Your money

Managing your outgoings

  • Help with your mortgage
    Mortgage providers should offer those struggling a three-month 'holiday', allowing customers a temporary break from having to make mortgage payments during this time.
     
  • Help for renters
    If you'll struggle to pay rent, speak to your landlord as soon as possible to let them know your situation and work out a repayment plan. It's also worth checking if you're receiving all the financial help with housing you're entitled to, including benefits such as universal credit.
     
  • Help with Council Tax
     Calculate and claim housing benefit and council tax reduction.
     
  • Prepaid energy
    Energy firms are putting in place new measures to help prepayment customers unable to top up during the pandemic, including posting cards loaded with emergency credit to those who are self-isolating. Ofgem has advice for customers at www.ofgem.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19Scottish Power and Scottish Gas have information for customers too.
     
  • Credit cards
    Most banks and card firms will allow emergency credit limit increases, while some will offer repayment holidays and a few will waive fees for missed payments.
     

Welfare and benefits advice

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

    You might be able to get SSP of £94.25 per week if you have coronavirus or you're following the government guidance to self-isolate. To qualify, you need to be an employee under a contract of employment and earn more than £118 per week. People on a zero hours contract can still get SSP if they meet the conditions. It is possible your employer may also pay you contractual sick pay, but you will need to check the terms of your employment contract. If you have coronavirus symptoms or live with someone who does, you can be paid SSP from the first day you feel ill or begin self-isolating. It will be paid in the same way as your wages. From Friday 20 March onwards, those who have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an "isolation note" by visiting NHS 111 online and completing an online form, rather than visiting a doctor. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
     
  • New-style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

    If you are not entitled to SSP you might be able to claim new-style ESA of £73.10 per week if you have coronavirus or are self-isolating. Entitlement is based on your National Insurance contributions in the previous two tax years. For 2020 the relevant tax years are 2017-18 and 2018-19.

    New-style ESA will be paid from the first day you were sick or self-isolating. Because of coronavirus you will not be required to produce a fit note or an isolation note.

    To apply go to https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
     
  • Universal Credit (UC)

    You might be able to claim UC as well as SSP or, if you are already in receipt of UC, the amount you receive may increase if your earnings reduce. Because of coronavirus you will not be required to produce a fit note or an isolation note.

    For more information, go to our Universal credit page.
     
  • Job retention scheme for employees

    Businesses are being given grants to cover the wages of employees who are currently unable to work because their employers are struggling as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will cover 80% of salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

    If you have already lost your job due to coronavirus it might be worth asking your employer to consider taking you back on and 'furloughing' you so that you can benefit from the scheme. If they are unwilling to do so you can apply for Universal Credit (see above).
     
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme

    The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support you if you are self-employed (includes partnerships) with an income that has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a taxable grant, worth 80% of your profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

    For details of how and when to apply and eligibility, go to the Scottish Government pages.

    Claim a grant through the coronavirus self employment income support scheme
     
  • General advice on claiming benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak

    The Department for Work and Pensions have made a number of changes to accommodate the circumstances claimants are currently facing, including not being required to attend any face to face appointments at job centres and temporary increases in standard allowances. Some have already been mentioned but for full details, go to Scottish Government Coronavirus support.
     

General money help and advice

You can contact the council's Financial Inclusion Team on 01698 332551 or by email Fit@northlan.gov.uk or your local Citizens Advice Bureau www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/

The Money Advice Service have comprehensive information to help you at: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-and-your-money#step-1-do-an-emergency-budget

Money Saving Expert also has information on financial advice and your rights.

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