Support for individuals in financial hardship
Test and Trace Support payment
The Department for Work and Pensions have launched a new website to provide clear, factual information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It covers employment and benefits support, universal credit, advice on housing, furlough, sick pay and self-employment, alongside advice and FAQs for employers, those already claiming and those making a new claim.
Council Tax Support
We already offer various options to support those who may struggle to meet their Council Tax payments.
The government has announced that during 2020-21, if you are of working age and entitled to Council Tax Support, you may receive an additional amount of up to £150 towards your Council Tax liability. We will also disregard £20 of Working Tax Credit each week during 2020 and 2021.
You do not need to apply for it. If you are entitled, we will send you a revised Council Tax bill.
Local Housing Allowance
In response to COVID-19 the government has announced help for renters in the form of increases to the Local Housing Allowance – it has been increased so that it covers up to 30% of the market rent in your area; check Local Housing Allowance rates on GOV.UK.
Advice Central is:
- a single point of access that deals with a wide range of advice enquiries
- staffed by trained assistants to assess and signpost callers to the most relevant referral partners
- a referral point for professionals and others working with individuals that need information or advice
- a single internet access point to provide self-help via the website
- a centralised telephone number linking into a call centre.
- first line simple advice and triage clients via subject and urgency, signposting callers to the most appropriate source of information or referral to the wider agencies.
- up to date, accurate and accessible information in a range of formats.
- community navigation around statutory, voluntary sector and independent agencies
Visit the Advice Central website.
Citizens Advice is a network of independent charities throughout the UK that give free, confidential information and advice to help people with issues including:
There are three local organisations in Central Bedfordshire and their opening hours and access has altered. They are still open for online and telephone advice.
Financial help (emergency provision)
Financial help (emergency provision) is available following an emergency or crisis to meet the immediate day-to-day expenses relating to food and utilities. Supermarket vouchers and top-ups for pre-paid energy meters are provided to meet these needs.
To apply, you must permanently reside within Central Bedfordshire:
- 16 years or older
- in an emergency situation and not have enough money to meet the immediate needs of you and your family
You do not need to be in receipt of any benefit or entitlement.
If you need to contact us in an emergency, please call 0300 300 8900.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, find out what food banks are available in Central Bedfordshire.