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COVID-19: We have answered some of our customer's most frequently asked questions. Read more

Coronavirus Facts: FAQs About Your Money

Protecting Your Finances

Please note, this information is based on the most up-to-date details we have.

This page was last updated on 20 March 2020 – 12:43pm

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Can I get assistance with my mortgage payments?

If you’re a homeowner affected by the coronavirus, and aren’t already in arrears, you should be eligible for a three-month relief period.

This means mortgage payments will be deferred by up to three months.

During this period, you won’t need to pay anything but interest will still accumulate.

To apply, call your mortgage provider. The process differs from lender to lender but should be straightforward. Furthermore:

  • This shouldn’t affect your credit rating.

  • The payment holiday won’t write off the payments. These still need to be repaid in future.

If your mortgage is in arrears, call your lender and they should be able to identify a solution. Some providers are offering short-term assistance, such as allowing reduced payments or waiving the charges for missed payments.

To help, we have also created a template which you can fill out and send to your mortgage provider informing them you have been affected by the coronavirus. Or, if you’re not comfortable doing this, fill out the form and send it to us. We will send this form on your behalf.

Download template here

 

Can I get assistance with my rent payments?

If you’re struggling to pay rent, you should speak to your landlord or estate agent as soon as possible.

Currently, nothing technically exists to help tenants during this outbreak. However, the government is bringing forward legislation protecting those affected by the coronavirus from no-fault eviction for three months.

Until this gets approved though, call your landlord or estate agent if you’re struggling to afford rent. The Residential Landlords Association, and other related trade bodies, have recommended that tenants affected by the coronavirus are treated “sympathetically”.

Although you’ll have to repay rent eventually, you might be able to negotiate delayed or reduced payments until the crisis is resolved.

If you’re a council tenant, further information is available on the GOV website: https://www.gov.uk/council-housing/types-of-tenancy

 

What are the courts doing about court fines?

Unfortunately, no assistance is currently available for court fines or county court judgement fees. If you have been affected by the coronavirus, these charges will need to be paid as normal.

 

What are my work rights following coronavirus?

If your work hours have been cut or you’ve been forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus, you may be entitled to a variety of benefits.

For more information, please consult the Acas website: https://www.acas.org.uk/

Can I claim statutory sick pay?

If you’re staying at home on government advice, due to being affected by the coronavirus, then you will be entitled to statutory sick pay from day one of being off work.

You will need to inform your employer as soon as possible, who will put this claim in for you.

If you’re self-employed, you won’t be entitled to statutory sick pay. However, you may be eligible for ESA (Employment and Support Allowance).

Visit for how to claim: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-claim-form

What will happen to tax credits or working tax credits?

If you’re already claiming benefits such as tax credits or housing benefit, and you’re off sick due to coronavirus, it has been advised that you may be entitled to additional funds to make up for the loss of earnings.

Unfortunately, no further information has been released surrounding this yet. We will update this when more details are announced.

Can I claim employment and support allowance?

If you’re not currently claiming benefits, you may be entitled to claim employment and support allowance as the government is making some changes to this benefit in light of the coronavirus crisis.

More information on this will be added when it becomes available.

You can claim here: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/how-to-claim

Can I claim universal credit?

If you’re not eligible for statutory sick pay because your earnings are too low – or because you’re self-employed – you might be able to claim new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re ill, or elements of universal credit if you need help with costs such as children or housing.

The typical seven-day waiting time for new claimants has been removed for those who are suffering from coronavirus or required to stay at home.

You can also receive up to a month’s advance payment upfront without attending a face-to-face meeting.

You can claim here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

 

Where can I get help with heating or energy costs?

Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed to provide help to vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re struggling to pay bills due to the coronavirus, you should receive additional support and no meter disconnections will take place.

This support could include:

  • Automatic funds added to meters.

  • Bills being reassessed and payments paused or reduced.

  • Credit being sent in the post to prevent customers from going out to top up.

Contact your energy supplier and they’ll be able to confirm what measures they’re implementing during this time.

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