Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Benefits and Coronavirus

The Government have announced some additional help for people whose household income has been affected due to coronavirus.

For people in work

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If you are unable to work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness.

Statutory Sick Pay will also be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. The changes to legislation regarding Statutory Sick Pay and coronavirus will be changed from 13 March 2020.

On 20 March 2020 the Chancellor announced a further package of measures including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  This will be set up to help pay people’s wages.

This has also been followed up with a similar scheme to help people who are self-employed.  The Government have now published further details about the self-employment income support scheme.

If you are liable to pay Council Tax for your home, you may qualify for help through our Council Tax Support scheme. You can use our website to find out if you are eligible and to make a claim.

For other help including help with rent or mortgage payments please visit the Universal Credit website

If you are already receiving Universal Credit and your household income is affected by coronavirus you should report the change through your online journal or by calling the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644.  If you are receiving other state benefits or tax credits you should report any changes to the relevant office dealing with your claim. 

If you are currently in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support from Cornwall Council you can tell us about any changes in your household income online. If you have any questions and need to get in touch with us, please use our online contact form.

Extra help has been announced for people renting their home from a private landlord.  This will be done through an increase in the local housing allowance rates used to work out Housing Benefit.  We know the changes will apply from April 2020 and we are waiting for the Government to give us more detail on what the new rates will be.  Residents do not need to contact us to request the increased local housing allowance rates.  Once we have been given the new rates of local housing allowance we will automatically recalculate all relevant Housing Benefit claims.  We will then send notifications to confirm the new entitlement.   

The Government has announced it will provide local authorities with funding of £500m for a Coronavirus hardship scheme to support vulnerable residents. Initial details were released to all local authorities on 24 March 2020. Most of the funding will be used to offer extra support through each local authorities own Council Tax Support scheme. 

The intention is that every working age household in receipt of Council Tax Support will receive an extra award of £150 in the next few weeks.  This will be in addition to any Council Tax Support already calculated for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.  These awards will be applied to accounts as early as possible after the beginning of April.  There is no need to apply for the extra help.  Awards will be made automatically and new Council Tax bills will be issued in due course. 

Once the £150 awards have been made, the Government will allow local authorities to use any remaining funds to offer further support to those residents most affected financially by the Coronavirus outbreak.  Cornwall Council will work quickly to confirm how any remaining hardship funding will be awarded including more information on eligibility criteria and any application process. 

In the meantime, we have three discretionary funds to support residents in need of extra financial help.

  • Discretionary Housing Payments for residents who rent their home, are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and need extra help to pay their rent.
  • Exceptional Relief for working age residents in receipt of Council Tax Support and who need further financial help to pay their Council tax
  • Crisis and Care Award scheme which can provide extra help in emergency or disaster situations.     

We will keep this page updated as further information is released by the Government, so please keep checking back for the most up to date position.