Support: Fuel and gift vouchers are being issued to families this festive season (photo credit: Getty Images)
4 min read
Advice to residents following welfare changes
Liverpool City Council is reminding residents that support is available to people affected by the removal of the Universal Credit uplift and increasing energy prices.
The local authority has a number of schemes to help people in crisis with help paying council tax, rent and essential goods.
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Jane Corbett, said: “At the moment around one in three households in Liverpool are in poverty and a third of people on Universal Credit are in work.
“The £20 a week cut to Universal Credit being rolled out from today by the Government is going to hurt so many of our residents and make it impossible to make ends meet for so many households.
“It sounds like a small amount of money but it will be the difference between being able or not to keep you and your family warm, fed, and clothed.
“Many thousands of our families will be facing a very difficult winter with the end of the furlough scheme, the end of the £20 uplift in Universal Credit, the lifting of the eviction ban, rising fuel bills and coming just before Christmas.
“Despite the financial challenges we face, we have a number of schemes available to help people who need short term support and we would encourage people to get in touch, rather than struggle alone.”
Support available from the council and other organisations:
Request benefits advice or get help with Universal Credit claims today at www.liverpool.gov.uk/bms or check if you qualify online at www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators. You can also call freephone 0800 028 3697 or visit any One Stop Shop. You can also speak to your landlord if you’re a social housing tenant.
Your local Citizens Advice can help you deal with debt. You can book appointments with the city centre money advice team on 0151 233 2771. Call 0344 848 7700 or visit www.citizensadviceliverpool.org.uk to find your local office. For details of other organisations go to www.liverpool.gov.uk/debt
Call us today on 0800 028 3686 if you’re having problems paying your Council Tax, have Council Tax arrears, are struggling to pay back overpaid Housing Benefit or owe other debts to the council.
Free school meals
Apply today at www.liverpool.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals or call free phone 0800 028 3697 and your family could save over £400 per year and your child’s school can receive up to £1,900 additional funding for every eligible child.
Housing Options provides help and advice if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Call us on freephone 0800 731 6844. Visit any of our One Stop Shops – www.liverpool.gov.uk/onestopshops or call 0151 233 3000
Fuel and energy bills
Our Healthy Homes team can provide free help and advice if you’re struggling to pay your fuel bills, and energy saving hints and tips to help keep you warm and your bills low. They may also be able to help with replacement boilers and windows. Visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/housing/fuel-poverty-and-energy-efficiency/ or call them on freephone 0800 0121 754.
Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support helps you pay some of your Council Tax if you are on a low income or claiming certain benefits. You can claim whether you own your home or rent, or whether you’re working or unemployed.
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can give you short term help to pay your rent when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not meet your rent in full. You can apply if you receive Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit or there is a shortfall between your rent and benefit entitlement.
If you find yourself in crisis you can apply for support to get food and basic necessities for you and your family including gas and electric vouchers (urgent needs) and furniture and household essentials (home needs). An emergency or crisis might be a fire or flood, or you have had to move due to violence or fear of violence, or you are leaving care or prison and need support to stay in the community.
Your local foodbank can provide at least three days’ emergency food and support to people in crisis. You can get a voucher from your: health visitor, social worker, local citizens advice or charity organisation and take your voucher to your local Trussell Trust foodbank to receive your emergency food. Your local church or community centre may have their own system and you may not need a voucher.
If you’re waiting for your first benefit payment and don’t have enough money to cover food and essential items such as rent, gas and electric you can ask your local Job Centre for a short-term advance.