Help with debts and bills

Help with paying rent

If you need help paying your rent, you can claim Universal Credit.

You can only claim Housing Benefit if you:

For more information and to make a claim, see Benefits and money advice.

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you're getting help through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but are still struggling to pay rent, you may qualify for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Housing advice

If you're struggling to pay your rent or are in arrears, see Benefits and money advice.

Help with paying Council Tax

If you need help paying your Council Tax, you can claim Council Tax Support.

For more information and to make a claim, see Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

Council Tax Support Hardship payments

If you're getting help through Council Tax Support, but are still struggling to pay Council Tax, you may qualify for a Council Tax Support Hardship payment.

If you have claimed Discretionary Housing Payments, this claim will also be considered for Council Tax Support Hardship.

Council Tax

If you do not qualify for Council Tax Support and think you may struggle to pay your Council Tax, email Make the subject line your Council Tax account number inside pointed brackets, for example <XXXXXXXX>.

Let us know if you want to:

If you want to apply for a discount, disregard or exemption, see our Council Tax discount page.

If you want to apply for Council Tax Support, see our benefits page.

Government help for households

Energy support still to be claimed - 2022/2023

If you have a traditional prepayment meter, you may have unclaimed vouchers that can still be cashed by 30 June 2023. For more information, see the government's poster on support with your energy costs.

Support available - 2023/2024

To find out what support you will automatically receive based on your income and circumstances, and what you can claim, visit GOV.UK - Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024.

Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding

Help for Households logo

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) is providing support of £400 for energy bills for households in England, Scotland, and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier. This support is provided by His Majesty’s Government and is delivered by local authorities. The scheme is now open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.


Subject to applications meeting the eligibility criteria, people who will be able to receive support under EBSS AF include:

Alternative Fuel Payment - Alternative Funding

The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) provides a payment of £200 for households that use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as the main source of heating.

The vast majority of eligible households will receive the AFP automatically through their electricity supplier. However, there will be a small number of households that will be required to apply to the scheme due to the method used to target payments and because some households will not have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier. The Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund (AFP Alternative Fund) was set up to provide the payment to these households.

Eligible residents will need to apply for the AFP Alternative Fund via a website.

The application deadline is 31 May 2023.

How to apply

If you are eligible for EBSS AF, you will need to fill out a short online form via the GOV.UK website. This form can be found by searching 'Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically' into the search bar on GOV.UK, or an internet search engine. Applications are made directly to His Majesty’s Government, not to or via Local Authorities. If you do not have online access, you can apply via a contact centre on 0808 175 3287 where a representative will guide you through the application process.

Once you have applied, your application will be processed and verified. After this if your application is successful, your details will be shared with local authorities, who will deliver the one-off, non-repayable support. The payment will be made directly into your bank account in a single instalment.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

For more information on how we use your data, please see our privacy notice.

Help with bills

Water bills

You could get help with paying water bills if your usage is high and you're on a water meter or have applied to get one fitted. Check your eligibility at Citizen’s Advice - WaterSure scheme.

If you live in a low-income household and qualify, you may be able to get a 50% discount your water bill through WaterHelp.

Visit Thames Water for more information about WaterHelp and WaterSure where you can also find downloadable applications forms.

Thames Water Trust Fund

Thames Water Trust Fund is an independent charity making grants to support customers who are in difficult circumstances and who cannot afford to pay for household essentials.

British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust helps families and individuals experiencing hardship who are struggling with energy debts.

Cheaper broadband and phone packages

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband. Visit Ofcom to find a full list of broadband and phone social tariffs.

Comparison websites, savings and cost-cutting

As well as popular comparison site such as Compare The Market and Money Supermarket, you can sign-up to Look After My Bills where you can receive information on savings on your mobile phone, broadband, mortgage, car insurance, home insurance and more.

Help with funeral costs

If you get certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral you are arranging, you could get a Funeral Expenses Payment. For more information, visit GOV.UK - Get help with funeral costs.

Reduced court fees

If you have no or little savings, and you get certain benefits or have low income, you may be able to get money off your court or tribunal fees. To find out if you're eligible, visit GOV.UK - Get help paying court and tribunal fees.

Welfare advice and debt support

If you have debts to the council

The Welfare Advice and Debt Support team provides support to customers who are vulnerable and affected by debts to the council.

For more information, see our welfare advice and support page.

Financial advice if you’re struggling

If you're struggling financially, advice is available.

You can get advice from organisations such as:

Money advice and pensions

If you have money worries, you can get clear impartial help, that’s on your side, backed by government and free to use at Money Helper.

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