Guidance, support and the answers to the questions residents are asking us most frequently since the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) outbreak.

Decorative image showing the  brand logo for the Basildon COVID-19 Community Hub
If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, please contact the Basildon Community Hub for further information by either of the following methods:

Email: coronavirusresidents@basildon.gov.uk - (recommended for an early response)

Phone: 01268 533333 (select option 1)

Basildon Community Hub will continue to support vulnerable people after government Shielding ends on Friday 31 August

Basildon Council's Community Hub and its partners will continue to support the most vulnerable and isolated residents in our community with food and medication deliveries, hearing aid battery replacement and a befriending service, as well as giving general advice and guidance to borough residents during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Who the Community Hub can help

The Community Hub can help If you do not have the support of family and friends and...

  • you still need support with essential supplies now that deliveries from the government shielding service have ended
  • you are self-isolating due to showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • you are self-isolating due to having been advised to do so by the COVID-19 Test and Trace service.

To contact the Community Hub

Please note: If you have the support of family and friends you should continue to seek that support.


Basildon Community Hub will continue to support vulnerable people after government Shielding ends on Friday 31 August

Basildon Council's Community Hub and its partners will continue to support the most vulnerable and isolated residents in our community with food and medication deliveries, hearing aid battery replacement and a befriending service, as well as giving general advice and guidance to borough residents during the COVID-19 lockdown.
 

Contact the Community Hub if you do not have the support of family and friends and you still need support with essential supplies now that deliveries from the government shielding service have ended.
 

Please note: If you have the support of family and friends you should continue to seek that support.

Our town centre offices at The Basildon Centre in St. Martins Square, Basildon are now open from 9am-5pm for pre-booked appointments only. Appointments can be booked by calling 01268 533333.

 

The Essex Library branch in The Basildon Centre has now reopened.

Residents and customers are advised to access council services and information from this website in the usual way.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) enquiries

NHS Test and Trace in use

Visitors to the Basildon Centre who are not pre-booked will be asked to provide their details in order to comply with the Essex wide approach to NHS Test and Trace.
 

Details to be collected;

  • The name and contact phone number of any customers or visitors, or if it is a group of people, the name of the lead member of the group (or person booking a facility), who is able to contact other members of the group, and the number of people in the group
  • Recording the date, arrival and departure time of all visitors or visiting groups.

Details are not required if;

  • The visitor is on site for less than ten minutes
  • Pre booked appointment/or booking where the details are already held (visitor must agree to the details being used for this reason)
  • When visiting a partner agency in the Basildon Centre as they have their own arrangements in place.

For further information on NHS Test and Trace see:

Decorative image showing the  brand logo for the Basildon COVID-19 Community Hub
If you are self-isolating or staying at home due to being vulnerable and are without any support from friends or family who could help you with food shopping or collecting a medical prescription , please contact Basildon Community Hub for support by either of the following methods:

Email: coronavirusresidents@basildon.gov.uk - (recommended for an early response)

Phone: 01268 533333 (select option 1).
 

    Please note: this is a limited service and so we can only provide support to those most in need.
 

Guidance on safe and secure ways to pay a shopping volunteer for your groceries

If you are self-isolating and someone has volunteered to do your food shopping, you should use a safe and secure way to pay the shopping volunteer for your groceries during coronavirus lockdown.

For guidance and advice on the safest and most secure ways to pay a shopping volunteer for your groceries, visit:

Decorative image showing the  brand logo for the Basildon COVID-19 Community Hub
The Basildon Community Hub can offer help with the delivery of replacement hearing aid batteries.

If you usually receive your replacement hearing aid batteries from the hospital, and you are self-isolating or staying at home due to being vulnerable, and you need a replacement hearing aid battery, please contact Basildon Community Hub for support by either of the following methods:

Email: coronavirusresidents@basildon.gov.uk - (recommended for an early response)

Phone: 01268 533333 (select option 1).

NHS replacement battery postal deliveries back to normal

NHS deliveries of hearing aid batteries by post are now back to normal and patients can contact Basildon Hospital's Audiology Dept to request replacemnt batteries:
 

Phone:  01268 394732 ( Monday - Friday - 8am - 5.30pm)

Email: audiologyadult@btuh.nhs.uk
 

    Please note: this service is exclusively for those who have an NHS record card for their hearing aid batteries.

Replacement batteries from libraries back to normal

Replacement hearing aid batteries are once again available from local libraries. 

Decorative image showing the  brand logo for the Basildon COVID-19 Community Hub
We recognise staying at home for long periods of time can be difficult and can feel lonely at times. Regular conversation with others can make a huge difference to how we feel.

If you or someone you know may be feeling isolated or lonely, Basildon Community Hub have a great befriending team who will provide support to borough residents who are feeling isolated or lonely.

For more information about befriending, please contact Basildon Community Hub  by either of the following methods: :

Email: coronavirusresidents@basildon.gov.uk - (recommended for an early response)

Phone: 01268 533333 (select option 1).

The Essential Living fund is a grant based scheme open to anyone to claim. The scheme covers everything from furniture to day to day living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries, money for pay as you go fuel meters.

For more information or to make an application please visit: Essential Living Fund Applications - Essex County Council Area or:

Phone: 0300 7900124.

 

 

 

 

In line with the government roadmap, on 15 June 2020 significant changes were made to the regulations to ease restrictions on business closures. These changes mean that further businesses and venues can open, in particular non-essential retail.

 

To reduce social contact, some businesses and venues, including many of those in the leisure and hospitality sectors must remain closed. To see the full list of business and venues that must remain closed visit:

 

Failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the business being issued a prohibition notice or the individual responsible for the business being issued a fixed penalty notice or being prosecuted.

 

 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has now suspended all face to face interviews. This is for the safety of employees and visitors, in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Residents receiving benefits do not need to attend their job centre in person. Those who receive benefits will continue receiving their payments as normal. 

For information on applying to Universal Credit, please visit:  Gov.UK - Apply for Universal Credit.

A response we received from DWP stated:
 'We are seeing an unprecedented volume of intake and are currently redeploying everyone and giving everyone limited training to enable them all to deliver part or all of this Universal Credit process.  We will work with our local contact to address this where possible. The advances are paid by DWP not by the Council, we will still assist with our discretionary rent and council tax payments as normal.'

The DWP are not expecting normal activity during this time, including any eligibility conditions that are monitored. They have suspended all face-to-face intervention, including for new claimants. 

You will need to notify the DWP and the Council for Universal Credit and other benefits. Reducing your working hours, generally, increases your benefits/tax credits support.

From 13th March, if you are self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19, you are eligible for SSP. 

From 20th March, if you are advised to self-isolate or you are showing symptoms COVID-19, you can obtain an 'isolation note'. Complete an online form from NHS 111, do not go to a doctor. In addition, Jobcentre Plus as reason for not attending events will accept this note.
Residents entitled to SSP will get £94.25 per week if they are too ill to work. Your employer pays this for up to 28 weeks. 

The government has set out a Hardship Fund for local authorities in England, enabling them to reduce council tax bills for 2020 to 2021. This applies to all working age people receiving Council Tax Reduction and does not include residents who only receive a discount or exemption, e.g single persons discount. 

  • If you're in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, you will receive a further reduction of your council tax bill up to a maximum of £150.00.
  • If you're in receipt of a Council Tax Reduction and your council tax liability is less than £150.00, then your liability will be reduced to nil.
  • If you're in receipt of a Council Tax Reduction and your council tax liability is nil, then no reduction will be made.

The majority of Basildon's Council Tax Reduction customers will receive a maximum £150.00 further reduction to their council tax bill.

A one off payment will be automatically credited to your account, there is no need to contact the council. For ALL working age Council Tax Reduction customers we will reduce your council tax accounts and send you a revised council tax bill with a revised instalment payment plan.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with living costs, it is paid monthly and is calculated based on your household and income circumstances. Universal Credit can also help you with your housing costs.

For more information or to make an application please visit GOV.UK - Universal Credit or:

Phone: 0800 328 5644

Textphone: 0800 328 1344.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you are unable to work, because you are ill or self-isolating because of the coronavirus you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay. This currently includes people who are self-employed.

You are not eligible for SSP if you earn less than £118 per week or are self employed. Instead, you are advised to claim for Universal Credit (UC) or 'new style' Employment and Support Allowance. 

For more information on Statutory Sick Pay please visit GOV.UK - Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or:

Phone: 03000 560 630

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is an income related benefit to help people who can claim as state pension there are 2 parts of Pension Credit. Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit, which one you are entitled to depend on your income and savings circumstances.

For more information Pension Credit or to make an application please visit GOV.UK - Pension Credit or:

Phone: 0800 99 1234

Universal Credit

If you have not old enough to claim State Pension Credit, to claim financial assistance with your Housing Costs you need to claim Universal Credit.

For more information or to make an application please visit GOV.UK - Universal Credit or:

Phone: 0800 328 5644

Textphone: 0800 328 1344.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is financial assistance for those on low income to help with their rental charges. It will be administered by Basildon Borough Council, and is paid to people who are old enough to claim a state pension

For more information or to make a claim please visit Apply for housing benefit and/or council tax support or:

 Phone: 01268 533333.

The government has announced that your landlords are not allowed to evict you or take any court action for the next 3 months.

If you rent from the council and would like more information about the rent please visit Housing, rent and homelessness  or:

Phone: 01268 533333.

Further Help for people claiming Universal Credit or Housing Benefit but still unable to meet their rental charges

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is additional financial help for people who are in receipt of Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit.

For more information or to make an application please visit Apply for Discretionary and/or Exceptional Hardship Payments or:

Phone: 01268 533333.

If financial insecurity caused by COVID-19 has left you unsure on how you can pay council tax, speak to us. We have not been advised by the government to offer council tax holidays, but other help is available.  Including council tax reductions for those who are eligible and alternative payment methods for direct debits. 

For support on any of these schemes, please call 01268 533 333. 


What help may be available?

Council Tax Reduction (CTR)

Council Tax Reduction is a discount for persons of working age who are on a low income or unemployed.  

For more information or to make an application please visit: Information on Council Tax Assistance 

Local Council Tax Support

Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) is available for those on a low income who are old enough to claim a State Pension.  The discount is administered by Basildon Council.

For more information or to make an application please visit: Information on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction 

Discretionary Essential Hardship Payment

Essential Hardship Payment (EHP) is additional help for those who are in receipt CTR but are still unable to meet their Council Tax costs.

For more information or to make an application please visit: Information on Discretionary and / or Exceptional Hardship Payments 

With many people struggling financially it can be concerning about how to repay your debts and ingoing costs. Some options that you may wish to consider are:

  • Asking for a mortgage holiday
  • Speaking to your landlord about your rent
  • Talking to your debtors.

Free independent debt assistance from Citizens Advice

First, Citizens Advice have developed a new digital tool, full of helpful ways to maximise household income, save money and prevent financial problems. The guide has been designed specifically to help anyone living in the south of Essex and is available to download via the link below. 

Icon for pdf Download 'Making Every Penny Count' from Citizens Advice [3.29MB]

For more information from Citizens Advice please visit: Citizens Advice - Help with debt or:

Phone: 03444 111444

Text relay: 03444 111 445

PLEASE NOTE: At the moment Citizens Advice are unable to make face to face interviews because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

It's important we look out for our family, friends and neighbours, especially if they live alone, are elderly or have pre-existing health conditions.

You may be able to help without having face-to-face contact. You could:

  • pop a note through their door giving them your phone number, if they don't already have it
  • keep in touch by phone or social media
  • help them by doing their food shopping and leaving it on their doorstep
  • pointing them to trusted and reliable information, such as Basildon Council, the NHS Website , or the information from central Government at GOV.UK - Welcome to GOV.UK
  • encourage people to stay active at home where possible.

If you, or a friend or family member feels anxious or worried, there is some helpful information on the Mind website, please visit: MIND - For better mental health.

For more volunteering ideas and downloadable resources on how you can make a difference, see also: Community volunteering and helping others.