Our focus is to keep people safe and well, and to be here for people in the community who need us.

Many of the disabled and older people who Dial West Cheshire work with are very vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus.

This is an especially anxious time for them and they face many challenges in coming to terms with not only the potential impact on their health but also the impact of the strict curbs on daily life the government has introduced to fight the Coronavirus.

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

Read more about what you can and cannot do, here.

 

For vulnerable people

On Monday 23 March the NHS sent letters to people from a list of medical conditions which make them particularly at risk of Coronavirus, strongly advising them to stay at home. If you have received one of these letters their advice is that to protect yourself you should stay at home at all times for 12 weeks and to minimise non-essential contact with members of your household.

You can read more about shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable, here.

Register yourself as extremely vulnerable

If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus, register and tell the government whether or not you need support. Your friends or family can do this on your behalf.

If you live in England, register here.

If you live in Wales, you can find more information about support in your area, here.

 

What do I do if I’m not classed as medically vulnerable but I need support?

A wider group of local people may also need support to protect themselves from the virus. Cheshire West and Chester Council have therefore launched a dedicated helpline 0300 123 7031 which will run 7 days a week from 8am to 7pm.

The helpline will provide advice and support, and where necessary make arrangements for food, medicines and social contact. You can also email enquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Further information on local support can be found, here.

Other useful links:

Coping with Coronavirus

Measures to help vulnerable people with their energy bills

Help and support for Carers

Help with Council Tax

Government Information Service on Whatsapp

Protecting yourself and others against Scammers and Fraudsters

Be careful what you share – Tips for spotting Fake Information Online

The most up to date information from the government, can be found, here.

For specific health advice, please visit the NHS website, here.

Benefits & Welfare

We are no longer operating a face to face service from the Disability Rights Centre at Dial House. We are, however, providing a service by telephone.

Our Advice Line (01244 345655) is available between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

You can also email us at: contactus@dialwestcheshire.org.uk or submit an enquiry via the form on the Contact page of this website.

Note: Our Advice Line will be CLOSED on Friday 10th April and Monday 13th April for Easter.

The Government have put a number of measures in place to protect us all.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): for those eligible can now be claimed from day 1 of your absence if you are unable to work because you are self-isolating in line with government advice, or if you are infected with Coronavirus. This applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020. Speak to your employer regarding your eligibility for this benefit.

For those not eligible for SSP, you can apply for Universal Credit and the new-style Employment Support Allowance:

Apply for Universal Credit

Apply for the new-style Employment Support Allowance

 

Face to Face Assessments: Any face to face assessment for all sickness and disability benefits has been suspended for the next 3 months as of 17 March 2020. If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. The assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.

 

Providing Evidence for Sickness due to Coronavirus: If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you are self-isolating due to coronavirus, you will soon be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from your doctor. This will be available soon.

 

Council Tax: If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for council tax reduction. More information can be found, here.

 

Should you require urgent advice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), contact the Rapid Response Service, Job Centre Plus by telephone on 0800-169-0190  or by email to rrs.enquiries@dwp.go.uk

 

Do you want to help?

Dial West Cheshire relies on it’s volunteers to provide services to disabled, older and vulnerable people. This is especially vital now when demand for our service is high and our workforce is depleted due to the crisis.

Having closed our shops and head office sites in line with current government guidelines, we are in the throes of restructuring our activities so that we can offer the best possible service through remote working. Soon we will know which specific roles need volunteers to fill them. Meanwhile, if you would like to register your interest in volunteering with us please complete the form on the Contact Page of this website.

More generally, in conjunction with Cheshire West and  Chester council,  Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) are taking details of volunteers and matching them up with local charities and community groups. If you want to register with them please go to their sign up page.

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