Council Tax: Who do I pay my Council Tax to?

Council tax is a tax on domestic property, but some property is exempt from Council Tax.

You may not have to pay Council Tax, or you might get a discount.

All homes are assigned a Council Tax valuation band by the Valuation Office Agency.

The band you get is based on the value of your home as of April 1, 1991, and a different amount of council tax is charged on each band. The rate per band is set yearly.

Who do I pay my Council Tax to?

You pay your Council Tax to your local council, which then allocates the extra funding to one of several services.

Council members will allocate money to local education, leisure, police, firemen and other services.

Council Tax pays for:

  • Police and fire services
  • Leisure and recreation projects such as parks and sports centre upkee
  • Libraries and education services
  • Rubbish and waste collection and disposal
  • Transport and highway services including street lighting and cleaning, and road maintenance
  • Environmental health and trading standards
  • Administration and record-keeping, like marriages, deaths and birth, and local elections

READ MORE- Martin Lewis shares six easy ways to reduce your council tax


  • Council tax: Citizens Advice and UK charities call for changes

Council Tax is a yearly bill, split into 10 monthly payments.

Most councils will allow you to spread the bill out over 12 months, though.

Paying the same amount every month will be easier for some households.

You can ask your local council if this option is available for you if you are struggling to pay. Find your local council contact details here.

What does your Council Tax bill tell you

Your Council Tax bill tells you the following things:
• how much you have to pay for the year
• how that amount has been worked out
• the dates you have to pay

Council Tax: What does Council Tax pay for? [INFORMER]
Council tax bill: How to cut down your council tax bill [EXPLAINER]
Council tax refund warning: This email could cost you [INSIGHT]


  • UK taxes should NOT be raised for Britons who live nears parks

How to pay your Council Tax bill

Most people pay their Council Tax bill online.

Alternatively, you can normally pay in cash using ‘Paypoint’, ‘Payzone’, or ‘Quickcards’.

You can normally do this at post offices, banks, newsagents and convenience stores, but ring in to check if this option is available during the pandemic.

Your bill should tell you which other payment methods are available.

How to defer Council Tax payment

Andy Barr, the co-founder of, told
“Ideally the local authorities would have the same approach as the majority of the banks do for mortgage holidays, i.e. online applications and an automated process.

“However, each authority is going to have its own rules and policies, and this is something we have seen regarding the business grants as well.

“It is clear that whilst the Government drives the overall strategy and plan, the individual authorities deliver and administer these plans in a way that they feel is most practical.

“The best thing you can do is go to them early if you are facing payment problems.

“Check the local authority website for the preferred form of communication at the moment and be prepared for long call times.

“Going to them before you miss a payment is always a stronger approach than going to them after you have missed a payment.”

Source: Read Full Article

Council Tax reduction on PIP: Can I get Council Tax reduction on PIP?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a vital benefit for millions of people in the UK who find themselves living with a long-term disability. Those living with a spectrum of life-altering conditions can receive hundreds of pounds from the Government per week on top of some additional boons.

Can you get a council tax reduction on PIP?

PIP provides millions of disabled people with amounts ranging from £23.60 to £151.40 per week.

To claim the amount, they must first undergo an assessment from a health professional to work out the level of help they require.

The benefits are then subject to regular reviews, and will also allow people to claim a council tax reduction.


  • Can you get PIP if you work?

According to the Money Advice Service, people on the daily living or mobility component of PIP can get money off their Council Tax bill.

The overall discount depends on the PIP rate and components people receive, and people can find exact amounts by contacting their council.

Those who contact local officials may find they need to send in a copy of their PIP award letter before they receive a discount.

The rules also apply to people who have had their homes extended to help their mobility, as it could push them into another Council Tax band.

People may also secure a council tax reduction if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Low-income households
  • Student households
  • Adults living alone
  • Other benefit claimants, such as JSA, Income Support, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit
  • Mentally impaired or living with someone who is severely mentally impaired
  • Care leavers in Scotland, who are exempt from Council Tax between 18 and 26
  • Care leavers living in certain English/Welsh councils
  • Armed forces members depending on circumstances
  • Care home or hospital residents
  • Prisoners, unless they are in prison for not paying Council Tax

PIP rates for mental health: Can you get PIP for mental health? – EXPLAINER
Universal Credit UK: Mum-of-three on PIP and ESA reveals fears – ANALYSIS
Universal Credit and other benefit payments may be affected this week – INSIGHT


  • How to claim PIP successfully

How does Council Tax work?

Council Tax is a local Government fee used to help officials pay for vital services.

Libraries, public works and environmental health amongst others rely on the tax, which is decided by banding.

The Government relies on eight separate property bands to decide how much people pay, which vary by location.

These are the council tax band ranges in England:

Band A: Up to £40,000

Band B: More than £40,000 and up to £52,000

Band C: More than £52,000 and up to £68,000

Band D: More than £68,000 and up to £88,000

Band E: More than £88,000 and up to £120,000

Band F: More than £120,000 and up to £160,000

Band G: More than £160,000 and up to £320,000

Band H: More than £320,000

Source: Read Full Article

How much is the new style Jobseeker’s Allowance?

Due to coronavirus, an estimated 1.3 million workers are out of a job in the UK. The Jobs Retention Scheme, the central pillar of the Government’s attempt to mitigate job losses and businesses going bust is working well, softening the economic blow of the crisis significantly.

Numbers of those claiming benefits has shot up significantly since the crisis began, with young people disproportionately put out of work, whether they have been put on furlough or laid off.

Lengthy periods out of work can have permanent impacts on somebody’s future job prospects, quality of life, mental health and productivity.

Job Seekers Allowance is a short term Government intervention benefit – designed to support you while you look for a new job, or if your current job gives you a low amount of hours.

However, it’s not much – if you are 18 to 24, you get £58.90 a week; those 25 and over get £74.35; and if you claim as a couple you get £116.80 a week to share between you.


  • Martin Lewis: ‘You won’t get refunded’ Money expert issues warning

Am I eligible?

If you work less than 16 hours a week, or are unemployed, you can get Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The allowance is a fortnightly payment straight into your bank account.

Jobseeker’s Allowance is a contribution-based benefit – which means to get it you must have been paid or credited with enough National Insurance contributions for the last two tax years.

You must also show you’ve been looking for work between making your claim and going to your interview, however, due to COVID-19, face-to-face benefits appointments are not running currently.

You’ll also need to show you’re looking for work to keep getting payments.

You can also claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are on Universal Credit, although this depends on your National Insurance record.

You can only claim the benefit for up to 182 days.

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Does Jobseeker’s Allowance effect other benefits?

Your savings and capital, or your partner’s savings, capital and income, are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA.

However, your earnings and any payment you are getting from a pension can affect the amount you may receive.

While you receive New Style JSA you’ll be awarded Class One National Insurance credits.

These crucially count towards your State Pension and other contributory benefits in the future.

You can also apply if you have more than £16,000 in savings – you just can’t get Universal Credit with it.

How do I apply?

You can apply for JSA online on the Government’s website or you can call Job Centre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

Source: Read Full Article

Venezuela launches legal action forcing Bank of England to hand over its gold

The South American nation had already asked the Bank of England – which holds 31 tonnes of Venezuela’s gold on its behalf – to sell some of its gold reserves and hand over the proceeds, Reuters reports. But the Bank of England has refused on the basis that Britain does not recognise Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro as the country’s legitimate leader.

Maduro was re-elected in 2018 in an election which was fraught with dispute.

But Venezuela says it desperately needs the gold back in order to sell it to the United Nations and fund its coronavirus response.

The Bank of England holds the gold reserves of many developing countries.

A document seen by a London court states that Venezuela is “seeking an order requiring BoE to comply with the proposed instruction”, Reuters claims.

And it also quotes Sarosh Zaiwalla, a London-based lawyer working on behalf of Venezuela’s central bank, who accused the Bank of England of “foot-dragging” and that this was “critically hampering” Venezuela’s Covid-19 response.

Venezuela has reported 749 total confirmed cases, with 70 deaths and 253 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

Venezuela’s alleged plan is to sell the gold and transfer the funds to the United Nations Development Programme.

In return, this would be used to buy critical healthcare equipment, as well as medicine and food, to address the country’s Covid-19 outbreak.

The Venezuelan economy is already suffering through crippling sanctions imposed by the US, which also does not recognise Nicolás Maduro as the nation’s legitimate leader.

Rather, it sees Juan Guaidó, chairman of the opposition-controlled national assembly, as the country’s interim leader, along with 57 other governments around the world.

Guaidó declared himself president of Venezuela in January 2019 – a move which was subsequently recognised by many countries including the UK, US, France and Germany, the Guardian reports.

A report by the Congressional Research Service in the US reads: “For more than a decade, the United States has imposed sanctions in response to activities of the Venezuelan government and Venezuelan individuals.

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“In response to the authoritarian leadership of Nicolás Maduro, the Trump Administration has significantly expanded sanctions.

“As of January 22, 2020, the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on at least 144 Venezuelan or Venezuelan-connected individuals, and the State Department has revoked the visas of hundreds of individuals and their families.”

The report states that the Trump Administration has imposed sanctions on Venezuela for alleged human rights abuses as well as “antidemocratic actions”.

And in March, the US charged Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro with drug trafficking and related narcotics terrorism.

But Geoff Ramsey, director of the Venezuela programme at the Washington Office on Latin America thinktank, told the Guardian that he had doubts over the true nature of the charges, which the US had said were about intentions to “flood the United States with cocaine”.

Ramsey said: “Venezuela’s nowhere close to a primary transit country for US-bound cocaine.

“If the US government wanted to address the flow of cocaine they’d focus on corruption in places like Hondruas and Guatemala”.

He suggested that the US action was to do with politics than drugs.

Source: Read Full Article

FTSE 100 LIVE: Asia shares plummet over demand fears after US halts Huawei chip supply

The US Commerce Department said on Friday that foreign companies that use US chipmaking technology will be required to obtain a US license before supplying certain chips to Huawei, a maker of smartphones and telecoms equipment. The rules specifically target chips designed by Huawei and its affiliates, including chip-design unit HiSilicon and manufactured using US technology. Hynix, and cross-town rival Samsung Electronics , the world’s biggest memory chip maker, use US technology in their chipmaking, but design the semiconductors themselves, so won’t be directly impacted by the U.S. restrictions, analysts said.

But they said that an escalating US-China trade war would hurt demand for mobile phones from the likes of Huawei and Apple Inc and for components used in the phones.

“For the longer term, this is not a good news, because this will lead to reduced demand from Huawei,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.


6.17am update: Japan slips into recession, with slump set to worsen amid pandemic

Monday’s first-quarter GDP data underlined the broadening impact of the outbreak, with exports plunging the most since the devastating March 2011 earthquake as global lockdowns and supply chain disruptions hit shipments of Japanese goods.

Analysts warn of an even bleaker picture for the current quarter as consumption crumbled after the government in April requested citizens to stay home and businesses to close, intensifying the challenge for policymakers battling a once-in-a-century pandemic.

“It’s near certainty the economy suffered an even deeper decline in the current quarter,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Research Institute. “Japan has entered a full-blown recession.”

The world’s third-largest economy contracted an annualised 3.4 percent in the first quarter, preliminary official gross domestic product (GDP) data showed, less than a median market forecast for a 4.6 percent drop.

Source: Read Full Article

First homes programme: How much discount will NHS workers buying first home get?

The housing market had ground to a halt due to the spread of coronavirus and lockdown measures, with even construction of new houses stopped. With the Government’s new guidelines announced on Monday, construction sites are now able to restart with extended working hours.

The Government has revealed plans to support the construction industry in restarting safely by bringing in flexible and extended operating hours.

These will be implemented where appropriate and with local consent.

Sites will be able to apply to extend working hours with immediate effect, to 9pm Monday to Saturday in residential areas, and beyond this in non-residential.

Now a scheme to help key workers get on the property ladder has been announced.

Read More: First time buyers: How to save for your first home in lockdown


  • Property market: What do the new rules actually mean?

How much discount will NHS workers get in the First Homes programme?

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick explained how the construction industry would be getting back on track, at Wednesday’s press conference.

He also explained how the First Homes programme – which will be available later this year – will give a 30 percent discount for key workers.

Mr Jenrick said: “A vibrant housing market means more than buying and selling homes.

“We need to get building again, and Britain needs that.

“It’s something this Government has always committed to, and something our ambitious First Homes programme will do later this year, with a 30 percent discount on new homes for key workers.”

He added: “We want [those homes] to be ready as soon as possible, and that’s just one of the key reasons I’m keen to get construction up and running.”

To prevent crowds at rush hour, workers have been told to walk, drive or cycle to work where possible – but businesses have also been asked to vary the start and end of shifts to ease pressure on public transport.

Mr Jenrick said: “Varied start and finish times will make it much easier for sites to observe social distancing, take the pressure off public transport like the tube in London, and keep Britain building.”

Moving house guidance: What are the guidelines, am I allowed to move? [EXPLAINED]
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He also thanked housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, which has restarted construction on the majority of its sites and begun removing employees from the furlough scheme.

However, MPs have shared concerns about safety after the Housing Secretary declared the home-selling sector is “back in business”.

The Government has published guidance which eases restrictions on estate agents, which Mr Jenrick said was to help with the “most radical restarting of an industry in the first phase of our national recovery road map.”

In a statement to MPs, Mr Jenrick said: “We want to be clear, each of the building blocks of the buying and the selling process are now back in business, as long as they can be done safely.”

He added: “This is the most radical restarting of an industry in the first phase of our national recovery road map.

“This was not an easy decision to make. With few if any transactions there is no visibility and no precedent with which to accurately judge the state of the housing market.

“But I do know that in every economic recovery in modern British history the housing market has been key.

“So let me be clear to all who work in the sector, have started a business in it, have invested in it, or rely upon it, I’m doing everything I can to help the industry bounce back.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow housing secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, said the Government had ignored those at risk of being forced from their homes.

She told the Commons: “This crisis has taught us that if anyone is struggling, we’re all affected.

“The announcement focused on those who want to move home but it ignored those who are at risk of being forced.

“(Mr Jenrick) talked of show homes but not about people with no homes and we’ve shown that when we work together we can virtually eliminate street homelessness in days. There must be no going back, but people in emergency accommodation face that.”

Mr Jenrick responded: “With respect to rough sleeping, well I pay tribute to everybody who has been involved in the tremendous national effort so far bringing 90% of those people who are sleeping rough on our streets at the onset of the crisis into safer accommodation.

“But now we are in the next phase of that challenge and I don’t underestimate how difficult that will be.”

The Labour chairman of the Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, Clive Betts, called on the Government to consider Spanish-style low-interest loans to tenants to help them pay their rent, plus increasing grants to housing associations and councils to help the construction industry to keep building more social homes for rent.

The housing secretary replied: “Well we’re thinking very carefully about what more we can do to protect them.”

Source: Read Full Article

Furlough explained: How long can a company furlough an employee?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ensures employees can still be paid up to 80 percent of their salary while they are able to work. The Government have said this scheme will cover up to £2,500 a month for three months, and that the period of time will be extended if necessary. In order for workers to access the funds, they must be classed as furloughed.

This means they have been asked to stop working because of the pandemic, but are still on the payroll.

A worker can only be classed as furloughed when their employer demonstrably cannot afford to cover wage costs.

The move came as thousands of people were let go when closures were first announced.


  • Martin Lewis offers furlough advice – ‘Breaking the law!’

How long can I be kept on furlough?

To qualify for the scheme, you should not do any work for your employer while you’re furloughed.

The scheme is set to initially run for a period of three months, which began on March 1, 2020, and is designed to prevent workers from being laid off.

But how long can you be kept on furlough? spoke to the experts.

Jayne Harrison, Head of Employment Law at Richard Nelson LLP, said: “Employers can currently furlough their staff for the duration of the Job Retention scheme.

“This scheme started from March 1 and the Government has said it will last for at least 3 months.The Government has suggested that the scheme could be extended if they deem this necessary.

“Employers can furlough their staff for less than this 3 month period, with the only restriction from the Government being that the furlough period must last at least a minimum of 3 weeks.

“Employees can be furloughed, return to work, and then be furloughed again if this is necessary.”

Louise Lawrence, Partner at Winckworth Sherwood, added: “Furlough has to be for a minimum of three weeks. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) will be in place until May 31, 2020, so an employee could be furloughed until then and the scheme may in fact be extended.”

What happens if you’ve already been made redundant? 

Are sick pay, pension contributions and bonuses affected by furlough? – EXPERT COMMENT
Working Tax Credit increase: Will furlough affect Working Tax Credit? – INSIGHT
Furlough warning: Martin Lewis exposes TWO reasons workers NOT paid – ANALYSIS


  • Mortgages and furlough: How does furlough affect your mortgage?

Eversheds Sutherland lawyer Mark Hammerton said: “Our view is that it can apply, but this is not certain.

“Given what the Government is trying to achieve, it would be illogical to prevent employers accessing the scheme for those staff already temporarily laid off.”

All UK businesses are eligible and the Government have confirmed the period will be extended if deemed necessary.

Workers will remain employed while they’re on furlough, and your employer could choose to subsidise the remaining 20 percent of salary, but are under no legal obligation to do so.

To require employers to do so could completely defy the point of the scheme.

Mr Hammerton said: “For example, if a factory engages 500 staff, all on national minimum wages, the cost per month would exceed £100,000.”

If your salary is reduced as a result, you could be eligible for additional financial support through Universal Credit.

Workers will know if they’ve been furloughed as employers are required to inform staff members of any changes to employment status before it goes through.

In order to take up the scheme your employer is required to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’, and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees who have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal

If you are a business owner in need of short-term financial support, you could be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme. 

Can I be furloughed if I’m a part-time worker?

In short, yes. Whether you are on a full-time, part-time, flexible, agency or zero-hours contract, all workers are eligible for the furlough scheme providing they were on the company’s PAYE payroll from 28 February 2020.

If you were made redundant by your employer since that date, you can still be eligible as long as you are hired again.

Workers could potentially work for another employer so long as it doesn’t break the rules of any contractual obligations.

Employees looking for extra work should only work outside of the hours they would normally work at their furloughed job.

An example of this is if a 9-5 worker was to take on extra employment in a supermarket on the weekends or run deliveries in the evenings.

Source: Read Full Article

How to claim ESA for depression

ESA is a welfare payment for adults younger than that of the State Pension age who are having difficulty finding work because of a long-term medical condition or disability. It is a basic income replacement benefit paid out in place of wages. Claimants will not be paid ESA if they are entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay.

How to claim ESA for depression

A vast majority of applications for ‘new style’ ESA are claims for stress, depression and anxiety.

You have to collect a medical certificate (fit note) from your GP or medical specialist before making a claim with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

It is worth noting there may be overlapping issues if the claimant is already receiving other benefits.

If an applicant scores 15 points in any individual activities (or a total of 15 points for a combination of physical or mental activities) they have met the criteria for limited capability work.


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At this stage, the decision-maker will consider if it places the claimant in a support or limited capability for work-related activities.

If a claimant scores below 15 points, they are not classed as having limited capability to work and so are not entitled to ESA.

To get ESA, you need to have both:

  • Worked as an employee or been self-employed
  • Paid enough National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2-3 years. National Insurance credits also count.


  • Universal Credit and other benefit payments may be affected this week

You cannot get ESA if you:

  • Get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to receive it
  • Get or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you are still eligible for it

There are different ways to apply for ESA depending on whether or not you receive Universal Credit payments.

If you are already getting Universal Credit, sign in to your Universal Credit account and send a message to your case manager on your online journal. You will not need another Work Capability Assessment for this step.

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Additionally, the Government website states: “If you have made an appointment with your work coach, you do not need to go to it at the moment because of coronavirus.

“The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you to let you know what you need instead.

If you are not receiving Universal Credit, you can apply for ‘new style’ ESA online, and you will need:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your bank or building society account number and sort code (you can use a friend or family member’s account if you do not have one)
  • Your doctor’s name, address and telephone number
  • Details of your income if you are working
  • The date your Statutory Sick Pay ends if you are claiming it

If you cannot make an application online or you are an appointee for someone else, call the Universal Credit helping.

You can also challenge a decision about your claim. This is called asking for ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

You may be able to reapply after your ESA ends. You must wait until at least 12 weeks have passed before reapplying.

You may qualify again depending on:

What National Insurance contributions you paid in the last 2 full tax years before the tax year you’re claiming in
Whether your health deteriorates and you’re placed in the support group

Source: Read Full Article

PIP rates for mental health: Can you get PIP for mental health?

When claiming PIP, you will be assessed by a health professional to work out how much help you need. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. spoke to Pat Lewis, tax department manager at Intellect Tax – financial experts, specialising in tax and benefits, to find out if you can get PIP for mental health issues.

Can you get PIP for mental health?

Ms Lewis said: “The short answer is if your mental health condition increases the level of help you need in undertaking daily tasks for the relevant period of time, then you should be eligible for PIP.

“The key thing to remember is that PIP is not paid just because you have a certain illness or disability – the crucial factor is how your condition impacts your daily life.”

The basic eligibility criteria are:
• You are between 16 years of age and retirement age
• You have lived in the UK for two of the past three years
• You have difficulty with getting around or daily tasks for the last three months
• You expect these conditions to last for at least nine months more
There are two elements to a PIP payment; a Daily Living Allowance and a Mobility Allowance.

READ MORE- PIP: Can I get PIP for depression?


  • PIP: Can you get PIP for anxiety?

Eligibility for Daily Living Allowance

The impact of your condition to do the following tasks and consequently the amount of help you need to do the following would be considered:
• Preparing or eating food
• Washing bathing and using toilet
• Dressing and undressing
• Reading and communication
• Managing medicines and treatment
• Making decisions about money
• Engaging with other people

Mobility Allowance

The impact of your condition to do the following tasks and consequently the amount of help you need to do the following would be considered:
• Planning and following journeys
• Moving around

Ms Lewis said: “From 2018, The High Court ruled that people with mental health issues that stopped those making journeys due to psychological distress were entitled to Enhanced Rate Mobility PIP.

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  • PIP explained: What is PIP?

She said: “PIP is claimed via the Department for Work and Pensions and initially a claimant is sent a form to complete.

“An assessor then makes a visit to the claimant and assesses the claimant’s ability to do the tasks listed, scoring the claimant on their abilities.

“The point score for each task dictates the level of PIP which a claimant receives. The allowance is paid four weekly into a bank account.”

If you score between eight and 11 points on the Daily Living Allowance tasks, you will get £59.70 a week. But if you score over 12 points, you will get £89.15 per week.

For the Mobility Allowance part of PIP, if you score between eight and 11 points you will get £23.60 a week. If you score more than 12 points, you will get £62.25 per week.

How is PIP paid?

PIP is normally paid every four weeks. Once you have applied, you will receive a decision letter to tell you the date of your first payment, as well as the day of the week you will usually be paid on.

If your payment date is on a bank holiday, you will usually be paid before the bank holiday.

PIP is paid just like any other benefit, pension or allowance and is paid into your bank, building society or credit union account on the same day every month.

How do I apply for PIP?

You can make a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call.

There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a telephone.

Before you ring, you will nee the following information:

• your contact details, for example telephone number
• your date of birth
• your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
• your bank or building society account number and sort code
• your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
• dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital

You can also claim PIP via post. You can get a form to send information by post (although this can delay the decision on your claim). Write a letter to ask for the form, and address it to:

Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
WV99 1AH

Source: Read Full Article

Fashion firm J Crew files for bankruptcy – first big US retailer to collapse

The fashion company is the first big US retailer to collapse during the pandemic. The firm’s creditors will take control in exchange for cancelling debts of $1.65bn (£1.3bn).

They are also providing about $400m (£320m) of fresh financing to J.Crew’s operations.

There will also be store closures however the number has not been confirmed.

It comes after the retailer’s 500 shops were temporarily shut in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchorage Capital Group, Blackstone Group Inc’s GSO Capital Partners and Davidson Kempner Capital Management will take control of the group, which also owns denim brand Madewell.

J.Crew chief executive officer Jan Singer said: “This agreement with our lenders represents a critical milestone in the ongoing process to transform our business with the goal of driving long-term, sustainable growth for J.Crew and further enhancing Madewell’s growth momentum.

“Throughout this process, we will continue to provide our customers with the exceptional merchandise and service they expect from us, and we will continue all day-to-day operations, albeit under these extraordinary COVID-19-related circumstances.

“As we look to reopen our stores as quickly and safely as possible, this comprehensive financial restructuring should enable our business and brands to thrive for years to come.”

Kevin Ulrich, chief executive officer of Anchorage Capital Group, added: “J.Crew and Madewell are two classic American brands with deeply loyal customers.

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Debenhams to close seven stores – full list here of affected branches [LIST]

“We look forward to supporting Jan, Libby and the management team to recognise their full potential.

“The significant deleveraging contemplated by this agreement, coupled with J.Crew Group’s strategy to strengthen its robust e-commerce platform to drive continued growth in its direct-to-consumer segment, will position the Company for future success.”


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