A popular query on the national Citizens Advice website is what help is available if you’re on a low income. If you’re of working age but not earning enough to get by, there are some options.
To check what benefits you might be entitled to quickly and easily, you can use an online calculator like Turn2us or Entitledto. You’ll need information about savings, income, pension, childcare payments and any existing benefits (for you and your partner).
Surrey Heath is now a full service Universal Credit area. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income.If you have not claimed benefits previously or if there is a significant change in your circumstances you will need to make a new claim for Universal Credit. You’ll usually get one monthly payment to cover your living costs. The payment is made up of a basic ‘standard allowance’ and extra payments that might apply depending on your circumstances (eg a family element if you have children, a housing element if you pay rent).
Applications for Universal Credit need to madeonline at gov.uk. If you need help completing an application Citizens Advice are able to provide digital support and advice.
This is separate from Universal Credit and is paid by the local Borough Council. You may be eligible if you (and where applicable your partner) earn low incomes, have less than £16,000 in savings and are liable for council tax. You can find out more and download an application form by searching for “benefits” on the council website surreyheath.gov.uk
If Universal Credit (or Housing Benefit) doesn’t cover all of your rent and you need more money, you can make a claim for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) from the council. The application form is available on the council website surreyheath.gov.uk
If you’re receiving DWP welfare benefits you can often get a Warm Home Discount from your electricity supplier and you will generally be entitled to a Cold Weather Payment from the DWP for each week the temperature is constantly below zero.
If you struggling to feed yourself or your family, need emergency clothing, transport or essential household items, you may be eligible for support from Surrey County Council’s Local Assistance Scheme. We can assess your situation to see if you meet the criteria for a payment from this fund. For more information, about the scheme, please visit surreycc.gov.uk/localassistancescheme
Camberley Besom provides food parcel deliveries for people in need and there is also a Trussell Trust food bank in Farnborough. In both cases you would need to obtain a referral in advance, eg, from a charity, GP, social worker or from us.