Help paying your bills

If you're falling behind with your bills and finding yourself struggling to pay, take a look at the schemes and advice available.

Universal Credit

If you are not already claiming any benefits, you might be able to get Universal Credit. This is a monthly payment to help with your living costs if you are on a low income or out of work.  

See if you can claim Universal Credit

Housing Benefit 

If you are on a low income, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit to help pay your rent. You can claim Housing Benefit whether you are employed or unemployed, a homeowner or private tenant.

See if you can claim housing benefit

Discretionary Housing Payments

If your rent is not met in full by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and you are finding it difficult to pay, you can apply for extra help with a Discretionary Housing Payment. 

Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Council Tax Support

If you are on a low income, you can apply for Council Tax Support o help pay your Council Tax. You can claim Council Tax Support whether you are employed or unemployed

Apply for Council Tax Support

Cost-of-living payments

You might be eligible for a cost-of-living payment from the government. If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually receive your benefit or tax credits. 

Find out if this payment will be made to you

Between 8 November 2022 and 23 November 2022, eligible households will receive the second part of the Cost of Living payment - £324 will automatically be paid into recipients' bank accounts.

Local Welfare Provision Hardship Grant 

This is a financial assistance scheme to help people who are in a crisis or emergency situation and where low-level financial assistance would prevent this situation from escalating. To apply for Local Welfare Provision a resident must be at least 18 years old and:

  • Be a current resident of Hart District, or have been housed out of the area by Hart’s Housing Services team within the past six months
  • Not have savings that can be relied upon to meet your needs
  • Not be excluded from applying for public funds on the basis of immigration status
  • Not have received a Local Welfare Provision award in the past three weeks, unless they can demonstrate significant exceptional need
  • Not have been refused a Local Welfare Provision award for the same need in the past two weeks, unless they can demonstrate exceptional circumstances
  • Be without sufficient resources which would in turn cause serious risk to your own, or your family’s health, safety or well-being
  • Not be eligible to receive or have received assistance for the requested funding or support from other public funds

Email to find out if you are eligible for a hardship grant

Disabled Facilities Grants

These grants help disabled people who need special adaptations to their homes. They are means tested and available to owner-occupiers and tenants, including tenants of social landlords.

Apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant

Energy bills

Most energy companies offer help if you are struggling with your bills, including payment plans. Speak with your supplier as soon as possible to see if they can provide any advice or assistance.  You can also get in touch with your local Citizens Advice office to find out if you are eligible for fuel vouchers and for general advice.

Helpful information about how to keep your home warm is available from the Hitting the Cold Spots helpline. This is open to all Hampshire residents. 

Fleet Lions fuel and utilities project – if you are struggling with your bills, email fuel@fleetlions.org.uk. Full or part Winter Fuel Allowance donations are held in a fund to pay charges for local families in debt to their energy suppliers or water utility.

Find out more about energy bill advice

Electricity discount

Every household is entitled to a £400 discount You don’t need to apply for the discount. It will be paid out by electricity suppliers over six months, with the first payments starting in October 2022. In October and November, households  receive a discount of £66 per month on their energy bills, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023, regardless of how you pay for your energy (i.e. by direct debit or pre-payment meter).

The Warm Home Discount scheme has re-opened which provides a discount of £150 off electricity bills for low-income households. Most households will receive the discount automatically but you can check if you’re eligible at www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-eligible-for-warm-home-discount

Winter Fuel Payment

Winter Fuel Payment is usually automatically paid if you receive the State Pension or another social security benefit (but not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Child Benefit or Universal Credit). If you qualify but have not received an automatic payment, you will need to make a claim. 

Payments of up to £600 started on 23 November and will land in bank accounts over the next two months.

Find out if you are eligible

Cold Weather Payment

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting some benefits, including Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you’re eligible you will be paid it automatically.

Find out more about Cold Weather Payments

Household Support Energy Voucher scheme

Many households are eligible for a £147 voucher towards energy bills.

People can apply for this if they are a Hampshire resident and should contact their local Citizens Advice.

All that is needed is the following proof: photo ID, proof of address, energy bill and photo of meter.

Sustainable Warmth Fund

If you're a Hart homeowner with a household income below £30,000, you may be eligible for £10,000 funding to make energy efficient improvements to your home. You must live in a property with an energy efficiency rating of E, F or G. Improvements include better insulation, boiler upgrades and solar panels

Check if there is an energy rating for your home

Apply to the Sustainable Warmth Fund

Water bills

Citizens Advice has guidance about how to speak to your water supplier if you’re having problems paying your water bill. It includes information about special schemes set up by water companies to help you pay your water bill.
You may be entitled to free water-saving devices and advice from your water supplier to help you save money on your bill. To find out more, visit your water supplier’s website:

Broadband and phone

If you are on a low income and claim certain benefits, you may be eligible for a social tariff for your broadband. The government has worked with a range of Internet Service Providers and Mobile Network Operators to deliver low-cost broadband and phone service packages, called social tariffs, for those on low incomes.

Social tariffs are available for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits, with some providers offering deals from £15 a month.

Visit the Ofcom website for details of social tariffs.

Not all of us regularly switch supplier, but it’s worth comparing as you could save money. Try one of the utility comparison websites.