The COVID19 has had a huge impact on how we all live and work and many people have seen changes to their income in recent weeks and are worried about how they will meet their day to day expenses. Newcastle City Council have created a dedicated page to help people understand what benefits they might be entitled to, and where to get support. You can view that page here.
It is important that tenants pay their rent as normal during this time, if you are a private tenants and are worried about making your next rent payment please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you rent from Your Homes Newcastle and are worried about paying your rent, go to their COVID19 and rent pages on their website.
You may have seen the Governments guidance regarding tenants and rent arrears which accrue due to lose of income as direct a result of the Corona Virus pandemic. This a worrying time for everyone and we understand that people are frightened that they will lose their homes if they cant pay their rent. The Government as released a statement aimed at claimants who might be worried about what they should do next.
The Government measures are intended to prevent anyone losing their home if they can no longer work due to the impact of the Corona Virus, however there are things you should be doing to reduce the impact of arrears such as applying for new or additional benefits.
We understand that you might not be aware of the help that is available to you so we have put together some brief guidance.
Claiming benefits for the first time
If you normally work but have lost your income you should make a claim for benefits, if you rent your home you can also apply for help with Housing Costs. You should go to the Government page on Universal Credit to find out more and link to where you can apply.
You will need to make your claim online and you should have some information to hand, you will need:
• your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
• an email address
• information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
• details of your income, for example payslip
• details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
• details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get.
You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
• driving licence
• debit or credit card
Following completion of your online application, the DWP will contact you by telephone (this is likely to be from a ‘withheld’ or ‘0800’ number) to finalise your application
Claiming additional benefits
If you are already claiming Housing costs and your income has changed you should see if you are entitled to any additional benefits. Housing costs are means tested and if you have been working you might be entitled to more help towards your rent, you should contact either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to check your entitlement.
If you have a shortfall between your housing cost entitlement and your rent you might be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment.
More advice on benefits
Turn2Us is a dedicated online resource that helps people who are looking for advice about any benefits and grants that they might be entitled to. It includes an easy to use online benefit calculator and grants search tool.