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.

Support available - 2023 to 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.

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.

Talk Money Week

This week we’re supporting #talkmoneyweek, designed to get us all talking more about the pennies in our pocket, our thoughts and feelings around money, and how and where to get help if and when you need it.

Quite often, it’s just saying the words out loud that’s the hardest part. So, we're asking you to Do One Thing to help take the first step - check the cost of living guides available on the MoneyHelper.

Research shows that people who talk about money:

Building money conversations into our everyday lives also helps us build financial confidence and resilience to face whatever the future throws at us.

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