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How we can support you

We understand you may be feeling worried about what the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means for your income, home and paying your bills. We want to reassure you that our team is here to support you through this and it’s important for you to get in touch with us right away if this is a difficulty for you.

If you have current court action, you will be contacted from the court and your customer income advisor about your case. However, if you want to get in touch, please call your customer income advisor directly.

Our services are delivered by people who care and our customer income advisors are here to offer solutions, advice and support on your rent through this challenging time. If you are struggling to keep up with payments, please speak to us on 0345 065 5656 as soon as possible or email us at 

Could you be entitled to benefits?

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus, you might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits if:

  • You have coronavirus, or you’re following guidance to stay at home
  • You’ve lost your job
  • You’re self-employed and can’t work
  • You can’t work because your workplace has closed.

There have been some changes to the way Department for Work and Pensions operates to make it easier for you to continue receiving payments during this time:

For people already claiming support

  • The Department for Work and Pensions has suspended all face to face jobcentre appointments for three months and benefit payments will continue as normal
  • People who need to claim Statutory Sick Pay, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit are not required to produce a fit for work note.

For people who need to make a new claim for financial support

  • The seven day waiting period for new Employment Support Allowance claims no longer applies and this benefit will be payable from day one
  • People are not required to produce a fit for work note for all new claims.

Other help

Where possible, suppliers are asking customers to use email and online chat where possible, to keep phone lines open for the most vulnerable.

Many people will be getting help from the Government if their place of work has closed due to the pandemic.

Individual councils are asking everyone who can continue to pay their council tax to do so, as this helps pay for many of the services currently in demand such as health and social care.

However, if you are struggling to pay, then we encourage you to contact your council and speak to an advisor. There are ways they can help you, for example:

  • You may be able to reduce the monthly payment by spreading the costs over 12 months, rather than 10
  • You may also be entitled to help under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and hardship fund. So if you are facing financial difficulties, please contact your council directly.

The Government is working with energy suppliers and Citizens Advice to assist customers who use prepayment meters, as well as options for those who could struggle to pay their bills if income reduces.

You should contact your supplier immediately if you are self-isolating or struggling to pay your bill due to the coronavirus outbreak. Take a look here for more information and contact details.

There is also local support available:

Your water provider is here to help their customers who need it. If you’re struggling to pay your bill, speak to them – they can help. They have lots of financial help schemes, from discounts and bill caps to payment breaks. Everyone’s situation is different, so please get in touch with them directly to talk about what they can do to help you.

If you are struggling to feed your family through lack of income or a sudden drop in income due to the coronavirus outbreak, please speak to your customer income advisor who may be able to help.