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Financial support, advice and guidance

Advice on managing your debts, help to pay your council tax, apply for housing benefit, help with childcare funding, finding a job and looking after your mental health.

Where to get help

We’ve brought together advice, guidance and support both from the council and external agencies and organisations. This guidance offers help including; grants and benefits available and helping with training and employment opportunities.

If you are struggling financially, it is sometimes hard to know where to turn. We are here to help.

 

The Household Support Fund is to help North Lincolnshire residents who are most in need this winter, as the country recovers from the COVID- 19 pandemic. It is aimed at households who are struggling to buy food or pay energy bills. It can also be used for some other essential household costs related to food or keeping warm.

To be eligible:

  • You must have no other way of paying for the food, bills, or items you need help with
  • Your financial difficulties must be linked to the COVID pandemic.

For people needing help with food for themselves or their children, or for help with energy bills, grants will be awarded in local supermarket vouchers.

Decisions about grants will be made by Citizens Advice North Lincolnshire, who will need to telephone you to check your identity and do a brief assessment. If you miss the call, don’t worry, the team will call you back as soon as possible so there is no need for you to try and make contact. In some cases there may be a home visit. Decisions about other essentials and white goods will be made by a panel.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax visit our Council Tax Support page to check if you are eligible for support.

 

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
    or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not exempt from self-isolation;
    and
  • have responded to message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and
  • are currently receiving, or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. These individuals may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.

If you are currently not receiving a benefit but meet the other criteria, are on a low income and will face financial hardship because of having to self-isolate, please complete the form and we will consider your application for payment from our discretionary fund. Please note in relation to the discretionary fund you must have a weekly salary/wage of no more than £442.30 before deductions or a monthly salary/wage of no more than £1916.66 before deductions and be responsible for at least one of the following household bills:

  • a mortgage
  • the rent
  • Council Tax

you can make a claim with us for the £500 support payment within 42 days from the first day of isolation, but you must have contacted the NHS Test & Trace and got your 8-digit Test and Trace ID within your self-isolation period.

If you’re not legally required to self-isolate, but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you could be eligible for a £500.

Parents and Guardians of children with a legal duty to self-isolate

If you are not legally required to self-isolate but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you are eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment of discretionary payment if all the following apply:

  • you are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person is:
    • aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
      or
    • aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
      or
    • aged 25 and under, has an EHC Plan, and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (or advised to do so by the NHS COVID-19 app) because they are the close contact of someone with COVID-19 and they are not exempt from self-isolation;
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent of guardian meets all or other criteria for a ‘main’ or ‘discretionary’ payment.

 

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. The parent or guardian of these contacts may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.

Contact us if you want to apply for housing benefit, or need additional assistance with rent payments if your household is suffering from severe financial hardship:

Our housing service is dedicated to improving the standard of accommodation in North Lincolnshire by making homes decent, safe and comfortable to live in. We can also offer advice and guidance if you are having problems paying your mortgage or are at risk of losing your home.

We offer assistance to vulnerable homeowners to carry out essential repairs/improvements to their homes such as severe damp and mould, faulty electrics, structural collapse or issues around food safety.

In addition to the above assistance, limited help is available to vulnerable low income households who are without adequate heating (have some living areas that are not heated) or have an old inefficient boiler or require additional insulation measures (subject to survey and eligibility criteria).

Private rented tenants may qualify for limited funding towards heating and insulation measures only.

Further information and how to apply is available on the housing standards, improvements, grants and loans page.

If you currently have NO HEATING and NO HOT WATER please ring the contact centre on 01724 297000.

There are a number of independent organisations who can provide support, advice and guidance across a wide range of money matters including help with debt, paying bills and budgeting.

If you need help and advice about your money worries, or providing enough food for you and your children there are people who can help:

There are several different schemes available to help parents and carers pay their childcare costs, depending on their individual family circumstances. The links provide more details on the schemes available:

If you’re over 16 in need of support to improve your prospects of finding training opportunities, work, are currently unemployed or looking to progress your career there is help available:

Feeling low can make managing money tough and worrying about it can make you feel even worse. By dealing with your debt it will help you to feel less stressed and anxious and more in control.
There are organisations you can talk to in confidence if you feel your situation affecting your mental health:

Other organisations are also here to help with advice and support:

Contact

Contact centre 01724 297000