Sandwell Council has announced a raft of measures to help people during the coronavirus outbreak.
Leader of the Council Councillor Yvonne Davies has announced assistance for anyone self-isolating who doesn’t have any family, friends or neighbours to help them.
Councillor Davies said: “We will do our best to help with food deliveries, medical supplies and anything else you may need.
“We will not ask for money now. Paying for anything the council helps you with during this time can be sorted out at a later date. Just contact us to see what help we can give you.”
She also advised:
Go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/coronavirus for details of local groups who can help those in self-isolation, and for how to get emergency help from the council.
Anyone in urgent need of help who doesn’t have the internet or any support should call the council’s emergency helpline on 0121 569 2266.
Sandwell residents struggling to pay their Council Tax or rent due to the coronavirus situation are also being advised of help available from the Council.
Sandwell Council provides three different types of financial support that may help people whose incomes are reduced by illness, the need to self-isolate, job loss or a reduction in work hours.
The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme provides help to people in Sandwell on the lowest incomes.
Anyone who sees their income reduced significantly in the coming weeks and months is advised to check on the Council’s website to see if they may be eligible for Council Tax reduction.
The scheme already helps around 30,000 people with discounts on their Council Tax bill due to their financial circumstances.
The Council can also make Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to eligible residents who are struggling to pay their rent. DHP is available to anyone receiving Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit who doesn’t have enough money to pay the shortfall in their rent.
There is also Local Welfare Provision, which is available to people in crisis, on a case-by-case basis, to pay for fuel, travel or white goods, as well as food bank vouchers for those in severe financial difficulty.
All three can be applied for online at www.sandwell.gov.uk/benefits or call 0121 368 1155.
Anyone who has access to the internet is asked to apply online to free up the phonelines for people without access to the internet.
Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “It’s really important that people are aware of the help that is out there for them.
“Sadly, we are expecting that some people will struggle to meet their financial commitments and that’s why we want them to know that the Council can provide financial assistance.
“Now, more than ever, we want people to be aware that if their circumstances change, there is help available to those who become eligible for assistance in covering their Council Tax and rent bills.”
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for resources and core services Councillor Wasim Ali said: “It’s worth anyone who is suffering hardship or whose circumstances do change in the coming weeks and months to check if there is something the Council can do to help them financially.”
The Council has also announced the suspension of Council court action for debt during the Coronavirus crisis.
Anyone who is concerned about a debt to Sandwell Council who needs advice should call 0121 569 5333.