Lots of people across the country are suffering from a loss or reduction in income just now. If you’re struggling with money, there is lots of support out there. From information on how to claim benefits, to grants you might be able to apply for, this handy guide rounds up some of the help available just now.
- This website provides information about the changes the government has brought in to support people who are already claiming benefits, need to claim benefits, or are at risk of losing their job as a result of coronavirus.
- The DWP has launched a new video relay service for deaf claimants to use when accessing universal credit.
- If you are struggling with the cost of your energy bills, then you can look into changing your tariff. Check out Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert, Money Advice Service, or uswitch.
- Families on benefits may be able to receive Best Start Grant payments. These payments give financial support to families on lower incomes during the key stages in a child’s life. Social Security Scotland are calling on families on benefits to check if they are entitled to this extra help and encouraging those who are not already in receipt of a DWP benefit to check if they are eligible for financial support. You can find out more here.
- One Parent Families Scotland are offering grants to single parent families on low incomes and under financial pressure due to coronavirus. They have an emergency energy fund that can provide a one-off payment of £50 to single parent families in Scotland who need help with energy bills. Applications must be endorsed and submitted by a sponsor. Examples of eligible sponsors include your housing officer, health care professional, social worker, teacher, clergy and third sector organisations. You can find out more here.
- The Post Office have made access to cash easier for individuals who are self-isolating. You can find out details of the service here.
- Did you know that if you have children at school who qualify for free school meals, your local authority are now providing an alternative arrangement? Check with your local authority to find out the details as eligibility and schemes vary across the country.
- The UK government has this week announced a new scheme that will allow small businesses to access loans of up to £50,000. Businesses will be able to apply online from Monday 4 May. The terms of the loan mean that no capital or interest repayments will be due for one year, during which time the government will pay the interest. Unlike the existing loan scheme, banks will not retain any of the risk for these loans. In applying for the loan, businesses will only have to show that they were sustainable before the pandemic, not that they will be after (as was the case with initial loan schemes) as businesses have found it difficult to predict how they will fare in the future. For more information on the scheme, see here.
Our Tenancy Sustainment team is on hand to help you with any money worries. They can talk you through your situation and the options available to you, including benefits and other help and support you can access. Please get in touch if you’d like to speak to them.