The Government has introduced measures to support households experiencing financial disruptions.
We recommend that you read through all the information and links below to find out what support you can receive.
You might qualify for support from more than one source.
Financial support schemes
The government has introduced different schemes depending on your employment status.
Please see the government website for advice if you are:
Check your benefits entitlement
In response to the Coronavirus, the government has increased the amount of benefits that claimants can receive.
Our benefits calculator has been updated to take into account these changes. Use it to find out if you qualify for a range of benefits including Universal Credit and Council Tax Support.
If you are already receiving housing benefit then some of the new measures might affect your entitlement. For details see Changes to benefits since the outbreak.
NHS Test and Trace Support Payment
From 28 September people on low incomes who are required to self-isolate may be able to receive £500 if they will lose income because they are unable to work during the period of isolation. Self-isolation is one of the best ways we can help in the fight against Covid-19 as it helps stop the disease from being spread.
NHS Test and Trace Support Payments are payable to Harrow residents who meet the following criteria:
- They have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; and have responded to their notification asking them to engage with NHS Test and Trace
- If you have been notified by the Test and Trace app that you should self-isolate you could still apply for a support payment. First you must register with NHS Test and Trace by following the instructions in the app for ‘Financial Support’. You must register during the period of your self-isolation. You must be using version 4.07(117) of the app to see the Financial Support button
- The period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020
- They are employed or self-employed
- They are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
- They, or their partner who is in the same household, must be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
- To qualify in Harrow, the applicant must be resident in Harrow
Find out more and, if you meet the above criteria, submit an application on our NHS Test and Trace Support Payment page.
Council tax support
Council Tax Support is a reduction in your council tax if you are on a low income or unemployed. To find out if you are eligible and to apply see Council Tax Support.
Payment holidays for residents with mortgages – For details see the Financial Conduct Authority
Extra Support for Renters – Local Housing Allowance rates have increased. This will benefit people renting from private landlords who are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
The increase means that more people will qualify for support. Check what you might receive using the Benefits Calculator.
The government has announced additional protection for renters and a temporary ban on evictions until 31st March 2021
The Hardship Fund Scheme
If you are experiencing financial hardship, in exceptional circumstances the Council’s Hardship Fund scheme may be able to assist.
Applications to the scheme will only be considered once you have claimed all available support set out above, and where there is no alternative assistance available.
More information can be found on our Hardship Fund Scheme page.
Covid Winter Grant Scheme
The government have given some limited funding to councils to help families with children to buy food.
The scheme is not open for applications. If you have been identified as a family who may benefit from additional financial support to help buy food for your children, a voucher will be sent to you.
If you have received your voucher and have further questions, see our Covid Winter Grant Scheme page.