan, as detailed on your bill.

If you are struggling to pay your council tax, there is support available and the council can help if you have been affected.

You should:

  1. make sure that you have claimed all of the benefits that you are entitled to. For working-age families, this is Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and council tax support from the council. For any other benefits, use our entitlement checker
  2. get in touch with us. We would encourage anyone who is struggling, to contact us at council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk so that we can ensure that you are getting all of the support that you are entitled to. Please ensure you quote your Council Tax account number, and address in any email you send to us.

Given the demands on our contact centre, we would request that all contact is via email to council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk. We will come back to you as quickly as we can. 

I can't pay my mortgage, what do I do?

In the first instance, you need to talk to your mortgage provider to see what they can do to help. A number of providers are helping their customers directly with their mortgage payments. 

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments, from the Department for Work and Pensions on:

  •  your mortgage 
  • loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home. 

This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). It’s paid as a loan, which you’ll need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home. Find out more:

Support for Mortgage Interest (external website)

I am on a zero hours contract and have been laid off. Can I get any help?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

You can apply for Universal Credit online

You must apply as a couple if you and your partner live together (you do not need to be married).

You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

I am self-employed and not earning enough to pay my bills. What do I do?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP); this includes help towards your rent.

You can apply for Universal Credit online

You should claim for help with support with your council tax from the council as you may be entitled to Council Tax Support.

For Universal Credit, you must apply as a couple if you and your partner live together (you do not need to be married). You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

Universal Credit helpline: 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

The government has temporarily removed the Minimum Income Floor. If you are self-employed and have low income levels your Universal Credit payment may be calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called a Minimum Income Floor. 

It’s based on what an employed person on minimum wage would expect to earn in similar circumstances. If you earn more than this, then your Universal Credit amount is based on your actual earnings.

Self employed income scheme

On 26 March the government announced the “Self Employed Income Support scheme” to help self employed people who have lost income due to Coronavirus.

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

HMRC will contact you directly  if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

You do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

It is anticipated payments will start in June 2020.

For more detailed information regarding the scheme and eligibility criteria, visit: 

HMRC Self Employed Income Scheme

I am off sick with coronavirus. What are the rules?

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by this public health emergency, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is making a number of changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system.

Support for employees, benefits claimants and businesses

To keep up-to-date with the latest information please visit the government's website:

GOV.UK - Coronavirus support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses (external website)

I have no money for food, is there any help available?

If you are in crisis because your regular income has been interrupted you may be able to apply to our emergency assistance scheme.

I have less income this month and cannot pay my rent, how can I get help?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can help with rent costs for working-age residents and you should claim Universal Credit. This can include rent payments. Pensionable age residents can claim housing benefit.

You can apply for Universal Credit online

You can apply for housing benefit online

The Universal Credit money I get for rent does not cover the full amount of rent I have to pay, what can I do?

Discretionary payments can help if you are struggling to pay your rent. You must live in the East Riding of Yorkshire council area to apply for them.

To get a discretionary payment towards your rent you must either be:

  • entitled to some Housing Benefit from us; or
  • getting Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs.

 

There is no right for anyone to a discretionary payment. We will look at your case to decide if you need extra support.

Find out more about discretionary payments.

What can I do if my landlord says I will be evicted because I won’t be able to pay my rent this month?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can help with rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit. This can include rent payments.

You can apply for Universal Credit online

If legal action is being taken against you because you owe money find out about organisations that can provide financial advice.

If you have been served an eviction warrant, or your home is about to be repossessed you can find out how to get help from our homelessness officers.

You may also wish to contact Citizens Advice who can offer free independent legal advice:

Citizens advice (external website)

Discretionary payments

Discretionary payments can help if you are struggling to pay your rent. You must live in the East Riding of Yorkshire council area to apply for them.

To get a discretionary payment towards your rent you must either:

  • be entitled to some Housing Benefit from us; or
  • be getting Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs. 

There is no right for anyone to a discretionary payment. We will look at your case to decide if you need extra support.

Find out more about discretionary payments.

Can I get any financial help to pay my council tax?

It is important that you keep in touch with the council tax service and let us know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount. If you have any questions you can contact us at council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk 

If you need help to pay your council tax, whatever your age and circumstances, you should claim council tax support.

Claim council tax support as part of a new Universal Credit claim

If you are making a new claim for Universal Credit, you can claim council tax support at the same time. You must indicate on your Universal Credit that you pay council tax - if you do not, the council will not automatically receive your council tax support claim.

If your Universal Credit claim is refused you will then have to make a separate claim for council tax support.

Claim council tax support separately

If you are not making a claim for Universal Credit, then you must make a separate claim for council tax support. You can claim council tax support online.

Council Tax Hardship fund

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Government have provided Local Authorities in England with new Council Tax Hardship funding to support economically vulnerable people and their households. 

This fund will be used to reduce council tax bills in the 2020/21 financial year by up to £150 for working age council tax payers who are in receipt of council tax support. 

The reduction of up to £150 is a one off reduction to your council tax bill for 2020/21, and will be applied directly to your council tax account.  If your previous bill was £150 or more, then the full £150 reduction should have been applied; if your bill was less than £150, then your bill should be reduced to zero.

The additional reduction of up to £150 can only be given once, you will not receive a further reduction should you change address in the East Riding area during 2020/21 or between Local Authority areas. 

Where this reduction leaves a Council Tax account in credit due to payments already made, a refund will be provided. 

Further information can be found at Gov.uk (External Website)

Revised council tax bills are being issued from 12 May 2020, however, you can view your council tax account 24/7 online using our online service:

View my council tax account online

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