There are some temporary changes to benefits, housing payments and food distribution that you should be aware of.
Here we have listed those services that we have been made aware of. This isn't an exhaustive list.
Work and Benefits
If you are eligible for Satutory Sick Pay, you can now claim it from day 1 of your illness if you have coronavirus or are having to self-isolate because of it and cannot work.
You can obtain a sickness note, if your employer requires one, from NHS 111 Online if you have coronavirus symptoms, or from the NHS website if you have to self isolate becaues someone you live with has symptoms.
You can apply for Universal Credit and/or New Style Employment and Support Allowance if you are not eligible for statutory sick pay
You will need to have a telephone interview with a work coach when first applying for Universal Credit. This replaces the face-to-face interview that would normally take place. You will be given a number to call to book this interview after you apply.
The Standard Allowance in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will increase by £20 a week for one year.
If you are self employed, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can help with a grant worth 80% of your profits if your business has been negatively affected by coronavirus.
HMRC will invite you to apply once the scheme is in place.
You may be eligible for Universal Credit in the interim.
The Job Centre Plus Twitter page has new job opportunities listed daily.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) have bookings open for their telephone Debt Help service. You can call them free on 0800 328 0006
Landlords will now have to give 6 months' notice if they want to seek possession - they can only start applying 6 months after giving notice.
Tenants are still expected to pay their rent, but if they are facing financial trouble, they should speak to their landlord in the first instance to discuss a payment plan.
If you have a mortgage, you may be able to apply for a 3 month 'mortgage holiday' from your lender if you are struggling to keep up with payments due to the effects of coronavirus.
If you are isolating and are struggling to pay your pre-paid meter, you can contact your energy supply company to see if they can help you. Find more information about how, including telephone numbers, here.
Waste Not Want Not Battersea hold food sharing sessions on:
- Wednesdays: 1pm - 5pm @ Yvone Carr Centre, SW8 4HT
- Thursdays: 1pm - 5pm @ Platform One Cafe, SW11 2NT
- Saturdays: 1pm - 5pm @ Platform One Cafe, SW11 2NT
Supermarkets are now opreating an almost-normal service now. Please remember to wear a mask and keep 2 metres away from other shoppers.
Wandsworth Food Banks have changed to a home delivery only service.
Healthy Start vouchers for milk, vegetables & fruit and vitamins now don't need to be signed off by a health professional, so parents can apply directly from through website.
Wandsworth are providing food for vulnerable people who are self isolating and cannot get out to get supplies. Please contact the Community Hub if you are, or someone you know is, in this situation.
Nextdoor is an online services that can be accessed via computer or an app that links you in to your wider networks based on where you live. There is a great source of information for activities and to know where food supplies are
Morning Fresh are a wholesaler of fruit and veg open to the public from Clapham Junction
FareShare have a list of national services that are able to offer food to individuals.
Covid Winter Grant Fund
The Covid Winter Grant Scheme is a new initiative from central Government to support children, families and the most vulnerable over winter.
Using this fund, Wandsworth will be supporting families and young people in need by;
- Providing free food vouchers for the Christmas holiday and next half term, using our own Wandsworth app. This scheme is targeted at those in particular need; all children entitled to Free School Meals, all those with a social worker and in need of help or protection, all those extremely clinically vulnerable, all those registered as young carers and all foster families. Information about the food vouchers (including troubleshooting and FAQ’s) can be found here https://help.schoolvouchers.com/hc/en-gb/sections/360003848737-Parent-FAQs
- Offering financial support for families and individuals in need, with food, energy and water bills.
- Providing Grants to local voluntary groups and clubs to provide hot meals and food parcels to vulnerable children in the community.
- Funding a set of fun and educational activity programmes for children during the winter holidays, in partnership with our brilliant local youth organisations, to help children catch up on learning.