We are here to help you with your money matters, whether it’s getting the benefits you’re entitled to or support with budgeting.
We’ve launched a brand-new, online calculator to help you see how you could be better off as the cost of living continues to rise. This free to use tool helps you understand which benefits you may be eligible for, and if you applied for them, how much better off you might be, as well as providing budgeting advice and guidance around reducing your household bills.See how you could be better off
Many households are feeling the effects of increasing energy, food and fuel costs. It can be helpful to know what support and help is at hand, from government payments and council tax rebates to energy-saving practices.Read more about cost of living support
We know that there may be times when you run into financial hardship or may simply need some support. Some of the free and impartial services we offer are:
You can get in touch with our dedicated in-house team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to claim Universal Credit and don't know where to start?
We've launched a super simple and useful Universal Credit tool, with step-by-step guidance to give you all the information you need to help you through the application process.Check it out here
Loan sharks are unauthorised money lenders, who take advantage of those in need by providing loans with extremely high interest rates and limited paperwork to confirm the arrangements.
We have partner recognition with England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to help to identify and report loan sharks. If you are worried that you, or someone you know, might be the victim of a loan shark, you can report any concerns confidentially via:
We've put together some of our frequently asked questions which you may find useful.
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It is paid monthly in arrears usually into your bank, building society or credit union account. If the payment includes an amount for housing costs, you'll need to arrange for your rent to be paid to us. We will also ask you to set up a payment agreement to get your account back into credit over time, to comply with the terms of your tenancy agreement or lease.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if you are on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.
Help to claim Universal Credit
You can contact an adviser through Citizens Advice's national Universal Credit Help to Claim phone service: 0800 144 8 444. The advisers are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday either on the phone or online by chat.
The adviser can only help you with your initial Universal Credit claim up to first correct payment. They help by:
If you are already getting Universal Credit or you need help with something else, you can also contact our Benefits and Income Maximisation team of experienced staff ready to help and give guidance. You can email GeneralBIMAX@Moat.co.uk or give us a call on 0300 323 0011.
For more detailed information about Universal Credit, visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk for a step by step guide and tutorial videos.
Before you submit your claim for Universal Credit you should visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit and read through the guidance on the website.
Your housing payment can help you pay your:
You can also find our useful Universal Credit tool here, with step-by-step guidance to give you all the information you need through the application process.
Gather together information about your income and employment status as well as your housing situation, including details of anyone else who lives with you. We recommend you locate your most recent rent increase letter so you can upload your rent and service charge costs when you apply. Once you have completed your claim, this will begin your first assessment period. During this time you will be able to log on to your journal and discuss with your work coach if you might need an advance if you are suffering from financial hardship. Be aware you will have to repay this so you must make sure you can afford the repayments.
Your first Universal Credit payment will be deposited into your bank account exactly one month and one week after your claim. Please make a note of this date so you can contact our Income and Advice Services team and set up a direct debit to pay your rent each month. For some customers, moving to Universal Credit can be daunting, so if you have concerns or need advice then please give us a call on 0300 323 0011 and we will be happy to help.
If you have recently experienced a relationship breakdown and a partner has left the property, then it can have an effect on how much Universal Credit will pay towards the Housing Costs.
Once you know about a change that might affect your benefits, tell the Council and/or the DWP as soon as you can. You should report the change within a month.
If you have a joint tenancy but a single claim for Universal Credit, then you can be affected by something called an ‘untidy tenancy’ where Universal Credit only pay 50% of your housing costs.
An untidy tenancy is one in which a joint tenant has left the property and is not paying rent, but the landlord is unable to remove them from the tenancy for legal reasons.
This is something that can be easily rectified, you just need to let Universal Credit know that although you still have a joint tenancy you are still liable for 100% of the rent.
If you are unsure of what to do then please contact us and we can send you wording to upload onto your Universal Credit Journal and this should rectify the problem.
If you still receive Housing Benefit and are of working age you will be moved to Universal Credit if you have a change of circumstances or as part of a ‘managed migration’ programme by the DWP.
As Housing Benefit and Universal Credit are paid in arrears you may be asked to set up a payment agreement to get your account back into credit over time, to comply with the terms of your tenancy agreement or lease.
If you are not of working age you should continue to receive Housing Benefit for as long as you are entitled. There are some other exemptions relating to severe disability premiums and supported accommodation which mean you can claim Housing Benefit so please contact us if you are unsure.
You may be entitled to claim certain benefits. The Better Off Calculator is a useful tool for working out the benefits you're due.
If you need help budgeting we may be able to refer you to our Income Maximisation Team. If you need longer to pay your rent please contact our Income and Advice Services team who may be able to help.
You will get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting certain benefits and only if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below, over seven consecutive days.
You’ll get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather, between 1 November and 31 March, paid into the same bank account as your benefit payments, around 14 days later.
Get more info here: https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter under the Warm Home Discount Scheme, if you qualify.
There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme:
Your electricity supplier must be signed up to the scheme for you to apply and the number of discounts suppliers can give are limited.
The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill.
If you are eligible, you will receive a letter telling you about the discount. Then, your electricity supplier will automatically apply the discount to your bill by the end of March.
In deciding, the government will look at your circumstances on a specific date, known as the 'qualifying date'. For 2022-23, this was 21 August 2022. Next winter's qualifying date will be announced later in the year.
If you are a new customer and your rent account has fallen immediately into arrears this is usually because you are claiming housing benefit or Universal Credit to help cover the cost of your new home.
You usually have to wait at least 5 weeks for your first payment weeks to be processed and will be paid in arrears. It is important that you submit your claims for these benefits as early as possible and notify the customer accounts team when this has been done.
If you cannot find the money up front to clear the rent that you owe you can ask for a universal credit advance. This is a loan that you have to pay back. Only ask for the amount you need.
Please contact our Income and Advice Services team to help to make a payment agreement depending on your circumstances. Please do pick up the phone and call us on 0300 323 0011 and we can help.
You may be able to join a credit union for savings and affordable loans. You can find your local credit union here: www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk
If you have problems in opening a standard current account or savings account; or if you already have a current account which is overdrawn, you may be able to open a basic bank account.
The bank or building society must tell you whether it offers basic bank accounts. If it does, it must tell you the conditions you need to meet to be able to open one.
Please don’t be nervous. It is really important for our customers to engage with us.
If you experience any change in circumstances which mean you are unable to pay your rent then please contact us as we are here to help.
We can discuss options available to you such as applying for benefits and can even refer you through to our Income Maximisation Team for further assistance.
There is a lot of help and guidance available. Here are some useful websites:
Better Off Calculator is a useful benefit calculator and provides budgeting advice and guidance.
https://www.stepchange.org/ is great for debt advice and information.
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ is a resource for help with legal advice and support.
https://adviser.moneyhelper.org.uk/en is a government funded scheme to help refer people for debt advice in their local area.