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 were made from 13 March 2020.

On 20 March 2020 the Chancellor announced a further package of measures including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) which has been set up by HMRC to help pay people’s wages.

This was 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 made available for people renting their home from a private landlord.  This has been done through an increase in the local housing allowance rates used to work out Housing Benefit.The changes have been applied from the beginning of April 2020 and Housing Benefit claims have been recalculated with letters sent to residents confirming their new rates of entitlement.

The Government has announced it will provide local authorities with funding of £500m for a Coronavirus hardship scheme to support vulnerable residents. Further details about the scheme were released to all local authorities during March and April with most of the funding being 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 during the current financial year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021) will receive an additional award of £150.  This will be in addition to any Council Tax Support calculated for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 through Cornwall Council’s working age Council Tax Support scheme.  We aim to make these awards to residents already receiving Council Tax Support as soon as possible after 4 June 2020.  There is no need to apply for the extra help, awards will be made automatically and reduced Council Tax bills will be issued in due course.

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.