Coronavirus financial support and payment FAQs
We understand that many people are facing increased financial uncertainty due to the coronavirus outbreak. We want to assure our residents that if you are self-isolating and worried about what happens if you can’t pay your rent or lose your job, we’re here to talk through your options.
We have put together a list of frequently asked questions about rent and service charges which covers the key questions we have received from residents so far.
Do I need to pay my rent?
You are responsible for paying your rent and service charges, but we recognise that many people are facing financial difficulties right now. If you are worried about not being able to pay your rent, please call us on 0300 323 0325 and ask to speak to our Financial Support team who will be able to talk you through the options available.
How can I pay my rent or service charges if your receptions are closed?
We recognise that a lot of residents prefer to pay their rent in-person and because of Government guidance on social distancing, this has become increasingly more difficult to do. During this time, we encourage you to use one of our other options to pay your rent. For the full list of ways you can pay your rent or service charges, please visit www.originhousing.org.uk/residents/rent-and-payments
or call us on 0300 323 0325.
I’m worried about paying my rent, can the increase in my rent and service charges be delayed?
When we set our rent and service charges each year, we work in line with Government regulations and guidelines on what we should be offering residents. Please get in touch with us if you’re worried about paying your rent as we have a team of specialist Financial Support Officers who are here to help and an Income team who can talk you through your options. You can also book an appointment with the Financial Support Officers or a member of our Income team at a date and time convenient for you here: https://originhousing.org.uk/residents/rent-and-payments-(1)/book-an-appointment
I'm struggling to pay my gas and electricity bill, what support is available?
If you have a pre-pay meter at home and are having trouble paying your gas or electric bill because of the impact of COVID-19, we may be able to support you. Please call us on 0300 323 0325 and we will talk through your options.
I’ve lost my job, what support is available?
You may be entitled to benefit support.
You can complete your own free benefit assessment using our online benefit calculator to find out if you are eligible at originhousing.entitledto.co.uk
, or you can call us on 0300 323 0325 and ask to speak to our Financial Support team.
Benefit claims can be made online at www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
I’ve been told to self-isolate. What will happen to my pay?
If you’re not entitled to sick pay from work, then you may be entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay or other benefits such as Universal Credit. For more information go to Employment and Financial Support Section of www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Can I claim benefits if I’m self-employed?
Yes. You can claim benefits but your eligibility will be determined by the income that you still have. The government has changed the benefit entitlement rules to better support self-employed people. Check your eligibility at originhousing.entitledto.co.uk
, or for more advice and information go to www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
How can I check what benefit support might be available to me?
If you’re a new parent and not able to register the birth of your child because of coronavirus, you can still make a claim to receive Child Benefit. Find out how here- www.gov.uk/government/news/dont-miss-out-claim-child-benefit-by-phone-or-post-hmrc-tells-new-parents
Please note that if you're making a benefits claim or informing your local Council/ borough of a change in circumstances, do not visit their offices and instead use online services where possible.
If you have a question or concern that is not answered on this page, please call us on 0300 323 0325 and ask to speak to the Income team. You may also find it helpful to read our latest update about what we're doing to stop the spread of coronavirus and what that means for our services here.