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Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

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  3. Coronavirus - Council tax and benefits

Coronavirus - Council tax and benefits

Hardship Fund

The Government has allocated funds that will allow Forest of Dean District to grant up to £150 to a resident if they are of working age and in receipt of Council Tax Support.

This award will be made automatically and there is no need to contact the Council to claim it.

Self Employed Customers

If you are not able to trade currently due to Covid-19, you can claim a grant from the Government.
Please see Self employed income support -Who can apply for more information.  
HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for this grant so you will not need to contact them directly.

If you receive Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, your Council Tax Support will be adjusted once your Universal Credit has been adjusted.  If you currently claim Universal Credit, update your circumstances through your online journal so that your award can be re-assessed.  If Universal Credit apply the minimum income floor to your award, they should now stop doing this and increase your entitlement accordingly.

If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support but not Universal Credit, please contact us in writing or by email housing.benefits@fdean.gov.uk to confirm the date that you ceased trading as a result of Covid-19 and we will be able to update your claim accordingly.

Universal Credit Advance Payments

These can be requested directly from your work coach on making your claim for Universal Credit once the verification process is complete. For existing Universal Credit claimants, please use your online journal to request information on what is available to you.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

If you need assistance with your rent and you currently receive either payments of Housing Benefit or your Universal Credit award includes a housing element and you currently receive your award, you can apply to the DHP scheme for additional assistance.

Please either download the application form here: https://www.fdean.gov.uk/dhp or phone 01594 812531 and a form will be issued to you.

Mortgage Holidays

Please contact your mortgage provider immediately; they will be able to discuss your options.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

If you rent from a private landlord and receive either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, the amount of assistance you receive with your rent is determined by the Local Housing Allowance.  As part of the response to Covid-19, the LHA rates have been increased from 1 April 2020. As a result, the amount of assistance that you receive in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit may increase.  The Council and Universal Credit will factor in this increase automatically and so there is no need to contact either organisation to request it.

You can check your LHA rate here: https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/  

Housing Associations

If you rent from a Housing Association and are concerned about meeting your rent liability at this time, please contact them directly and they will be able to provide guidance.

Help with Rent

If you have capital in excess of £16,000 and you do not receive Guaranteed Pension Credit, you will not be entitled to any Housing Benefit. 

If you require assistance to pay rent, you will likely need to claim Universal Credit, which can be done here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

However, you may be entitled to claim Housing Benefit instead. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit  to see if you are eligible to claim Housing Benefit.

If you are eligible to claim Housing Benefit, please visit https://www.fdean.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport (benefit application form) to download the form or call 01594 812531 to request a form be issued to you.

Help with Council Tax

If you are liable to pay Council Tax, you may claim Council Tax Support to assist you in paying the bill.

If you are working age and have capital in excess of £10,000, you will not be entitled to any Council Tax Support.

If you are pension age, have capital in excess of £16,000 and are not in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credit, you will not be entitled to any Council Tax Support.

If you wish to claim Council Tax Support, please visit https://www.fdean.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport to download the form or call 01594 812531 to request a form be issued to you.

Further support and advice

Contact the Benefits team

If you need further help or advice please let us know.
Call: 01594 812531 or email:housing.benefits@fdean.gov.uk

Citizens Advice Bureau

They can help you with a variety of issues and signpost you to the relevant organisations.
Phone: 01452 527202