CORONAVIRUS: Call us if you're in financial crisis

Published Tuesday, 7th April 2020

People in financial crisis as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak are being advised to call Hartlepool Borough Council’s Local Welfare Support team to find out what help may be available.

The service which exists to help local residents affected by an unforeseen event or set of circumstances, can be accessed by calling (01429) 284284 and selecting Option 1.

Such unforeseen situations can include a fire, a death in the family, the loss of a job or – as is currently the case – a pandemic.

Help comes in a number of forms and includes shopping vouchers and electricity and gas pre-payment top-ups. It is NOT a fund for providing people with extra cash.

Penny Thompson, the Council’s Head of Service – Children’s Hub and Partnerships, said: “Anyone can apply for Local Welfare Support, including working people in receipt of low incomes and those who are out of work. However, the level of support that may be available will depend upon the circumstances of each individual.

“We would encourage people to contact us and talk to a member of staff who will ask them questions about their income. We will check the validity of their claim by cross-checking any information they provide against other systems that we have access to, and then a decision will be made.”

Alongside the Government’s support for people who have been furloughed by their employers, households may be eligible for a range of support with their Council Tax through the Council’s Local Council Tax Support Scheme, free schools meals and support with rent from the following benefits:

Apply for Local Council Tax Support at

http://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport

Apply for Free School Meals at

www.hartlepool.gov.uk/claim-free-school-meals

Apply for Housing Benefit at

https://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/housingbenefit‚Äč 

For further information on any of the above go to the Council’s website at www.hartlepool.gov.uk or telephone 01429 284188.

People can also get help via the West View Advice and Resource Centre which offers benefit advice, calculations, help with form-filling and debt action. It can be contacted on (01429) 271275 and telephone lines are open 9am-12.30pm and 1.15-3.30pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am-12.30pm on Fridays.