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Help with rent and other bills

Help with your rent

If you're struggling to pay your rent, you might be able to claim benefits to help. 

Most people will need to claim Universal Credit. Find out more and apply for Universal Credit on GOV.UK.

If you're getting the State Pension, or you live in supported, sheltered, or temporary housing, you might need to claim Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit. Find out more and apply for Housing Benefit.

A benefit calculator can give you an idea of how much you could get in benefits. You can use the entitledto benefits calculatorMoney Saving Expert benefit check, or Turn2us benefits calculator. Please note, benefits calculators can only give you a estimate of how much you could get - it's not a guarantee.

If you live in rented accommodation and you're struggling to pay your rent, you might be able to get extra help through the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme. You can apply if you're getting either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (housing element), and your benefit payment is less than the amount of rent you need to pay. Find out more and apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

If you're renting your home from a housing association, you might be able to get support with debt or other problems which are stopping you paying your rent. Find out more on the housing support page.

Help with your Council Tax

Council Tax is a priority bill. You should try to pay priority bills first, because they can cause particularly serious problems if you don't do anything about them. You can find out more about priority debts on Citizens Advice.

If you have to pay Council Tax, you might be able to get Council Tax Reduction to help reduce the amount you have to pay. Council Tax Reduction can help people on a low income, including those who work. You have to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction even if you're already getting Universal Credit, you won't get it automatically. Find out more and apply for Council Tax Reduction.

You might be able to get a discount on your Council Tax, for example if you live alone. Find out more about Council Tax discounts.

If you pay by Direct Debit, you can choose whether to pay your Council Tax over 10 months or 12. You'll pay the same amount in total, but if you pay it over 12 months, your monthly payments will be less. You can also choose from a range of payment dates so you know you'll be paying once your wages, benefits, or pension have been paid into your account. You can set up a Direct Debit by logging into your Revenues and Benefits account. A help guide for setting up a Direct Debit is available if you get stuck.

Help with your mortgage

If you're struggling to pay your mortgage, it's important to talk to your lender as soon as possible. You can find out more about what to do if you're struggling to pay your mortgage on Money Helper.

If you don't pay your mortgage, your home could be repossessed. This means your lender will take ownership of the house and you'll have to move out. Shelter has more information about repossession.

Help with paying for childcare

If you're struggling to pay for childcare, you may be able to get help with the costs. You can check what help you could get by using the childcare calculator on GOV.UK.

The Childcare Choices website has information about childcare offers, including:

  • tax-free childcare
  • 15 hours free childcare for eligible 2-year-olds
  • 14 hours free childcare for 3- and 4-year-olds
  • 30 hours free childcare for working families with 3- and 4-year-olds
  • tax credits for childcare
  • Universal Credit for childcare

Help with the cost of broadband and TV

Broadband and phone

If you're struggling to pay your broadband bill, some providers offer cheaper packages for people getting Universal Credit or other benefits. These are called social tariffs. Ofcom has a list of social tariffs for broadband.

If you can't get a social tariff, you might be able to save money by switching to a different package, or a new provider. Price comparison websites can help you see all the deals available to you. Ofcom has a list of approved comparison websites which provide accurate and up-to-date information.


If you're aged over 75 and getting Pension Credit, you live in a care home, or you're blind, you may be able to get a free or reduced fee TV licence.

There are a range of payment plans to help you spread the cost of a TV licence. These include:

  • paying monthly or quarterly (every 3 months) by Direct Debit
  • a TV Licensing payment card (where you can pay weekly, fortnightly, or monthly online, via text or call, on the TVL Pay app, or at any PayPoint outlet)

The most affordable option is the Simple Payment Plan, designed for those in financial difficulty. You can choose either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan, which spreads the cost of a licence over 12 months. As part of the Simple Payment Plan, if you miss a payment, it can be spread across the rest of the plan, instead of having to pay double the amount next time.

You're eligible to join the Simple Payment Plan if you:

  • have been visited by a TV Licensing Enquiry Officer 
  • have previously held a licence which was cancelled in the last six months because of missed payments
  • are in financial difficulty and are referred to TV Licensing by a money advice charity

More information about free and reduced fee TV licences is available on the TV Licensing website.