Coronavirus: Council outlines support to ease financial hardship
Published on Thursday, March 26, 2020
SUPPORT is available to help ease financial hardship being experienced by people who are affected by Coronavirus.
Anyone having difficulty paying council tax or rent can get support and advice from Leicester City Council.
Trained staff will be available to provide telephone and online support to anyone who lives in Leicester and is facing financial hardship due to the current Coronavirus situation.
New claims will be prioritised to help ensure that anyone affected by Coronavirus is not left without the means to pay council tax or rent.
Advice on entitlement to housing benefit, Universal Credit and council tax support will be available and support provided as appropriate.
This could include temporary adjustments to household council tax bills and council rent.
In addition, no recovery action will be taken to pursue council tax or rent linked to Coronavirus or to evict people from council homes where the impact of the virus has left people unable to pay their rent.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I understand that many people will be fearful and anxious in the difficult circumstances that we now face as a result of this unprecedented pandemic.
“Many individuals and families will be worried about financial hardship caused by this crisis but the council has a range of support in place to help.
“We have committed to using our uncapped hardship fund to provide discretionary housing support and council tax relief, as well as emergency support grants to those worst affected.
“There will be no pursuit of council tax arrears and no evictions from our council properties due to a lack of income clearly caused by the Coronavirus crisis.
“There will undoubtedly be some very difficult times ahead, but be assured that the city will be supported by the council throughout this crisis.”
The Government has also announced that every household of working age in receipt of council tax support will receive an additional £150 credit towards their council tax bill for next year (2020/21). Revised council tax bills will be issued as soon as possible.
While these changes are put into place, households that receive council tax support should continue to pay as normal. Any overpayments will then be refunded.
Anyone who requires support with their council tax can contact the team on 0116 454 1005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For housing benefits advice, call 0116 454 1006, or email email@example.com
Help is also available for people who are experiencing financial crisis that has left them without funds for utility bills or food.
To make a claim for crisis support, people should email their name and contact number to C19support@leicester.gov.uk
A member of council staff will then call back between 9.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday and the application will be completed over the phone.
For more information on the range of benefits available visit www.leicester.gov.uk/your-community/benefits-and-support
Advice on Universal Credit is available on the Government’s website at www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk