West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Coronavirus Support

Financial help for people affected by Covid-19

Like all councils we want to support our local communities as much as possible during the current coronavirus pandemic.

On this page you can find out about the support which is available to people who have been affected.

Elsewhere on this website you can find more information for residents and more information for businesses

Community Support Hub

We know that this is a difficult time for everyone and that no one in the community remains unaffected by this global emergency. That said, the current situation will leave some of our residents in greater need of support with their daily lives, whether this be help with food, shopping or a listening ear. If you are one of these residents, the Community Support Hub is here to help.

The Hub is open five days a week, from Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm and on Fridays 8:30am to 4:30pm and has already been used to help hundreds of local people. If you need to get in touch, please call us on 01635 503579, email us on westberksbct@westberks.gov.uk or you can ask for help from our Community Support Hub service online. For out of hours emergencies, please contact 01635 42161.

In addition, for a list of useful help resources, please see our Information for Residents.

COVID Winter Grant Scheme

If you are in financial hardship due to the pandemic you may be eligible for support for food, utility bills (heating, cooking, lighting), water bills for household purposes (including drinking, washing, cooking, central heating, sewerage and sanitary purposes), or other related essentials.

If you currently work with support professionals, such as social and care workers, you are encouraged to work with them to make an application. Alternatively you are welcome to apply using the link below.

As part of the Scheme we have arranged Free School Meal vouchers available for eligible 5 to 16 year olds during the Christmas and February school holidays (17 days in total) and throughout the National Lockdown put in place by the Government from 5 January 2021.

The COVID Winter Grant Scheme will run from 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2021. For further information, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

Important notes about your application: 

1) Please have your supporting documentation ready, such as evidence of the benefits you receive and/or a furlough letter from your employer.  You will need to attach copies of these documents in your application, otherwise the application will be rejected.

2) Please be specific about why you are claiming the grant and list what the financial assistance you are requesting is to be spent on.

Apply for a COVID Winter Grant.

NHS Test and Trace Support Payment

If you have been told by the NHS Test and Trace Service to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period. Please note that you are not entitled to financial support if you have only been advised to self isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app.

Apply for a payment of £500 to help you self-isolate.

Council Tax and Benefits

Find out how much Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit you might be entitled to. You can use our online Council Tax Support and Housing Benefits Calculator for an instant online estimate. 

You can also find out how to get money off your Council Tax bill if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a new national benefit for people who are on a low income or out of work. UC replaces Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support.

Find out more about Universal Credit and apply online