As the situation with coronavirus evolves, it’s important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you care for.

If you are worried that you or someone you care for may be at risk, NHS 111 can offer direct guidance through their online coronavirus symptom checker. Call 111 if symptoms become severe and let them know you are a carer.

You can also find information about coronavirus on these websites:

  • The UK Government website
  • The NHS website
  • If you are an extremely vulnerable person, you can register for support and the government will ensure you get support with things such as deliveries and food supplies. You can register for this on someone else’s behalf. If you are not sure if you are classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’, the advice is to register anyway.

On Wednesday 8th April 2020, The Department of Health and Social Care released guidance for people providing unpaid care to family or friends who cannot cope without their support.

It details; what they mean by clinically ‘vulnerable groups’ and clinically ‘vulnerable groups’, if you or the person you care for has symptoms, if you are a carer and you have symptoms as well as general advice on such topics as:

  • What you should be doing to prepare.
  • Protecting yourself and the person you care for.
  • Caring for someone who is clinically ‘extremely vulnerable’.
  • If the person you care for is concerned about their usual paid carer coming in and out of their home and the risk of infection.
  • If the person you care for is in a care home.
  • Maintaining your own health while you are looking after others.
  • Accessing alternative care quickly if you are unable to provide care.

Read The Department of Health and Social Care’s guidance for unpaid carers.

Public Health England have launched a new campaign to support people to manage their mental wellbeing during this difficult time, using Every Mind Matters self-care resources.

Visit Every Mind Matters to find out more.

Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This scheme will allow self-employed to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. Click here to get details on claiming a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

 

Check if you could be covered by the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’. Check if you are eligible. Click here to check if you could be eligible through this scheme

Business Support Website
The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. This website: www.businesssupport.gov.uk helps you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus on your business. To make it easier to find quick answers to the key questions businesses may have, some Frequently Asked Questions and other sources of support are also available. For ease of reference they can be accessed through this link: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-advice

 

Measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus
The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home. Landlords will also be protected by a 3 month mortgage payment holiday where they have a Buy to Let mortgages. Click here for more details.

 

Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus
The government is committed to supporting apprentices, and employers continue to build the skills capabilities the country needs now and in the future. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is responding by taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of COVID-19, and to support providers during this challenging time. Click here for more information.

 

Government confirms £500 million hardship fund will provide council tax relief for vulnerable households
Local Government Secretary confirmed £500 million Hardship Fund which will provide support, including council tax relief, in 2020 to 2021 to those who need it most. Guidance was released on 24 March 2020 to provide clarity for councils on how to allocate the funding following its announcement at Budget. The funding will enable further reductions in council tax for working age people in receipt of Local Council Tax Support. Click here for more details.

Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. For more information click here.

Partners will find it helpful to keep checking:

 

Please send any questions or comments to: rajesh.shah@dwp.gov.uk

Read the open letter from Vicky Ford MP sent to Special Education Needs and Disabilities sector, their parents/carers and families, and all others who support them.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons, and one of these is to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. Even when you are doing this, you need to do so safely. You should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres (6 feet) apart from anyone outside of your household. Find out more information on how you can help safely.

“Keeping our Customers Safe”

In line with Government advice, to help protect our customers and colleagues, from 24 March our doors will be temporarily closed. You can access support online www.dwp.gov.uk where telephone services are also listed (or for UC customers, through your account)

Jobcentre Plus:

  •  Telephone: 0800 055 6688
  •  Textphone: 0800 023 4888 

Universal Credit Helpline:

  • Telephone: 0800 328 5644

In an emergency only call 01753 615676 or 01753 615634 (we will call you back immediately so that we minimise the cost to you).

If you need referral to a Foodbank, please ring us on the above number.

Who To Contact:

  • Telephone: 0800 055 6688

The Government have said that your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) – but you must keep your vehicle safe.

For more information, visit Coronavirus: MOTs due from 30 March 2020.