Wiltshire Council I - update for sponsors, 21.4.2022

Started by grahame, Apr 21, 2022, 01:26 PM

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From Wiltshire Council - an update for sponsors sent by email... links in the .pdf file at

21 April 2022

This newsletter provides updates and guidance for Wiltshire sponsors of Ukrainian refugees.

View previous editions of this newsletter
Visit our Support for Ukraine page for the latest updates
Dear sponsor
Here is the second edition of our newsletter. We want this newsletter to provide you with key information as you prepare to welcome your Ukrainian guests. Some of you will have already welcomed guests and we hope this information will be useful as they start to settle in.
We hope you will find the information useful. We also regularly update our Support For Ukraine webpage where you can find latest local information, links to government information, FAQs and a welcome pack for Ukrainian guests with information on local services and advice.
We are also adding specific FAQs for sponsors and a link to our previous newsletters. This will be helpful for those who are receiving this newsletter for the first time.
We know overall that 1,500 people registered interest in hosting Ukrainian refugees. Currently we have 288 matches in Wiltshire.

We know a number of questions have been asked around school admissions. Please watch this video in Ukrainian which explains school admissions. The English transcript is below in the description of the video.
As mentioned in the first edition please note this newsletter is separate to the email we will send you regarding your accommodation and welfare and suitability checks. We will be contacting you individually around these points.
Please also have a look at the government advice for sponsors which includes responsibilities and how sponsors can support their guests at: Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guidance.
Support for Ukraine webpage
Homes for Ukraine: Sponsor guidance
Frequently asked questions

Do I need to tell you when my guests have arrived?

Yes please do tell us as soon as your guests have arrived. This will ensure we can organise for the £200 payment to your family and then set up the £350 for you as soon as our checks have completed. Email refugees@wilsthire.gov.uk

Can I get my DBS/accommodation check before my guest arrives?

Once your match is confirmed and submitted via the government portal your details will be shared with us and we will then be in contact to arrange DBS and accommodation checks. Currently we are dealing with a large volume of checks and are prioritising these on the basis of proximity to arrival. In the meantime you can find information on our Support for Ukraine page. We aim to do this before your arrivals take place but in a small number of cases it may be afterwards and combined with a wider welfare check from our casework support team.
When will my guests receive the initial £200?

We will start to process the £200 payment as soon as we are made aware your guest has arrived. The payment will be made using cash vouchers. These vouchers can be sent to an email address and are redeemable anywhere where there is a 'Paypoint' point. There are a number of Paypoint points across Wiltshire and full details will be provided to you.

When will I receive the £350?

You have the option to receive a monthly payment of £350 for up to 12 months, paid in arrears, for as long as you are hosting your guests and that the accommodation provided is of a suitable standard. You will be eligible for the first monthly payment once your guests have arrived and Wiltshire Council has carried out all required checks. There can only be one payment per residential address and in England it will be administered through your council. If your guest moves out of your home for any reason, you must inform your local council at the earliest opportunity as you will need to let them know that you are no longer eligible for the monthly payments. For more information, see the government sponsor guidance.
Will I need to pay tax on my £350?

Legislation is being introduced so you won't have to pay tax on the £350 "thank you" payments.

I'm providing a property which is my second home for a Ukrainian guest – will there be a tax issue?

The government has confirmed that companies making dwellings available to support the Homes for Ukraine scheme will be relieved from the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) and the 15% rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Further detail can be found in the Written Ministerial Statement.

What about my council tax discount?

Council tax discounts will not be affected if you sponsor and host a Ukrainian household in your home. The  £350 a month 'thank you' payment to all sponsors will not affect any council tax discounts. For sponsors who receive welfare payments, the government is ensuring 'thank you' payments do not affect your benefit entitlement. 'Thank you' payments will not affect any council tax discounts for single occupancy. They will be tax free. If you are using your second home for the Homes for Ukraine scheme it may be possible to receive a council tax discount discount compared to what you normally pay.
Can my Ukrainian guests claim child benefit?

Anyone coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family or Homes for Ukraine schemes is entitled to claim Child Benefit immediately, rather than having to wait for the usual three-month qualifying period. People who wish to claim should complete a CH2 Child Benefit claim form and submit this by post to the Child Benefit office. The address is included on the form. They should provide an original birth certificate and the passport or travel document used to enter the UK. Where this documentation is not immediately available, people are advised to include a note in their claim and someone from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be in touch to discuss further. Anyone wanting more information on Child Benefit can visit GOV.UK: Child benefit or call 0300 200 3100 (from inside the UK).

Is there information in Ukraine re COVID guidance?

There is now guidance in Ukraine on COVID-19 lateral flow tests and kit instructions for throat and nose test and SureScreen test (rapid nose-only test).

I'd like some information on post-16 admissions please.

Post 16 admissions are dealt with directly by schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges or training providers. For information on choices available at age 16, including a link to all the providers, visit our Young Work Wiltshire pages.
Access to bank accounts

The Government advice currently states: Department for Work and Pensions is keen to ensure all customers have the support they need to open an account – not just because of their claim to benefits, but because it allows them to fully function in society and to carry out financial transaction safely and securely.

These links provide further support.
Money Helper's Choosing a bank account for your benefit payments
The Home Office's Welcome! A guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK provides information on accounts which may be suitable.
Useful links
We are providing regular updates on the Support for Ukraine page on our website.

You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For central government updates and guidance follow:
Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guidance
Ukraine: what you can do to help
Welcome: a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK
Getting in touch

Please be aware that although this is not a monitored mailbox we will try to respond, but due to high demand it may take us some time to get back to you, but if you do require additional information please contact us at refugees@wiltshire.gov.uk.
More guidance and updates on our Support for Ukraine page
Melksham Town Councillor (South Ward) - special interests including travel and transportation, economy and climate. Retired IT trainer, helping with the Ukraine UK forum