COVID-19: Council Tax, Benefits, Rent and other financial concerns

Council tax, benefits, rent and other financial help available.

Council Tax payments

Please note you are able to request from the Council Tax team to split your bill over 12 months rather than 10.  Please do so via email or telephone on 0300 303 8588.

Council Tax Support

If you require additional help with your council tax on top of the council tax support you currently receive, you may be entitled to Council Tax Hardship Payments (CTHPs).

Guidance on Council Tax Support

Housing Benefits

If you are making a new claim, the easiest way to check whether you may be entitled to Housing Benefit is to use the online benefits calculator before completing the online form. If you are entitled to make a claim for Universal Credit there will be a link at the end of the benefits calculator which you can use to go to the relevant website. In the limited situations where new claims for Housing Benefit can be made the benefits calculator will provide a link to the form.

Guidance on Housing Benefit

Self-employed and businesses

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC's Time To Pay service.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory sick pay will be payable to people staying at home on government advice, not just those infected, employers are urged to use their discretion about what evidence, if any, they ask for.

GOV.UK: Statutory Sick Pay

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit paid and administered by the Department for Works and Pensions - not Mendip Council.  It is important to note though that enquiries from Mendip residents about how to claim, how to report changes in circumstance or any queries about payment / entitlement have to be made to the Department for Works and Pensions or Job Centre Plus.  Mendip Council do not hold Universal Credit records.

Find out more about Universal Credit and how to claim online at A copy of the information guide for people who may need to or are claiming Universal Credit can also be found at

Furloughed workers

If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.

If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are kept on your employer's payroll, rather than being laid off.

To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.

If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

We intend for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but will extend if necessary.

Rent and Mortgage Payments

Complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters.  Government announces radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.

Government announces radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus