Covid-19 Response Fund
What is this fund for?
The fund has been established to help UNISON members working in all areas of public services who have been financially affected by COVID-19 and who are struggling to make ends meet. Financial support is available to help those most in need and will continue to be available until the fund has been used up.
How to apply
Before applying for a grant, please carefully read the following information.
- To apply to the Covid Response Fund, you must be a UNISON member and paid at least two months subscriptions. If you don’t know your membership number contact UNISON Direct or call 0800 0857 857. You will not be able to submit an application without this information.
- You do not have savings of more than £2,500, which includes rolling balances in bank accounts.
- Household income has reduced as a result of one of the following criteria:
- You or your partner are currently furloughed
- You or your partner are currently receiving SSP and either shielding, self-isolating or off sick due to other coronavirus related reasons
- You or your partner have lost your job, been made redundant due to the coronavirus.
- You or your partner’s employer has reduced your working hours including loss of regular overtime (applicable also where partner is self-employed and loss of earning can be proven).
We may need to contact you about your application so please provide your preferred contact email address and telephone number.
What can I get help with?
We can help with a one-off grant of up to £500. We want to make this Fund go as far as possible and help as many members as we can. Depending on your situation help will be awarded as follows:
- £350 living costs for applicants who are furloughed or have a salary reduction due to coronavirus.
- £500 loss of employment grant, for example due to redundancy.
- Up to £500 housing costs grant – towards rent, mortgage or council tax arrears that have accrued since March 2020.
If your circumstances have been affected in another way due to Covid, you may also be eligible to apply via our main grant programme. This allows us to assess applications on the basis of additional increased expenditure such as parking, travel and other costs incurred due to covid.
What supporting documents must I include with my application?
Depending on the grant you apply for you will be required to submit supporting documents. You will told what these are when you apply but could include:
- Payslips or bank statements to show your income before reduction and income now.
- Copy of letter from employer confirming you have been furloughed or made redundant.
- Statement from mortgage lender, landlord or local authority to confirm you are in arrears which have accrued since March 2020.
Can I apply more than once?
Applications are limited to one per household (this applies if both partners are UNISON members)
However, if you received a grant in phase one of our Covid-19 Response Fund programme which ran between 6th May - 31st July 2020, you can still apply again under the current phase two which opened on 16th November 2020.
Please also note that if in the last six months you’ve been helped through our main grants programme, this may be taken into consideration. However, please don’t let this put you off applying.