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Financial support for residents

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Beware of potential fraud

A third party has been sending letters to residents in another London Borough claiming to offer reductions to Council Tax as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19. The letters and the website they link to are fake.

Please be aware that:

  • If we send a letter offering a discount we will use the billpayer’s name and not ‘The Occupier’
  • There are spelling and grammar mistakes on the letter
  • The web address on the letters end co.uk, most government web addresses end .gov.uk

If you have received such a letter and have acted on it you should report the incident to the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.

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.

Benefits calculator

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;
  • 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.

Housing 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

We have set up a Hardship Scheme to provide extra support with Council Tax for working age low income households.  If you are entitled to Council Tax Support you may qualify for some additional help.

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.