Get help within your community
Many of our residents who need help will get this from family and friends, neighbours and the many local organisations who are working hard to support their communities.
If you want to find out more about the community help available in your area go to the Wirral InfoBank website.
Get help if you need advice about debt or changes to your income
Coronavirus has affected the financial situation of many of our residents.
The 'Ask Us Wirral' service run by Citizens Advice Wirral can help if you need specialist benefits, debt or housing advice. Call 0808 278 7848 and if the line is busy, leave a message for the team to get back to you.
You can also get advice if you have become unemployed, or are self-employed and this has resulted in changes to your income. Call the Citizens Advice Wirral 'Help to Claim' team on 0800 144 8444.
Get help if you can pay for your food shopping but need some assistance
You can ask for help if you can pay for your food shopping, but are vulnerable or self-isolating because of coronavirus and unable to shop. We may be able to refer you to a shopping service run by one of our local charities or help you get a priority supermarket delivery slot. You can ask for this help by completing an emergency support request form.
If you can afford to pay for your food shopping and want to shop online but don't have the means, please call Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 who may be able to refer you to a local charity to provide help with equipment and support to get online.
If you have been written to by the government as you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and you can afford to pay for food and have internet access, you can sign up for a priority supermarket delivery slot via Gov.uk's website.
Apply for emergency financial support with welfare needs
Financial support for individuals and families in crisis due to an emergency or disaster may be available from Wirral Council. This may include help for those leaving a care home, prison, hospital or similar, to become established in the community. To respond to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, this scheme temporarily replaces the council’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.
You must be:
- aged 16 or over
- a Wirral resident or intending to be (that is, has accommodation secured)
- requiring support to address your own essential needs or the needs of their dependant(s)
- able to demonstrate that you are unable to access any other timely resource or other ways of meeting this need which are considered reasonable
- able to demonstrate that your health and safety, and that of your dependant(s), would be adversely affected if an award was not made
The scheme does not cover:
- cash (money lost or stolen)
- funeral costs – for support please visit Gov.uk
- maternity costs and new baby items – for support please visit Gov.uk
- rent costs – you may be able to get help through the council's bond scheme or discretionary housing payments
- essential repairs to your home; if you rent your home your landlord is responsible for repairs. If you own your home you may be able to apply for a heating and renovation loan
- essential furniture if you rent a furnished accommodation; your landlord is responsible for providing this
- school uniform - (this scheme covers winter school shoes only) - for help, visit Wirral FUSS
- clothing to attend a funeral or job interview
We will ask you about your circumstances and your financial situation so that we can assess your need.
People who are newly claiming Universal Credit and are waiting for their first payment, should ask for an advance of their Universal Credit award before applying through this scheme for help with food or utilities. The individual can ask for an advanced payment at the Jobcentre or can call freephone 0800 328 5644.
Help with food
Wirral Foodbank works with local agencies to help people who are struggling to put food on the table. If you need an emergency food parcel, a local agency may be able to provide you with an emergency foodbank voucher for the Wirral Foodbank. Visit Wirral Foodbank for details of agencies who can assist or call the Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 who can also assess you for help for Wirral Foodbank whilst the council's One Stop Shops remain closed due to coronavirus. If you are self-isolating and cannot afford food, you should apply for a food hamper through Wirral Coronavirus Helpline.
Emergency financial support may be available from Wirral Council for individuals and families in crisis who are in urgent need of specialist food that cannot be supplied by Wirral Foodbank and who cannot pay. We may be able to provide financial help for three days’ worth of food for people with a specific food need related to a medical or health condition or due to religion or culture.
Help with utilities
If you are having problems topping up your gas and electricity as a result of financial hardship, you should contact your energy supplier. We can only help with your gas and electricity if your need is urgent and you are on a pre-payment meter. If we agree that you need emergency help, we will provide your details to the Fuel Bank Foundation.
Help with household and personal items
Emergency financial support may be available from Wirral Council for individuals and families who meet the above criteria and who need help with household items such as: white goods; essential furniture and kitchen items; bedding; clothing (including winter school shoes) and other items. Other items may include, for example, the cost of obtaining a Doctor's letter in relation to housing or other matters. If an award is granted, some of these items may be provided directly through an external supplier.
If you have previously registered with the government as a clinically extremely vulnerable person (that is, you were 'shielding') you will be asked to provide your NHS number when you apply for support. This will help us to support the implementation of future shielding if required.
If you are applying at the weekend, and cannot wait until Monday, please call 0151 666 5050 to speak to our out of hours service. The out of hours service is only for people facing crisis at the weekend.
What you can expect
If you request support, we aim to process your application for food or utilities within two working days. We aim to process your application for other welfare support within five working days. We may request additional information or documentation from you at the time of your application and as part of the assessment. If you applied to us yourself (that is, not through a referring agency) we will refer your details to Citizens Advice Wirral who will contact you to give you further advice. Citizens Advice Wirral may share with us information about the outcome of that referral.
Please do not apply again while you are waiting to hear from us. This may affect the time it takes to process your request. We are working hard to get residents the help they need as quickly as possible. We will notify you of the outcome of your application by text message.
If you do not agree with a decision that has been made regarding the outcome of your application and you have additional information that you feel needs to be taken into account, you may contact Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 to discuss this further.
Get help to complete the forms
If you need help completing the forms, you can call the Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Support workers or other agencies can make applications on behalf of someone else. Friends and family can also help someone with an application.
Get help if English is not your first language
'Wirral Change' supports residents who may have barriers to accessing the Wirral Foodbank service via the Helpline or online form if their first language is not English or if they have other needs.
For advice and guidance from Wirral Change:
- phone 0151 649 8177
- email firstname.lastname@example.org