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Council Support Schemes

People on low incomes may be able to get housing benefit and council tax support from the council.
This will depend on your current circumstances and you can find out more at:

Benefits and support

Benefit Advance

If you have made a new claim for benefit and are in financial hardship while you wait for your first payment, you may be able to get an advance to afford things like rent or food.

It’s important to get advice before taking out an advance. Benefit advances must be paid back, and the money will be taken from your future benefit payments (a loan).

Find out about what benefits or short-term grants you may be eligible for

Benefits and support

0300 1234 121 (chose option 2)

Find out if you are eligible for a crisis award, if you face a sudden change

Crisis awards

Hardship Payment

If you have been sanctioned, you may be able to request a hardship payment from the Jobcentre.

Hardship payments are not always paid immediately, and they’re not available to everyone.

Hardship payments of Universal Credit need to be paid back (a loan), but hardship payments of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance do not (not a loan).

Find information about this on the Citizens Advice website

Hardship payment information

Challenge a Decision

You can challenge a benefit decision if your benefit has been;

  • stopped
  • sanctioned
  • reduced
  • refused
  • or you have been overpaid

most benefit decisions need to be challenged within one month.


Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary housing payments are for people who are receiving Universal Credit (housing cost element) or housing benefit payments that are less than their rent payments and need help to cover the shortfall. 

There is a limited amount of money available for discretionary housing payments. 

Check if you're eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment

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