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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

This is affecting us all at work and at home. We’re working hard to keep services running and will focus our efforts on the most critical elements. In doing so disruption to many services is likely.

Read our latest update

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Council Tax

We understand that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is impacting people in a number of ways. In relation to Council Tax it may be that you have been financially impacted by the crisis or that you are unable to make a physical cash payment.

Up to £150 discounts for working age people receiving Council Tax Support

People of working age who receive Council Tax Support will receive an additional reduction in their Council Tax payments of up to £150. If your total bill for the 2020/21 financial year is less than £150 your bill will be reduced to zero.

You don’t need to contact us or do anything.

In the coming weeks the Council will automatically apply the discount to your account and send you a new bill showing the reduced payment amounts or a zero balance. We will contact you if you are due a refund as a result of this reduction.

Other ways we can help

If you have been impacted we have information to help you:

  • Alternative ways to pay
  • Council tax support is available to people with low incomes to help reduce the cost of Council Tax. Claim Council Tax support.
  • If you would like to delay your Council Tax payments for two months and spread them from June to March then please email [email protected]. Please ensure the subject of your email contains COVID–19, in order for us to prioritise your enquiry
  • If you miss a payment during April or May the Council will not take any court action against you. You will receive a reminder following the missed payment but no court action will be taken until June at the earliest. If you can bring your account up to date before June then no court action will be taken and if you can’t then please email [email protected] to tell us about your circumstances and we can look to spread your payments further to help make the bill more affordable. Please ensure the subject of your email contains COVID–19, in order for us to prioritise your enquiry.
  • The Council has instructed our enforcement agents (formerly known as bailiffs) not to visit people in April and May about new or existing debts. Our enforcement agents (Newlyn and Equita) may still contact you by phone or in writing to discuss an existing debt that has arisen prior to April 2020. If you have been impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) then our enforcement agents will be sensitive to this and look to make an arrangement with you which takes account of the current crisis

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) measures to support individuals in England

Available support

Amount

Who is support for?

How is support received?

Do I need to contact the council?

Where can I get further information?

Statutory sick pay

£94.25 per week, paid from day 1 instead of day 4 (for up to 28 weeks)

Qualifying employees

Paid by your employer

No – contact your employer

GOV.UK - Statutory sick pay

Support with tax affairs

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities

Support with tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

No – contact HMRC

Call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

Universal credit or employment & support allowance

Will vary depending on individual circumstances. Advances will be available immediately.

No changes to payments for existing claimants

People on zero hours contracts who are not entitled to statutory sick pay

Self-employed people (subject to meeting qualifying criteria)

Paid monthly into claimant’s bank account

No – new claims can be submitted online

GOV.UK - Universal Credit

 

Local Council Tax Support

Will vary depending on individual circumstances

Those on a low income

Applied directly to the Council Tax account

Yes – make a claim online

Coventry City Council - benefits claim

Hardship fund Up to £150.00 Every working age household in receipt of council tax support Applied directly to the Council Tax account

No. You do not need to apply for this reduction.

Every working age household in receipt of council tax support will receive a £150 reduction in your council tax bill unless your bill is less than £150 in which case your bill will be reduced to zero. You do not need to apply for this reduction and we aim to process this before the end of June 2020. Once the £150 has been credited to your account it will be deducted from any future instalments. If you have made a payment before receipt of the £150 which reduces your overall balance to less than £150 then this payment will be refunded to the extent that you benefit fully from the £150 reduction.

 

Council tax discretionary relief fund

Will be determined based on individual circumstances  

Those experiencing financial hardship as a result of their Council Tax bill

Applied directly to the Council Tax account

Yes – if you are in financial difficulty and are concerned about paying your Council Tax bill then contact the council for advice

Coventry City Council - Council Tax Discretionary Relief policy

Discretionary Housing Payment

Will be determined based on individual circumstances 

Those residents who receive either housing benefit or the housing costs element of universal credit are experiencing financial hardship in paying their rent

Paid to residents landlord

Yes – you can apply online

 

Coventry City Council - Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Crisis Fund

No cash provided – assistance is through energy top ups and in exceptional circumstances essential household items

Individuals experiencing an immediate financial crisis

Through energy top-ups and in exceptional circumstances deliver of essential household items

Yes – online

Coventry City Council - Community Support Grant

3 month mortgage payment holidays for affected borrowers

Will depend on agreement with lender

Mortgage payers and landlords with buy-to-let mortgages

Will depend on agreement with lender

No – contact your mortgage lender for advice

Contact your mortgage lender for advice

Assurance over security of tenancies

n/a - new evictions from social or private rented accommodation will be suspended for the duration of the crisis

Tenants

 

No – contact your landlord if you are having difficulty paying your rent

Contact your mortgage lender for advice

Assurance over repossessions

n/a - banking industry confirmed that no homes or buy-to-let properties will be repossessed for at least 3 months

Mortgage payers (including landlords)

 

No – contact your mortgage lender for advice

Contact your mortgage lender for advice

Energy customers in financial distress

People who may not be able to add credit to their meters can contact their energy supplier for support; disconnection of credit meters will be suspended

Customers with pre-payment meters or other customers in financial distress

Will depend on agreement with supplier

Energy suppliers

Contact your energy supplier for advice

Data charges removed for people accessing NHS websites

Will vary

Anyone who is paying data charges to access NHS advice

Charges will not be billed

Mobile phone providers

Contact your mobile phone provider for advice

Removal of penalties for accessing savings accounts

Will vary – may not apply to all banks/savings products

People with savings accounts

Charges will not be billed

Banks

Contact your bank/building society for advice

Borrowers will have more time to repay debt

Will vary

People with bank loans

 

Credit card firms

Contact your bank/building society for advice

Some banks will allow customers to apply for temporary increase to credit card limits

Will vary – may not apply to all banks

People with credit cards

 

Banks

Contact your bank/building society for advice

Some banks are offering increased overdraft limits

Will vary – may not apply to all banks

Current account customers

 

Banks

Contact your bank/building society for advice

Free school meals

Food parcels, vouchers or other food support

Children who currently receive free school meals

To be determined

Contact your child’s school

GOV.UK - Free school meals

 

Accommodation and services to support homeless people self-isolate

 

Rough sleepers and homeless people in shelters/hostels

 

Yes - local authorities will coordinate these services

Coventry City Council - homelessness

Council’s website

None – information only

All residents

This covers financial support and assistance with housing benefit, Council Tax support, information regarding welfare reforms including how to make a claim for universal credit.

Online information link provided

Coventry City Council - Benefits

 

Self employed income support scheme Up to 80% of self employed profits up to £2,500 per month Self employed people From HMRC No - the scheme is operated by HMRC Business Support - Self-employment income support scheme

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