- What help is there?
- Breathing Space - Debt Respite Scheme
- Financial Support if required to self-isolate and on low income
- Surrey Crisis Fund
- Housing Benefit and Council Tax
- Red Cross Hardship Fund
- Job Centres
- Social Care Direct Payments
- Universal Credit
- Citizens Advice
If you're struggling financially – help is there
Some families may be struggling financially as a result of COVID. Differing groups of the community will have differing financial needs.
The latest Government guidance can be found here Coronavirus (COVID-19): Work and financial support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Some grants have also been provided to Surrey County Council and District and Borough Councils to help fund various services where people might be struggling financially.
If you can't find the information you need from the list below. You can call the Surrey Community Helpline who will be happy to signpost you to the relevant local help and support that may be available to you.
Community Helpline on 0300 200 1008
Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
SMS 0786 0053 465 for Deaf and hearing impaired residents only (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm)
Breathing Space - Debt Respite Scheme
The new Government scheme "Breathing Space" gives you temporary protection from most types of debt collection, while you work with a debt adviser to take action to get on top of your finances. You can be protected from creditors for 60 days, with most interest and penalty charges frozen and enforcement action halted. Certain types of payments including ongoing housing costs, utility bills and taxes will still need to be paid during this time. Find out more here Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) guidance for creditors - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Financial support for those on low income if asked to self-isolate or looking after a child who needs to self-isolate
If you're asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or you are looking after a child who needs to self-isolate and you're on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500. This is provided via your local district or borough council under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
More information about the scheme can be found on the Gov.uk web pages Test and Trace Support Scheme Financial Claiming.
Surrey Crisis Fund
The Surrey Crisis Fund is a discretionary fund run by Surrey County Council providing financial help to Surrey residents who have nowhere else to turn in an emergency or after a disaster. Depending on your circumstances which will be considered when you apply you could be eligible for some of the following support:-
- food and toiletries
- essential white goods and furniture; please note we do not provide replacement items
- certain utilities
- emergency travel costs (hospital appointments, job interviews, etc)
Help with Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
If you need help with Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support please contact your local District and Borough Council their contact details can be found at Surrey County Council - Borough and District Councils (surreycc.gov.uk)
Red Cross Hardship Fund
The Red Cross Hardship Fund was created by the British Red Cross with their partner Aviva and the Aviva Foundation to help those most financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
If you require information regarding claiming benefits during this time please click through to the Department of Work and Pensions Benefits during COVID-19 web page.
Surrey Welfare Rights Unit (SWRU) website contains up to date information about benefits available. There is guidance for the self-employed .
Job centres will remain open and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people.
Advice about how to access benefits and job centre appointments can be found on the Governments support for benefit claimants and businesses web page.
Social Care Direct Payments
If you receive Direct Payments for your social care provision for a personal assistant you should have received this letter from Adult Social Care.
Advice about Universal Credit can be found here. You can also call the Universal Credit helpline to get help making your claim online or if you need help applying for an advance payment.
Telephone 0800328 5644 or Textphone 0800 328 1344 (open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).
Citizens Advice Service
Citizens Advice Service can help with enquiries about benefits and financial support. Their service is now completely online here at Citizens Advice Service
Or call Adviceline (England): 0800 144 8848. Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0800 144 8884
Surrey Family Information Service
Surrey Family Information Service has a list of organisations which are local and national charities that may be able to help individual families in need. You can find details of organisations that can offer financial help on the Surrey Family Information Service Financial Support web pages.
If you're struggling to put food on the table
Food banks and Community Fridges are there for people struggling financially to put food on the table. Visit the Surrey Information Point website for details on foodbanks and Community Fridges available in Surrey.
The Trussell Trust – There are over 1,200 food bank centres across the UK who provide a minimum of three days' emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. Please visit their get help page.