COVID-19 Service Updates

COVID-19 Service Updates

This page provides the latest information about COVID-19 and DfC Services. It will be updated regularly with the latest information, so you should check this page for advice on Benefits and other public services.

This information is for Northern Ireland only, if you live in England, Scotland or Wales please visit GOV.UK

For general heath advice relating to COVID-19, please visit the Public Health Agency's website. You can also access the online wellbeing hub at Minding Your Head for self-help guides and ways to find support on a range of mental health and wellbeing issues. Key information is also available in Sign Language on this PHA page.

If you have to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer contact NHS 111 Online.

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note. You can also use this service for someone else. 

Funding for the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors

Following the announcement that £29m has been allocated by the Executive to provide much needed support for the culture, language, arts and heritage sectors impacted by the coronavirus pandemic the Department is currently working on a range of funding schemes. For the very latest information on the funding schemes please visit the page via the below link:

VCSE Covid Recovery Fund 

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has launched the £3.3million Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector (VCSE) Covid Recovery Fund to continue her Department’s support of this vital sector.  This fund will help to safely deliver essential services during the Covid-19 health crisis, with an allocation of £2.5m to assist with the safe reopening of the VCSE sector and additional funds of £800,000 to provide IT and digital devices to VCSE groups which need to move services to an online platform.

Find out more and get an application form >>


Additional Support for the Vulnerable

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has allocated a further £6.5million to support those most severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programmes will be delivered in partnership with local councils, health trusts, charities and the community and voluntary sector, to ensure support is directed swiftly to those most in need.

Read the full story on the Departmental internet


COVID-19 helpline

A Freephone Helpline has been established to assist those in vulnerable groups to access information, advice and support in relation to COVID-19. The Helpline, which is managed by Advice NI, is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, the number is 0808 802 0020. Alternatively you can text ACTION to 81025, email : or complete a form on the Advice NI website.


The latest information about COVID-19 and the Department's various Benefits services inlcuding;

  • Employment & Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • New claims guidance, including for the self-employed
  • Suspended signing and assessments



The latest advice and guidance for;

  • Social Housing Tenants
  • Co-ownership customers
  • Landlords and Homeowners




Child Maintenance Service (CMS)

The latest information on how the Child Maintenance Service will continue to deliver essential services.

  • New applications
  • Change of circumstance
  • Deduction from earnings orders


Other DfC Services

The latest information on DfC office closures and any suspension of services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Continued Employment services
  • Historic Environment closures
  • PRONI reopening




Partner Organisations

The latest position from some of the Department's partner organisations including;

  • Armagh Observatory & Planetarium
  • Libraries NI
  • National Museums NI
  • Sport NI





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