27 May 2020

Where to find useful information during COVID-19

5 min read

 

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If you’re looking for information or support during the Covid-19 pandemic there are several specialist websites that can help.

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As well as providing information, many of these organisations and charities have set up special coronavirus helplines or webchat facilities so you can speak to an adviser via their websites. This could be for help on what financial support is available from the government, how to apply for benefits and grants, how to deal with bills or how to stay positive during these testing times.

There’s also lots of help and advice on how to make your money go further, what to do if you’re worried about falling into debt, what help is available from lenders, the banks and energy providers, your rights if you’re renting and how to look after your mental health. Here are some of the organisations that can help.

All links in this article will take you to an external website.

Managing your money and government support

Gov.uk

Visit the government website for all the latest news and information on what help and support the government is offering during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes information on employment, financial support, health & wellbeing and working safely.

Citizens Advice

Contact its free national advice line on 03444 111 444 or visit its website for help and advice on what coronavirus means for you if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. As well as offering help over the phone there’s lots of information on the website about what to do if your work, benefits or travel have been affected by coronavirus, if you can’t pay your landlord or need to claim benefits as well as the usual wealth of information on dealing with debt, your legal rights and family matters.

Money and Pensions Service

Visit its website, contact its webchat online service or call one of its advisers for help on 0800 138 1677. As well as coronavirus information, the website also has an extensive range of guides and tools to help you manage all aspects of your personal finances from student debt to budgeting, buying or renting a home, starting a family, dealing with debt, state benefits and planning for retirement.

Which?

Its website has information and advice on a wide range of financial issues during these difficult times.

Benefits advice

Turn2Us

Turn2us is a national charity specialising in information on state benefits and grants. You can call its helpline on 0808 802 2000 or visit its website for details of all state benefits including those available during the coronavirus outbreak.

The site also includes a benefits calculator which you can use to see which benefits you might be eligible for as well as a grants search which you can use if you’re on a low income to see if you are entitled to any non-repayable grants from charities. You can also do a search to find out what local advice services and agencies are available in your area.

Debt advice charities

Stepchange

You can visit this debt advice charity’s website or use its free online advice service for information, help and advice on debt. You can also call on 0800 138 1111 but its website warns that the phone lines are very busy and there are fewer advisers than usual to take your call.

National Debtline

This national debt advice charity has a helpline that you can call on 0808 808 4000. You can also visit its website or use its webchat for help and advice on debt, if you’re worried about your job, need financial help or are having any difficulties paying your bills due to coronavirus.

Mental health and wellbeing support

Mind

The support helpline for the mental health charity is 0300 123 3393 or you can use the confidential webchat line. You can also visit its website for help and advice on looking after your mental health during lockdown. There is practical advice and a checklist for staying at home; information on how coronavirus might affect your work, benefits and housing; and useful links to NHS information on coronavirus.

The Samaritans

Whatever you’re going through, whether you’re in need of a friend or feeling suicidal you can call The Samaritans any time of the day or night free of charge on its dedicated number, which is 116 123. You can find out more on its website.

These are unprecedented times and many people’s finances have been affected by coronavirus, but there is help available, whether you want to talk to someone or are just looking for information about your rights.