COVID-19 support and assistance still available

COVID-19 support and assistance still available Image

Members of the public are being reminded of the sources of support and assistance available to them after Dundee City entered Coronavirus Protection Level 3 measures.

Help and advice is available for individuals on the shielding list, people self-isolating from the virus or anyone facing financial difficulties during the pandemic.

As the virus spreads in Dundee, it’s important that those who have to self-isolate comply fully with the restrictions. That means they shouldn’t go out to shops, even for essentials.

In most cases, family, friends and neighbours will be able to help. Anyone who doesn’t have access to support can also apply for food and medicine pick-up and delivery via the Dundee City Council website.

Self Isolation Support Grants may also be available to people who have been asked to self isolate by the Test & Protect service, subject to eligibility. These grants can help towards daily living expenses. Applications can be made through the Dundee City Council website, where Frequently Asked Questions on the Self Isolation Support Grant can also be accessed.

Equalities, Fairness & Older People spokesperson for Dundee City Council, Councillor Lynne Short, said: “Self isolation is a vital part of our collective effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. 

“In asking people to make this sacrifice for the greater good, we must also support them by ensuring that they have access to food, medicine and also financial support, particularly for those who lose wages as a result.

“If you are asked to self-isolate through contact tracing, because you have symptoms or live with someone who does, please do so. If you need help, it is available.”

Support is also available to those who are on the shielding list, which includes people at the highest risk of severe illness from Coronavirus.

Although shielding was paused on August 1, new advice has been issued to those on the shielding list as a result of Dundee being placed under Level 3 restrictions.

Anyone who has specific shielding questions can contact Dundee City Council customer service advisors between Monday and Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 0800 111 4000.

An offer of a free four-month Vitamin D supply has also been made to shielding individuals, who can phone 0800 111 4000 and provide their details to receive the supplement from December.

The Money Talk Team, within Citizens Advice Scotland, can provide help and support online, to anyone on the shielding list who has concerns about their financial entitlements. Shielding clients can also contact the Money Talk Team national helpline by phone, on 0800 085 7145, if they have concerns about their financial situation.

Individuals on the shielding list are asked to sign-up to the Scottish Government’s messaging service to receive alerts and updates directly. Individuals should send their Community Health Index (CHI) number to 07860 064525 in order to do so. 

Cllr Short continued: “It’s important that everyone knows that they aren’t alone during this challenging period.

“Although it’s not a return to the restrictions we saw earlier in the year with lockdown, people on the shielding list are still being asked to reduce their social contact with others and that can present challenges.”

More broadly, advice and support is available to anyone with financial concerns during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Advice on crisis grants, energy costs, welfare benefits and more is available via Council Advice Services on 01382 431188 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Any resident in Dundee who may be experiencing difficulty paying their rent to the council or their council tax can phone for help. The Customer Services Team is available to help with council tax issues on 01382 431205 and rent support can be found on 01382 307300.

“The city was great at responding to the initial outbreak of the virus by rallying around and helping everyone, including the most vulnerable residents in the city, by ensuring they had everything they needed,” added Councillor Short.

“Residents should know that, as we head into the darker months of the year, the support, help and advice is there when, or if, they need it.”

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