Help with Council Tax and Benefits

Council Tax

If you have been financially affected by the Coronavirus and are unable to make your Council Tax payments, please contact our Council Tax team on 01622 602003 or email us where we will try to help you. You should claim Council Tax Support.

Benefits

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

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Contact your local bank or check to see if they have contacted you.  Most banks are offering a payment break of 3 months.

The DWP may be able to provide help with this.

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments 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.

You usually need to be getting, or treated as getting, a qualifying benefit to get SMI.

How to apply?

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When you apply for a qualifying benefit, you’ll be asked extra questions about your housing costs to find out if you’re eligible for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). You might also be sent a form asking for more detailed information.

If you qualify for SMI, you’ll be offered a loan.

If you already get a qualifying benefit contact the office that pays your benefit to find out if you could get an SMI loan.

If you get or have applied for Income Support, income-based JSA or income-related ESA contact Jobcentre Plus on 0800 169 0310.

I am on a zero hours contract and have been laid off, what do I do?

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You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs, apply for this using the link below

Apply online

You will have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but 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 am not earning enough to pay my bills

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You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs; this includes help towards your rent, apply for this using the link below.

Apply 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 will have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but 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 Telephone: 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.

The government has temporarily removed this minimum income floor and will calculate your Universal Credit based on your actual earnings.

I am off sick with corona virus - what are the rules?

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The DWP has made changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need help have access to the benefit system.

Support for employees, benefits claimants and businesses

I have less income this month and cannot pay my rent?

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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 DWP can help with rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit. This can include rent payments.

My landlord is going to evict me because I won’t be able to pay my rent this month?

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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 DWP can help with rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit. This can include rent payments.

If legal action is being taken against you because you owe money, get free support and advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau

If you have been served an eviction warrant, or your home is about to be repossessed, call our homelessness prevention advisers.