Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we are conscious many of our residents are likely to suffer a financial impact if they are forced to take unpaid leave, redundancy, work as a temp through an agency or work under a zero hours contract with many company's closing for a number of weeks. In addition to this, there will be a number of households who are self-isolating and unable to leave their home as such we have brought together some information relating to financial support the council might be able to provide. Announcements are being made daily and we will continue to update the website as further information is received.
Discretionary Housing Payment
If you are struggling to meet a shortfall in your rent you may be able to get extra help from us by applying for a ‘Discretionary Housing Payment’ (DHP).
Discretionary Housing Payments can provide extra money to you or your landlord if you already receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (including Housing Costs towards rental liability) but there is a shortfall between the rent you have to pay and the Housing Benefit/Housing Costs you receive. DHP’s are usually paid for a few months to help you through a crisis or short-term problem, but can pay for longer periods in exceptional circumstances.
We’ll look at your circumstances to firstly see whether you’re eligible. We’ll then decide on the amount to award you and for how long.
COVID-19 Hardship Fund Allocation
Government has provided Barnet with funding of £4,132,829 to support Council Tax payers. In line with government guidance, if you are a working age Barnet resident currently in receipt of Council Tax Support then you will be automatically awarded £150 towards your 2020/21 Council Tax account.
Please note: if your total balance for the year is less than £150 you will receive the value of your outstanding balance after any discounts, exemptions and Council Tax Support have been awarded.
The £150 grant will also be awarded on any successful new Council Tax Support claims made on or before 30 May 2020.
The remaining amount from the government funding will be used to support those affected by COVID-19 via Barnet’s Discretionary Council Tax Hardship Scheme and Crisis Fund.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made a temporary change to the qualifying criteria for Crisis Fund grants to support those most affected. Until 30 September 2020, you can now apply for a Crisis Fund payment if you are:
- A Barnet resident
- Over the age of 16
- Facing financial hardship
Council Tax Discretionary Relief
You can apply for a Council Tax Discretionary Relief (CTDR) if you are suffering from hardship due to exceptional circumstances and require help to meet your Council Tax liability.
It is only used for short term assistance and is made at the council's discretion in cases where it considers that extra help with council tax liability is needed.
In order to be eligible for Council Tax discretionary relief, you must:
- Be the person responsible for paying the Council Tax and
- Demonstrate that you need financial help in order to pay your Council Tax and are actively taking steps to address your financial hardship.
- CTDR cannot be used to help with housing costs however you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment using the same application form.