Help with paying bills

As well as getting your wages paid and taking a payment holiday from your mortgage or rent, people obviously have a number of monthly bills that they will be worried about meeting.

Thankfully, most organisations have put procedures in place to help customers whose income is affected by Coronavirus. Below is some advice on some of the more commons bills. This is not an exhaustive list of the industries that are offering help and support to their customers, so if you have other regular bills, which you are worried about being able to pay, my advice would be to get in contact with the provider and ask what help and support is available.

Council Tax

The Government has made new funding available to councils to help provide support to residents who are experiencing hardship.

If you current receive Local Council Tax Support, you will automatically have a £150 reduction applied to your 2020/21 council tax bill or if your bill is less than £150 then it will be reduced to zero. The Council will send you a new bill in April (ignore the originally sent in early March), so please do not pay your first Council Tax instalment until you have received your new bill. 

Details of the further help available to residents facing short or long term financial difficulties in paying their Council Tax is available on the Sutton Council website. This includes how you can claim Universal Credit or Council Tax Reduction.

However, in the meantime, if you wish to discuss your council tax account you should contact the Council Tax Team by email at counciltax@sutton.gov.uk. Depending on your personal circumstances the team might be able to offer short-term flexible repayments or offer a break in payments. 

Water

If you're having difficulty paying your water bill at the moment, the sooner you let SES Water know the better. They can't cancel it, but they can help.

They have introduced a 'payment holiday' which means you pay nothing for three months and after that you are automatically enrolled for nine months onto their Water Support Scheme which provides a 50% discount on your bill. They've made it really easy to apply and you don't need to provide lots of information.

Find out more information and make an application here.

Energy

New emergency measures with the energy industry have been agreed by the government to protect the domestic energy supply of those most in need during the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied. This will benefit over 4 million customers.

This could include nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit, or being sent a pre-loaded top up card so that their supply is not interrupted.

More broadly, any energy customer in financial distress will also be supported by their supplier, which could include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary, while disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.

Above are the big 6 energy companies, but if you are using a different supplier you should check their website for details of how they are supporting their customers, or help with those struggling to pay their bills.

TV and Broadband

Many TV and Broadband companies are looking to help their customers through this period by expanding the range of services they can access under their package.

Below are the Coronavirus sections of some of the larger companies, and I would urge you to make contact with them in order to get their help. 

If your provider isn't listed above, check their website for details of the support they are offering.

Mobile Phone

Many mobile phone companies are looking to help their customers through this period by expanding the range of services they can access under their package, or help with those struggling to pay their bills.

If your provider isn't listed above, check their website for details of the support they are offering.

REMEMBER: If you have a question, concern or need help with anything related to the Coronavirus, then please do email me at elliot.colburn.mp@parliament.uk or call 020 7219 5862 - my team and I are working flat out to make sure everyone gets access to the help and advice they need.

Attachments

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Government and Energy Supply Companies Agreement.pdf 99.8 KB