Coronavirus frequently asked questions

I share custody of my child with my ex partner, will we both still be able to see them during self isolation? 

Current Government guidance suggests that – as long as both parents are symptom-free – parents and carers can continue to share custody of their children in accordance with their Child Arrangement Order. All adults will still have to respect social distancing rules, such as remaining at a distance of 2m from one another, refraining from physical contact and staying outside the other parent’s house where possible.

I am living in a caravan park, do I now have to leave? 

The Government has said that all “non-essential premises” must close with immediate effect, which includes “caravan parks/sites for commercial uses”. However, this doesn’t include permanent residential parks or people who are “staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available”.

We are currently unclear what will happen if the park owner asks you to leave, however contacting your local council for advice in the first instance is probably best. IBB Solicitors have an FAQ discussing some of your rights and potential options.

Will my child still be entitled to free school meals now that their school has closed? 

Low-income families whose children are eligible for free school meals will be offered vouchers, food or meals to make sure they continue receiving this support, even if they are no longer attending school due to the coronavirus outbreak.

You will need to contact your child’s school, who can choose to support eligible children however they believe is most appropriate, for example by providing meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice.

I’m struggling with paying my bills now that I am no longer working, what options are available? 

The government have announced a £500m Hardship Fund which will provide council tax relief to those who are most vulnerable and finding it difficult to pay their bills. To receive this support, you need to contact your local council, who will help. Claiming this fund will not impact your other benefits.

If you are a homeowner, you can contact your mortgage provider and apply for a mortgage holiday for up to three months. This means that your mortgage payments will temporarily stop. However, be aware that your mortgage repayments will slightly increase once the mortgage holiday is over, as interest will still be added while you’re not paying, and your missed payments will be spread out over your remaining term. Applying for a mortgage holiday does not affect your credit score.

Money Saving Expert has a really good guide covering all your options, including sick pay, train refunds and help with your energy bills.

 

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