We understand this is a time of uncertainty and many people are worrying about the financial implications of being off work. We have complied some useful links to provide you as much information as possible. We will be adding to this list so please check back often.
If you are an employee and unable to work due to coronavirus, please refer to this guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions to find out about the support that is available to you.
Martin Lewis is providing the nation with advice on financial help and rights. This includes sick pay, mortgages, rental help, energy top-ups and cancelled events.
Free School Meals
Since the start of the partial school closures we have been able to provide those families eligible for a free school meal with a packed lunch that is made by the Taylor Shaw who are our school meal provider.
The Government has announced the introduction of a national voucher scheme but the guidance clearly states that;
“The steps you (schools) take to support pupils may be different depending on the individual circumstances of the school. Where schools are not able to provide eligible pupils with meals or food parcels through their current food provider, they can provide eligible families with supermarket vouchers in term time weeks.”
As we are able to provide eligible pupils with a packed lunch, it is our intention to continue with this at the present time. We would urge families who are not taking up this offer to do so.
The current advice if you are struggling to top up your prepaid meter is suppliers will deal with issues on a case-by-case basis, so the best thing you can do is to contact your provider as soon as you can.
The government have stated that no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time. The emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a 3 month period.
Durham County Council are aware that some parents have received emails asking them to provide bank details to ensure their child can receive free school meals in the event of a closure. This is a scam and they are deeply saddened that scammers are seeking to take advantage of people in this way.
Anyone who feels they have been targeted by a scam can report it to Action Fraud on 03000 123 2040 or online
If you or someone you know could be vulnerable to scams, you can find out more here or help protect your community from scams and support victims by becoming a Friend Against Scams.
Durham County Council have stated that they are introducing a series of financial measures to help residents impacted by the Coronations outbreak. These include flexible payment plans for council tax, postponing debt recovery action for anyone in council tax arrears and adding further resources to their welfare assistance scheme.