Update on financial help and advice

Mansfield District Council is advising people facing financial difficulties during the emergency to pay what council tax they can or ask for a delay in the start of payments until June.

It has also issued new guidance on benefit claims, creditor payments and the £10,000 Small Business Grant and £25,000 Retail Hospitality Leisure Grant.

It is still waiting for final government guidance on the business rates holiday for certain sectors and is working on digital solutions to update businesses and issue new business rates bills as soon as possible.

Anyone with financial questions is being advised to email the council at mdc@mansfield.gov.uk rather than phoning 01623 463463 if they possibly can.

Housing Benefit claimants 

Most people needing housing support are paid via Universal Credit now. This is not managed by the council but by the Department for Work and Pensions.

However, some people, mostly older residents, in the district are still paid Housing Benefit and these claims continue to be managed by the council.

Dawn Edwards, Head of Finance at the council, said: "We can still accept paper Housing Benefit forms. They can be posted to us via Royal Mail or posted directly through our letter box while the Civic Centre is closed. You can do it while out for your daily exercise session while still practising social distancing rules.

"If we need any extra information to support the claim, we can receive that by post or by email at benefits@mansfield.gov.uk. Please remember to include your email address and telephone number on the form as this will help us to process claims more quickly if we need to ask for more information.

"We are here to help and find solutions to any problems to allow claims to progress as quickly as possible."

Any known changes to procedures will be updated promptly  through our website, social media and communication channels so keep checking, or sign up to get council updates by email.

Council Tax

The council is offering help by allowing people to pay over 12 months instead of the usual ten or by delaying the ten-month payment plan to start in June instead of April.

For people who are really struggling, it is advising people to pay what they can and to get in touch so that a realistic payment plan can be put in place. They can email the council at revenuesrecovery@mansfield.gov.uk.

There is also expected to be a Hardship Fund available to support working age people who receive Local Council Tax Support. The remaining liability of their 2020/21 bill will be reduced by up to £150.

The council is awaiting further guidance from the government on this and other hardship support, and will provide updates through its website, social media channels and email newsletter as soon as it can.

Small Business Grant

This is a £10,000 grant the government is funding for all businesses that qualify for small business rates relief or rural rate relief. The council is now asking businesses to apply for this online.

Retail/Hospitality/Leisure Grant

This is a £25,000 grant funded by the government for any businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in premises with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000. 

The council is now asking businesses to apply for this online.

Further information about support for businesses affected by the coronavirus.

Creditor payments

Suppliers owed money by the council will continue to be paid and should email their invoices to creditors@mansfield.gov.uk. There may be a delay in dealing with invoices sent by post.

Published: March 26th 2020