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Financial support and benefit advice

The Government has announced a range of financial support to help residents during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, in addition to existing benefits and discounts.

Test and trace support payment.

From 28 September you may be eligible for a support payment of £500 if you are required to self-isolate and cannot work from home.

More information on Test and trace support payments

Do you receive help to pay your rent, either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit?

If you rent your home from a private landlord (not Rugby Borough Council or a housing association), the amont of benefit you receive has been based on the Local Housing Allowance, which takes into account the number of bedrooms you and your family need.

The Local Housing Allowance inceases from 1 April 2020, so you may receive extra money to help pay your rent. You'll automatically receive any extra money you're entitled to - there's no need to contact the council or Department for Work and Pensions.

Support for the self-employed

If you're self-employed and have lost income due to the coronavirus, you may be entitled to a grant from HMRC and other financial support.

Visit the Government website for more information about grants and other financial support for the self-employed

Do you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction?

If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction and your earnings have been affected by the coronavirus, contact the council's Community Advice and Support Team by calling (01788) 533433 or emailing benefits@rugby.gov.uk

Do you receive Working Tax Credit?

The basic element used in the calculation of Working Tax Credit was increased by £20 a week from 6 April 2020.

The change means you'll receive more tax credits.

If you receive Housing Benefit, the additional earnings allowance used to calculate the benefit has also increased, meaning the amount of Housing Benefit you receive remains unaffected.

However, you'll shortly receive a letter from the council showing your Housing Benefit has increased. Please be aware, this 'increase' only takes into account the new calculation for Housing Benefit. We have yet to receive details from HMRC regarding new Working Tax Credit entitlements.

Once we have your new Working Tax Credit entitlements, you'll receive a further letter from us showing your new Housing Benefit entitlement. This amount only changes on the date HMRC change your Working Tax Credit, so you'll not have received any overpayment.

You'll automatically receive any extra money you're entitled to - there's no need to contact the council or HMRC.

Do you receive Universal Credit?

If you receive Universal Credit, the amount of money you receive may be based on the National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage for the number of hours you work - a calculation known as the Minimum Income Floor.

From 6 April 2020, the Government introduces a temporary relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor to support claimants during the coronavirus pandemic.

View the Government website for more information about the support on for Universal Credit claimants

Do you work for an employer, work in the gig economy or on a zero hours contract?

If you cannot work due to the coronavirus, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. You can also claim Statutory Sick Pay if you're following Government guidelines and self-isolating due to the coronavirus.

You can currently claim Statutory Sick Pay from day one of your illness, rather than from day four.

View the Government website for more information on claiming Statutory Sick Pay

Do you receive Universal Credit and have self-isolated during the coronavirus outbreak?

If you receive Universal Credit and have been required to self-isolate due to the coronavirus, you need to report your self-isolation by updating your Universal Credit online journal.

If your wages have changed due to self-isolation, you may receive extra payment.

Visit the Government website to update your Universal Credit online journal

Does your child or children normally receive free school meals?

If your child or children has been registered to receive free school meals, you can apply to Warwickshire County Council for support in providing food, regardless of whether your child or children currently attend school.

Visit the Warwickshire County Council website for more information

Do you pay Severn Trent Water for your water supply?

If you have a low disposable income, you could qualify for a discount on your annual water bill under Severn Trent's Big Difference Scheme.

You can apply to the scheme regardless of your age, employment status and whether you're in receipt of benefits.

Apply to join Severn Trent Water's Big Difference Scheme

If you're ineligible for the Big Difference Scheme but still need help to pay your water bill, call Severn Trent on 0345 6022777 or visit the Severn Trent website.

Severn Trent also operates a Priority Services Register for customers who require additional support due to a medical condition or disability. The register allows Severn Trent to prioritise care and support for vulnerable customers during supply interruptions.

Apply to join Severn Trent Water's Priority Services Register

Do you need to claim Pension Credit?

You can now apply for Pension Credit online. Single residents and couples who have reached Statement Retirement Age can qualify.

Visit the Government website for more information

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