Support with jobs and money for you and your family
We know that many people are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We do not know exactly what the coming months will bring and our aim in Barking & Dagenham is provide support to residents where we can.
Don’t leave things until they become a bigger problem. There are a number of actions you can take now, to improve your situation and benefit you and your family in the future.
If you are unemployed
Our Job Shops are operating a virtual service. You can view local jobs and we can help you find work:
If you are furloughed
Don’t wait for your employer to contact you, speak to them about their future plans and whether they are planning to make redundancies when the furlough scheme ends in October.
More information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found on the Government's website:
If you can’t pay your bills
If you want to reduce your household bills
There are a number of quick steps you can take to reduce your bills and give your finances some breathing space.
The council’s Cosy Homes Scheme offers free insulation upgrades:
If you want to gain new skills and experience
You could use some of your time to improve your skills for when you go back to work, or even to explore ideas for a career change. Browse course options and details about Adult College of Barking and Dagenham or ring us on 020 8270 4722.
If you want to improve your digital skills
Have a look at Adult College digital skills courses or ring us on 020 8270 4722.
If you are experiencing hardship
Please see if you are eligible for an Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) which works in conjunction with the Homes and Money Hub to support residents across a broad range of services. This will include referrals of IAP Applicants to services such as Job Shop, Budgeting and Debt advice, Adult Learning and any other relevant service as applicable for further advice and ongoing support.
We’ve also set out some useful information and helpful links on this page.
If you need to speak with someone about your financial situation
Please get in contact with the Homes and Money Hub team.
- Council Tax payments
- Rent payments
- Universal Credit
- Financial support for businesses and self-employed residents
- Help and support for rough sleepers
- General support
Council Tax payments
If your financial circumstances have changed in recent weeks as a result of the pandemic which means you may have difficulty paying your council tax, please let us know so that we can help.
It may mean that we work out a plan to help spread out payments across the remainder of the year after the crisis has ended, or you could be eligible to claim Council Tax Support.
The Government has announced there will be help for Council Tax Payers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll share more information on this as we receive it.
If you’re struggling with rent payments and are falling into arrears, please let us know and we’ll do our best to help and support you.
If you receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, you may be eligible for extra financial support through a discretionary housing payment.
If you are not eligible for a discretionary housing payment, or you need help to apply, you can contact our Homes and Money Hub for help and advice.
If you’re unemployed or have experienced a sudden loss of income due to coronavirus, you may be able to claim benefits to support you. For most working-age people the benefit you need to claim is Universal Credit.
If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and your circumstances have changed you should report the change immediately by signing into your Universal Credit account.
Financial support for businesses and self-employed residents
We know that this is a worrying time for businesses and self-employed residents. We want to reassure you that we are working with the NHS, Public Health England and other partners to prepare for the local impact.
Help and support for rough sleepers
We’re also housing every one of our rough sleepers, and working with The Source, a local charity, we’ve opened a day shelter in Relish Cafe, Barking, to provide hot food and advice and support.
If you or someone you know need help, you can refer yourself for support through StreetLink or by calling 0300 500 0914.
You can also contact our Housing Advice service by emailing email@example.com
Get in touch with BD CAN for support with things like shopping and collecting medication.
We have a number of food banks in Barking and Dagenham that can provide emergency food parcels .
For more information and advice on debts.
Online free advice from Citizens Advice to help you find a way forward, whatever the problem.
To find more information on how to claim statutory sick pay (SSP) and employment support allowance (ESA).
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
- If you can’t pay your bills because of coronavirus
- If you've got less money because of coronavirus
- If you can’t pay your rent
- If your landlord has started court action to evict you
- If you can’t pay your mortgage
- If you can’t pay your energy bills
- If you have a prepayment energy meter
- If you can’t pay your water bill
If you can’t pay your bills because of coronavirus
There are things you can do if you’re struggling to pay things like your rent, mortgage or energy bills because of coronavirus.
It’s important you don’t ignore your bills. Speak to the organisation you owe money to - they might be able to help by letting you pay smaller amounts or take a break.
It’s also worth checking with your bank or building society - they might be able to help you with your debts or let you delay loan or credit card repayments.
If you've got less money because of coronavirus
If you’ve been affected by coronavirus, you might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits, if:
- you have coronavirus, or you’re following guidance to stay at home
- you have lost your job
- you are self-employed and can’t get work
- you can’t work because your workplace has closed
Check what benefits you can get if you’re affected by coronavirus. If you've been struck by disaster or have run out of money and can't afford essentials like food or heating, there are emergency funds to help you.
Universal Credit advance payments
You can apply for a universal credit advance payment if you claim universal credit.
You have up to 12 months to pay back an advance of universal credit. Please ensure that you only request what you need, as the repayments will reduce your monthly UC income for the next 12 months.
If you can’t pay your rent
If you’re renting privately, you should explain the situation to your landlord straight away - they might give you more time to pay, or agree to reduce your rent.
If you’ve fallen behind with your rent, don’t ignore it. Get in touch with our Homes and Money Hub for help and support. You can also check if you can get extra financial help.
If you’re a private renter and your landlord doesn’t offer to be flexible with your rent payments, it’s a good idea to pay as much as you can afford and keep a record of what you discussed.
You should also contact your nearest Citizens Advice - an adviser can help you explain things to your landlord.
You may be entitled to benefits to help with housing costs if your income has reduced, even if you’re still working.
If your landlord has started court action to evict you
The court service has postponed all eviction processes for three months from 27 March 2020. If your landlord has gone to court to evict you, you won’t have to leave your home yet.
You can find out more about what to do if you’re being evicted for rent arrears.
You can also find out more about Coronavirus support for renters on GOV.UK.
If you can’t pay your mortgage
The government has announced that if you can’t pay your mortgage because of Coronavirus you might be able to have a 3-month payment holiday. You won’t be able to do this if you’re behind with your payments.
Get in touch with your mortgage provider to find out more.
You can also find out more about dealing with mortgage problems.
If you can’t pay your energy bills
Speak to your energy supplier as soon as you can. You might be able to set up a payment plan with them to help spread the cost of your bills.
Find out more about what to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.
If you have a prepayment energy meter
Your supplier will try to help you find ways to keep your energy supply connected if you can’t top up your meter because of Coronavirus.
Tell your supplier as soon as possible if you can’t top up. You’ll find their contact details on their website or on your bill.
Check our advice on what to do If you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter.
Get in touch with our Homes and Money Hub for help and advice.
If you can’t pay your water bill
It’s best to speak to your water company as soon as you can if you’re having problems paying your bill.
You can find out more about what to do if you’re struggling to pay your water bill.