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Thousands of applications to hardship fund

Thousands of applications to hardship fund

Thursday 02 April 2020

Thousands of applications to hardship fund

Thursday 02 April 2020

More than 2,500 hardship grants could be awarded imminently.

The Hardship Fund is one of the measures introduced by the States providing immediate financial support to people impacted by the corona virus.

The £5million hardship fund is designed to help those who might not qualify for unemployment benefit, sickness benefit or income support, but do need urgent financial help for essential payments.

People of working age may be eligible for support if they:

  • have been made redundant
  • are in employment or self-employment but have severely reduced household income
  • are unable to work because they have been required to stay at home in self isolation and cannot work from home
  • are unable to work because they are caring for a dependent child who can't attend their usual childcare

States Chief Executive Paul Whitfield said staff were receiving a significant number of enquiries and application.

"The hardship fund has responded to over 1,100 enquiries and business support has had more than 2,000 emails requesting more information," he said. "We have sent on and forwarded more than 2,500 forms for completion.

"We are responding to immediate needs and will continue to do so, but are also mindful of what will be needed further down the line as we move through this and, on a large scale, how we are able to respond."

Deputy Shane Langlois and Michelle Le Clerc

Pictured: Employment & Social Security President Michelle Le Clerc, right, has told people not to suffer in silence.

While the corona virus has had a severe impact on the private sector, public sector resources are also being tested. Mr Whitfield said his main three concerns are how we respond by the hour and by the day in this emergency situation, how does the States continue to provide the range of essential services it needs to run, and what does recovery look like

"There is a significant financial impact on government and costs are escalating," he said.

"We have responded by concentrating our efforts on the most essential service areas of great importance and value to the community right now.  

"We know, for example, that we are not going to be doing tourism right now so we are looking at how we can repurpose resources and reduce some of the overall revenue costs of dealing with covid."

People who need assistance from the hardship fund can call 732516 to find out more or claim support. They will be asked for further information on their circumstances to find out which benefit they qualify for.

Callers are asked to have details of their household income and bank account to hand, in order to speed up the application process.

Pictured top: Paul Whitfield. 

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