Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.
Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.
Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page
You are invited to view and contribute to the The Mayor's Covid Record of Reflection
Latest Information from Council Tax and Benefits
Test and Trace Support Payment
A new package to support and enforce self isolation has been announced by the government. People will be required by law to self-isolate from 28 September, supported by payment of £500 for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.
For Help with your Council Tax
Central Government has provided new grant funding for additional support for working age Council Tax payers who are currently in receipt of Local Council Tax Support, or have been, during the financial year starting the 1st of April 2020.
You may be eligible for Local Council Tax Support (LCTS)
You can claim LCTS online.
If you a need assistance to complete an online claim, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistance will be provided by Peabody (see below)
You may be able to request a Council Tax Payment Holiday
If your current payment plan runs from April to January, we can re-profile your Council Tax instalments over 10 months running from June to March instead - giving you 2 months breathing space during this difficult time.
Please email email@example.com to request a payment holiday.
You may be able to request a 12 month payment plan
If your current payment plan runs from April to January, we can re-profile your Council Tax instalments over 12 months instead of 10 – maximising your payment period and reducing the amount you need to pay each month.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a 12 month payment plan.
For help with your Rent
If you are working age you may be eligible for Universal Credit (UC)
The Jobcentre (operated by the Department for Work & Pensions) is now open to the public once again, and some appointments are being held face to face where appropriate.
The Jobcentre's opening hours are:
09:00-1700 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
The Jobcentre may occasionally shut at lunchtime between 12:00-13:00 due to staffing levels.
Anyone coming into the Jobcentre will be asked to use hand sanitiser when they arrive, and will be asked to wear a face mask, which can be provided if they do not already have one.
Residents can claim UC online.
Residents covered by Canvey Island Job Centre and who need help to complete a claim can also call 07879 740 609 and will be supported by Citizens Advice (Monday to Thursday 9am – 4.30pm). Residents are also able to receive help to complete a claim from Peabody - contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.
Residents from any area within the borough can also call 0800 144 8 444 for assistance. .
If you are working age and already receive Universal Credit (UC)
Appointments may be conducted at the Jobcentre or over the phone. It will be made clear when the appointment is booked whether it is to be held in person at the Jobcentre or by phone.
You can find further information about temporary/emergency COVID-19 related changes to Universal Credit and other benefits delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Department for Work and Pensions also provides further information about Coronavirus support for employees benefit claimants and businesses on their website.
If you are pension age, or working age and living in temporary or supported accommodation you may be eligible for Housing Benefit (HB)
Temporary or supported accommodation means accommodation provided by a landlord in the social or voluntary sector where the claimant is provided with care, support or supervision by the landlord or by someone acting on the landlord’s behalf
From April 2020, Local Housing Allowance rates will be increased to the 30th percentile of market rents – this will apply to all existing HB claimants.
You may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
You can apply for a DHP if you are any age and have already claimed HB or UC but still need further help with housing costs.
DHP awards are made at the discretion of the Local Authority.
Not everyone who claims a Discretionary Housing Payment will be given assistance.
For work and financial support:
The government has created a web page containing information on support with work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For support with finding employment
If you are looking for work, you may find the following resources useful:
- gov.uk on finding a job
- The National Careers Service
- Eventbrite - Information on job Fairs
- Eventbrit - Information on Networking
- Information on free learning courses via the Open University
- Information on free learning courses from Essex County Council
For support with childcare as a working family
The government has released information regarding support with childcare for working families affected by Coronavirus.
For support with essential items
You may be able to receive a grant through the Essential Living Fund.
This scheme can cover applications for:
- household furnishings
- white goods
- clothing and footwear
- general living expenses - these are day to day living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries, money for pay as you go fuel meters
The Essential Living Fund scheme is operated by Southend Borough Council.
For other Support and Advice
If you have been affected by employment, benefits, housing, health and wellbeing, utilities family or debt related issues and need general advice and support, you may wish to contact Peabody.
Peabody have taken a number of measures in response to COVID-19/Coronavirus restrictions. All staff are provided with PPE in line with Government guidance and adhere to social distancing and Public Health England guidelines.
Most of the support Peabody staff provides can be via telephone and video calling. Face to face visits will be conducted at a distance of 1 metre and wherever possible this will be outside.
Support includes one off appointments for advice, guidance and immediate assistance, while those with a more complex support need will be offered support for up to 6 months.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, such as redundancy, job loss, or a reduction in self-employed earnings, or other problems with money as a result of Coronavirus, you may wish to use the Money Navigator tool, provided by the Money and Pensions Service.
Based on your own situation, it will help you to know:
- The money issues you need to tackle first
- How to stay on top of bills and payments
- What extra help and support you’re entitled to
- Where you can get free advice for debt, housing or redundancy
Peabody Contact Numbers
Essex Outreach Support, Advice and Information Service - Please contact one of our team who can offer advice and support.
Diane: 07973 157052
Julie: 07785 328948
Lois: 07908 625047
Maureen: 07852 571734
Sophie: 07976 900506
Trina: 07931 721065