Help if you have been asked to self-isolate

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate and are unable to work, you may be eligible for help under the Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme.

Help with your bills or rent

You can  apply for Universal Credit if your earnings have changed because of covid-19 and you are unable to pay your bills or rent.

You can apply for universal credit if:

  • you are working less hours; or,
  • you are self-employed and are not earning the same as you could before covid-19


Information is available if you or someone you know is worried about their energy costs this winter. One of the schemes that we have introduced to help keep people warm and well is the Chichester Warm Homes Initiative. This scheme is for residents on low income living in a property with poor energy efficiency, and could contribute towards the installation of an efficient heating system, as well as loft and wall insulation. If you know someone who may benefit from this, please encourage them to get in touch with our delivery partners by visiting Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice service  or calling 01243 974063. 

 

Changes in your income

If you recieve Housing Benefit, a Council Tax Reduction, or any other benefit please make sure that you tell us of any changes to your income.

Discretionary housing payments

If you already receive housing costs element of universal credit or housing benefit, but are still unable to meet the cost of your rent, you might be eligible for a discretionary housing payment.

Help with your mortgage

The Government can offer  help towards the interest payments on your mortgage  and some other loans. Alternatively, you could speak to your mortgage or loan provider and ask them about payment holidays.

Help with paying your council tax

If you are struggling with the cost of your council tax we encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss your account so that we can try and work out how we can help you. Please visit our Council tax payment difficulties page, or contact taxation@chichester.gov.uk and arrange for an officer to contact you.

If you are issued with a council tax reminder, final notice or summons you may be invited to complete a TellJo wellbeing assessment by text message or email. The results of this assessment are shared back to us to help us better understand your personal situation and consider whether any additional support needs to be offered. If you receive an invite we encourage you to complete it so that we can offer additional help and signpost to further support that might be helpful, including Council tax discounts

.

You may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction. Please view our benefits calculator or make an application for benefits.

We are also offering additional discretionary council tax support as a result of COVID-19.

What are you entitled to?

To find out what you might be able to claim for, please visit the  Entitledto benefit calculator and enter your details. You will then receive an estimate of your entitlement to benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit.

Help with food, energy bills and other essentials

Help with debt

Chichester District Council is committed to supporting our customers who experience money worries. We are doing all we can to help our customers, and we recognise there may be other debts that you need help and advice with. If you are worried about debts or missed payments, there is free and independent debt advice available. The government sponsored Money Helper  can help you find support, including a money navigator tool. This tool provides guidance and support for customers whose income have been impacted by Coronavirus.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice can help with budgeting, debt, accessing grants, increasing your income and more. They offer advice over the phone and online, or you can drop into their Chichester office Mondays and Wednesdays. Home visits are available for disabled people and carers.

  • General advice on debt, benefits, housing, employment, and more - call 0808 278 7969 (Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm, freephone), book a video appointment or start a web chat . Drop into East Pallant House Mondays and Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
  • Energy advice - their dedicated team can help you save money on your energy bills and access emergency fuel support, as well as improve your energy efficiency. Call the team on 01243 974063 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).
  • Citizens Advice - Getting extra support from your energy supplier - If you find it hard to deal with your energy supply company or want to find out about getting priorityservices because you are vulnerable.
  • Getting online - if you'd like to learn how to shop safely and save money online, 'Technology Doesn't Byte' may be able to help you. The Digital Money Coach can help you find and fund a device for getting online, as well as looking at ways to pay for your internet connection. Call 01243 776528 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm) and ask for an appointment with the Digital Money Coach.
  • Universal Credit - if you're new to claiming benefits or unsure if you're eligible, speak to the Help to Claim team on 0800 144 8 444 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).

Help with energy bills

If your energy costs are high, your household income is low and your home isn't energy efficient, you may be experiencing fuel poverty. West Sussex residents can get help from Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice service . You can call the team on 01243 974063 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).

Help for women in difficulty or crisis

My sister's house is a local womens centre working in West Sussex providing a range of support needs to women, including support for women living with or in recovery from domestic abuse. Support ranges from 'drop in' clinics and one-to-one support, learning opportunities to develop confidence as well as practical support with clothing and finances.  

Help with mental health 

Shout 85858 is a free text messaging service that provided 24 hour support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.