Stage 1: More money in your pocket
Could I get more money?
What help can I get to find work?
Could I get benefits if I am working?
Could I rent out a room?
Check that your landlord or mortgage lender agrees. Under the Rent a Room Scheme, if the rent is below a set limit, you do not pay tax on it and it does not affect any tax credits you get.
Could another adult in my home pay towards expenses?
If a non-dependant (adult son or daughter, relative or friend) lives with you, they should pay you for their share of household expenses, even if their only income is benefits. If you are getting Housing Benefit or Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), check how much is being taken off payments because a non-dependant lives with you.
Could I get child maintenance?
If a child lives with you, you may be able to get maintenance from either of their parents who live elsewhere. You could make an arrangement between yourselves or, if you think this might not work, you can ask the Child Support Agency to help.
Find out more about making child maintenance arrangements on the gov.uk website
Could I reduce how much is taken off my benefit/tax credit for an overpayment?
Could I get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)?
If you are a home owner and get certain income-based benefits you may qualify for help towards your mortgage interest payments. This is known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).
The interest is at a set rate, not the rate your lender charges and payments can be reduced for various reasons. Any SMI you get is unlikely to cover your full mortgage instalments. Depending on which benefit you are getting, any SMI payments may not start for some time after you claim and may not last longer than two years.
Get more information on the gov.uk Support for Mortgage Interest page.
Could I get Housing Benefit?
You may be able to get Housing Benefit if you rent and: your income (and your partner's income) is low. This applies whether or not either of you is working.
Get more information on our benefits page.
Could I get a Council Tax discount?
You may be able to get a discount if:
You are the only person in your household aged 18 or over
Your home has a facility that is important to a disabled person (yourself or someone living with you)
You are over State Pension age (whatever your income) and any other person in your household aged 18 or over has a low income.
Get more information on our council tax discounts page.
Could I claim Council Tax Reduction?
You may be able to get Council Tax Reduction if your income and your partner’s income is low. This applies whether or not either of you is working.
Could I spread paying Council Tax?
If you pay the yearly bill over 10 months, you can ask to pay over 12 months and pay less each month.
Could I reduce fuel bills?
You may be able to get a better deal by switching supplier.
Get information on energy grants you may be able to get on the gov.uk website or call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 (minicom 0800 027 2122)
Could I spread paying fuel bills?
Check your bill to see how you may be able to pay by Direct Debit or standing order. Most suppliers give a discount for paying monthly by Direct Debit.
Could I spread paying for a TV licence?
You can pay monthly by Direct Debit or weekly or monthly by TV licensing payment card.
Could I get water bills reduced?
You may be able to get your bills reduced if your water is metered, you get tax credit or an income-based benefit and either:
You have at least three children under 19 living with you or
Someone needs extra water for a medical condition.
Could I spread paying water bills?
You can pay by Direct Debit or by cash instalments at Paypoint venues.