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Covid-19 Assistance for Individuals and Businesses

This page contains information on COVID-19 assistance available for individuals and businesses. 


Discretionary Support Grant

To help support people who live in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic the Department for Communities has put in place additional short term financial support for living expenses
Telephone: 0800 587 2750


Make the Call

This service provides an individual benefit, service and support check
Telephone: 0800 232 1271


Covid Community Helpline

A Freephone Helpline has been established to assist those in vulnerable groups to access information, advice and support in relation to COVID-19


Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme 

The Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme will offer an initial one-off taxable grant of £3,500 to newly self-employed individuals (sole traders and those in partnerships) that meet certain criteria


New Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme 

Financial incentive available to all employers to support the recruitment of new apprentices


Business Rates Relief for Retail, Hospitality, Tourism, Leisure and Childcare Sectors

Business rates exemption for full financial year of 2020-21 for sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic


Bounce Back Loan

Government-backed loans for UK-based small and medium-sized businesses ranging from between £2,000 and £50,000. The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Grants to self-employed individuals or members of a partnership whose businesses have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19)


Deferral of Self Assessment Payment 

The Self Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may be deferred until January 2021


Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees


Warm, Well and Connected

People in extreme need can get £50 electric / £49 gas top up / 300 litres of oil through this scheme 


COVID-19 Heating Payment

The Department has put in place a one-off heating payment for those people who are in receipt of Pension Credit, or are in receipt of certain disability benefits (at the higher rates) in recognition of additional costs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important, if you think you are eligible but have not received your payment by 15 February 2021, that you report this before 30 April 2021


Discretionary Support self-isolation grant

A non-repayable Discretionary Support self-isolation grant may be available to a person or any member of their immediate family who has either been diagnosed with COVID-19 or told to self-isolate in accordance with the latest guidance published by the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being


Universal Credit Contingency Fund Short-term Living Expenses Grant

A Universal Credit Contingency Fund payment is a non-repayable grant. It may be available to people normally within the first Universal Credit assessment period following a new application to Universal Credit and who are continuing to experience financial difficulties


Warm, Well and Connected Grant community and voluntary groups (CWSAN + COSTA)

The Warm, Well and Connected (WWC) programme can assist you reach out to communities to help people who have been acutely affected by COVID 19


Rate Rebate

You can apply for Rate Rebate if you're already getting Universal Credit and you're:

  • a homeowner living in your own property
  • a tenant living in social housing owned by the Housing Executive
  • a tenant living in social housing owned by a housing association
  • a tenant living in private rented housing

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