When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Financial and community help to deal with coronavirus

You may be entitled to help if you are struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Financial help

There is a new grant to help people affected by the coronavirus crisis.  You can apply for this grant if you, or anyone in your household, has been infected by coronavirus or has been told to self-isolate. This is a means-tested grant.

The best way to apply is onlineYou can also apply by calling 0800 587 2750


Apply for benefits if your income has been affected because you can’t work, or your hours have reduced, as a result of the coronavirus crisis.  Contact Make the Call if you aren’t sure how to apply for benefits or which ones to apply for.

Update your claim if you are already claiming benefits but your circumstances have changed.

Help with debt

You may be able to get a break from paying certain debts, such as credit cards, car finance, personal loans and overdrafts if you are struggling financially because of coronavirus. Check out this helpful guide on MoneySavingExpert to find out what kind of breaks are available and how you can apply for these. 

Free school meals

Families who have children who are eligible for free school meals can apply for financial help. Payments will be made fortnightly. You must complete a form to apply and should make sure your bank details are correct. Visit NI Direct to find out who is eligible for free school meals. 


Your local foodbank may be able to help if you are in a really bad situation. Contact FareShare or the Trussell Trust to find a local foodbank.  You should also check with local churches or charity groups to see if any local services have been set up to help people in the community.


You may be able to get a grant from government if you, or someone in your household is infected with coronavirus or self-isolating. Apply at this link.

Check the Turn2Us grant search to see if there are any other grants that you can apply for. People who work, or who have worked, in certain sectors may be eligible for grants. 

Advice on coping with the current crisis

The internet and social media is full of rumours and bad advice. You should only trust advice on the progress of the virus and on how to stay safe from the Public Health Agency or the NHS

The Consumer Council NI has useful information on how the virus has affected consumer rights.

This is a stressful time for all of us. Mind has helpful advice on protecting your mental health and wellbeing during this crisis.