The current Covid-19 situation does not just give mental and physical stresses but can also bring on or exaggerate financial stresses and pressures.
We have broken down some information on resources that might be useful for you during this time. Please note, this information was correct as at 07/04/20 and is subject to change.
Ask your bank for a mortgage holiday
If you currently have a mortgage and are struggling to pay then ask your bank whether you are able to take a 3-month mortgage holiday.
Banks are facing increased call volumes at this time so it is recommended that you visit their website, where possible for more information.
Benefits you may be entitled to as a carer
If you spend at least 35 hours a week caring you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. There are also other benefits and credits that you may be able to get. The person you care for must be receiving an eligible benefit; Attendance Allowance (AA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily Living Component at any rate or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Care Component at middle or high rate. Please check with the person you care for as they may be receiving extra money from other benefits which can be affected by claiming Carers Allowance.
The person you care for may be able to get help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long term health condition. See if they can claim Attendance Allowance (AA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
You may be able to apply for Universal Credit to help you with rent and daily costs, this is a means tested benefit, income and savings can affect eligibility.
If you are already claiming benefits, you will continue to receive them as normal. Some benefits, such as Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, and Local Housing Allowance, will increase for both new and existing claimants dependant on each personal circumstance.
Find out more about these by visiting our Money and Benefits resource page.
Help has been made available for the most vulnerable residents struggling to pay their Council Tax as part of the government’s £500m Covid-19 Hardship Fund. £2.6m has been allocated to Dorset Council. If your financial circumstances have changed over recent weeks which means you may have difficulty paying your council tax, please contact Dorset Council.
Utility bills – gas, electric, water
Wessex Water have put together a Frequently Asked Questions page about Coronavirus including how you can get help with paying your bill.
Many utility companies are offering support to customers financially affected by Coronavirus. We recommend visiting their websites in the first instance to find out more.
Access to emergency funding for a cash crisis
If you are struggling with your finances, The Leonardo Trust can provide funding to unpaid carers in Dorset (based on eligibility criteria). Carer Support Dorset can put forward a referral on your behalf, please contact us on 0800 368 8349 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Be aware of scams!
Unfortunately scams still take place at the moment. Please be aware of scams. Citizens Advice have a useful guide for how to check if something is a scam.
Other useful website resources