Coronavirus - COVID-19

Support for individuals in financial hardship

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.

Financial support for winter 2021/22

Find out what financial support is available for your family, this winter through our Household Support Grant.

Council Tax Support

We already offer various options to support those who may struggle to meet their Council Tax payments.

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

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

It provides:

  • 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

Citizens Advice is a network of independent charities throughout the UK that give free, confidential information and advice to help people with issues including:

  • benefits
  • employment
  • debt
  • housing
  • relationships

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.

Apply for emergency provision

If you need to contact us in an emergency, please call 0300 300 8900.

Food banks

If you are experiencing financial hardship, find out what food banks are available in Central Bedfordshire.