Helpline 0808 801 0322

 

Help with housing costs and bills


Housing Benefit
If you are a private tenant renting a property or room from a private landlord and you are on a low income, you may be able to claim and receive Local Housing Allowance. Find out more, including how it’s paid at Direct Gov

Who can claim:

If you are on a low income and pay rent – whether you are in work or not – you should see if you can get Housing Benefit. Your claim will depend on circumstances, such as your income, the size of your family, and whether someone in the family is disabled. You can’t usually claim if you’re living in a close relative’s house. If you have a lot of money in savings, you might not be able to qualify. You can find out more information from your council or contact Shelter on 0808 800 4444.

Help with heating costs
If you are having trouble paying your heating bills, contact your supplier immediately to let them know your circumstances. They should work with you to find a solution. Find out about your rights because in some cases, they are not allowed to disconnect your supply.

The Warm Front Grant Scheme in England pays for heating or insulation improvements if you own your home or rent from a private landlord. You do not have to pay this money back. In Scotland, grants may be available from local authorities.

There are also schemes in other parts of the country to help people on low incomes make their homes warmer. Some people can get Cold Weather Payments to help with the cost of fuel bills during the coldest times of the year.

Who can claim:

If you get benefits or tax credits because you are on a low income, you might be able to get a Warm Front Grant. If you live in other parts of the UK, you might qualify for similar schemes.

If you get one of the main benefits for people on a low income, you might also get Cold Weather Payments because you have a young child. You don’t have to apply for Cold Weather Payments – you will get these automatically if you qualify because you are on other benefits. You might also be able to get a grant through your energy supplier, as some companies have schemes for people on low incomes.

You can find out more from The Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336 699.

Council Tax Benefit
Council Tax Benefit is for people on a low income who need help paying their council tax. It is managed by your local council. Your council tax bill could be reduced and some people do not have to pay any council tax.

Who can claim:

If you are on a low income and find it hard to pay your council tax – whether you are in work or not – you should see if you are eligible. Your claim will depend on your circumstances, such as your income, whether someone in the family is disabled and whether another person in your household should pay council tax. If you have a lot of savings, you might not be able to get this benefit. Even if you can’t get it, you might be eligible for a discount - for example, if you are the only adult living in the house or if someone in your home has a disability. It’s worth checking with your council.

You can find out more about these benefits and help from these organisations:


Help with your mortgage

If you are struggling with bills, paying your mortgage is a top priority. If you are falling behind on your payments, you will need to make an arrangement with your lender. Once you have explained your circumstances, your lender might be willing to work out a temporary agreement if you have a good payment record.

You might want to talk with an independent expert adviser before you approach your lender. This is especially true if you have other debts to sort out. There are many sources of free advice (see below). You have to act quickly, though. Some people on a low income can get benefits to help meet part of their mortgage costs.

Who can claim:

If you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit, you might be able to get help with part of your mortgage costs. Anyone in difficulty can seek independent advice and contact their mortgage lender.

Where you can find out more:

 

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