Find help near you
Charities offering support during Covid-19 are listed on NICVA site:
A Freephone Helpline has been established to assist those in vulnerable groups to access information, advice and guidance in relation to COVID-19. The Helpline, which is managed by Advice NI, is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week, the number is 0808 802 0020. Alternatively you can text ACTION to 81025 or email : Covid19@adviceni.net.
COVID-19 Free School Meals/Access to Food
As a result of school closures due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Minister for Education and Minister for Communities has agreed to make payment to families who have been assessed as eligible for free school meals.
If you have already submitted your bank details and they have not changed then you do NOT need to send them your details.
If you do need to provide new or updated details then please email them to: MealsandUniforms-Omagh@eani.org.uk with your name, National Insurance number, address with postcode and details of your child(ren).
EA Youth Service Eat Well Live Well Scheme
EA Youth Service launches today its Eat Well Live Well programme for Young people registered with EA Youth Service aged 4-25 years who need access a 5-day food box providing breakfast & lunch Mon-Fri as part of a safety net to the provision of free school meals during Covid-19. Applications are screened and there are some delays in processing due to demand. Whether applying for yourself or on behalf of another person, please ensure enough information is given on how they qualify for help.
Find a Centre Near you here https://bit.ly/2yuX4Gz
- Freephone Benefits Check: 0800 232 1271
- Advice NI ‘Welfare Changes’ hotline can be contacted on: 0808 8020020
- Advice NI also have a debt advice service: 08000 281881
- If you’re an employee and unable to work because you’re ill you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay. It is paid by your employer and can be paid for up to 28 weeks. More info here or call 08002321271 to see if you are entitled to any additional support.
- To apply for financial help, contact the Department’s Finance Support service on 0800 587 2750 (Freephone) or 0800 587 2751 (textphone for customers with hearing difficulties).
- Further information on JSA, PIP, WCAs, UC and ESA can be found at the Law Centre NI’s advice page.
Weekly food box
You may be able to get a weekly food box delivered to your home. Food boxes are available for people who cannot afford food and who do not have a support network of family and friends to help them through this emergency. These boxes are availablethose in critical need of food including families and older citizens. Telephone the COVID 19 Community Helpline 0808 802 0020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or text: ACTION to 81025.
For more information see Dept of Communities webpage: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/covid-19-service-updates
NI Housing Executive
NI Housing Executive offices are closed to the public.
- General Enquiries – visit www.nihe.gov.uk or call 03448 920 900
- Emergency Repairs – report online at www.nihe.gov.uk, text 66644 starting your message with the word ‘Repair’ and remembering to include your address or call 03448 920 901
- Housing Benefit – visit www.nihe.gov.uk or call 03448 920 902
- Homelessness Enquiries – visit www.nihe.gov.uk or call 03448 920 908
Coronavirus updates: Support for your business:
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
VAT payments have been deferred for three months. The deferral will apply from 20th March until 30th June 2020.
For self-employed people, VAT payments due in June will be deferred until 31st January 2021
No rates payments for the next three months and this will be paid by the government with no costs to businesses. No rates will be charged for April, May and June. This results in a 25% reduction in business rates.
Government launching two new grants.
- £10k for businesses with NAV <£15k
- Grants should be paid by the end of this week
- If Accounts NI already have the business’ details then the process will be automatic
- If they don’t have the account details, the business owner will have to submit them. This can be done here.
If everything is in order, you will receive an email confirming that the grant payment has been issued.If you are not eligible to receive the grant or if there has been a problem with your registration, you will receive an email explaining why.
- £25k for retail, tourism and hospitality businesses with NAV £15k – £50k (more details to follow)
NAV can be checked here.
The Small Business Grant scheme is now live. Applications can be made via this link.
The helpline number for the Small Business Grant scheme is 0300 200 7809
Advice for Muslim Communities – Businesses, Individuals and Families from Muslim Council of Britain and KSIMC of London.
This advice for Muslim communities is compiled by Muslim Council of Britain and the KSIMC of London. Some advice is UK wide, but be aware some council information only applies to England and Wales. Shared for your information.As advice is updated regularly please follow the live links for information on support available for small businesses, individuals and families: