Coronavirus (COVID-19): What you need to do
Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person
Register with gov.uk if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.
If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway.
You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.
One Reading Community Hub Support and Volunteer Line 0808 1894325
Do you need extra help during the Coronavirus outbreak - or do you want to offer a helping hand?
A new Community Hub has been created for Reading Borough Council residents needing additional support during the outbreak for those wanting to volunteer their time or services, and for businesses who have the resources to help support the community.
If you, or someone you know is in need of extra support:
Fill in the online coronavirus support form
0808 189 4325 (freephone) from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Saturday: 9am - 5pm.
The One Reading Community Hub is a partnership between Reading Borough Council, Reading Voluntary Action and Reading's wide and varied voluntary and community sector.
Please only contact the Hub if you have urgent welfare needs which a family member or trusted friend cannot help you with.
All offers of help and support are welcome from individuals, businesses and other organisations. The Hub cannot provide health advice and will direct customers to NHS 111.
If you go out to get food or take exercise, remember to stand 2 metres (6 ft) away from other people. This is called Social Distancing. This distance is the arm span of an average adult or the length of double bed.
Changes to jobcentre appointments and Universal Credit
People receiving benefits no longer need to attend jobcentre appointments.
You will continue to receive your benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended. These changes will be in place for three months from 19 March 2020.
Anyone already claiming Universal Credit who thinks they may have been affected by coronavirus, should contact their work coach using their:
The standard rate in Universal Credit and tax credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from 6 April.
People applying for Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance or other benefits should not go to a jobcentre but apply for them online.
Suspension of face to face assessments for sickness and disability benefits
Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended.
This affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment, those on Employment and Support Allowance and some on Universal Credit, as well as recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. These changes will be in place for three months from 17 March 2020.
The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.
All Jobcentres are temporarily closed from 24 March. You can access support online at www.dwp.gov.uk
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 328 5644
In an emergency only, call Reading Jobcentre Plus on 0118 980 8304. They will call you back to minimise the cost to you.
£1bn package of additional support for renters
The Government has announced a package of measures to protect tenants and landlords affected by coronavirus. Renters will receive nearly £1bn additional support, through increases in the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit.
From April 2020, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.
Other measures to protect tenants and landlords include:
Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place.
As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.