From 6 October 2021, the amount of Universal Credit you’ll get will go down by £86.67 a month. This affects everyone claiming Universal Credit – there aren’t any exceptions.
If you’re struggling with living costs
If you don’t have enough to live on, you might be able to get help with paying for daily essentials from Kent County Council who may assist with vouchers to help pay for daily essentials like:
a hot meal
household appliances – for example, a cooker
You can also find out how to reduce your regular living costs – you might be able to pay less for things like energy, water and internet.
You can check what help you can get from local charities on the Turn2us website – you’ll need to know your postcode.
If you can’t pay for food
Contact Nourish Community Foodbank
If you have children check if you can get free school meals for your children.
Get help with housing costs
If you’re paying rent, you could make a claim for a discretionary housing payment (DHP). Contact Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to see if you our eligible to for DHP.
When you apply, be as clear as you can when you’re explaining why you need a DHP. If you apply on a paper form, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of the form for your records. You should explain:
why you can’t afford to pay the rent
why you can’t move somewhere cheaper
if it’s causing problems for someone you look after – like a child or elderly relative
any evidence you have – like a letter from your doctor or details of debts you’re paying off
If you have a mortgage
You might be able to get a government loan to help to pay the mortgage interest. The government loan is called ‘support for mortgage interest’ (SMI).
The DWP will charge interest on the SMI loan – this means you’ll pay back more than you borrowed. Even though you’ll pay interest, it could be cheaper than other ways of borrowing money.
You can check if you can get SMI.
Check if you can pay less council tax
You might qualify for a council tax reduction if your income has dropped or if you started claiming benefits recently.
If you’re worried about money you owe
If you’re disabled or look after a disabled child
You might also be able to get other benefits as well as Universal Credit.
If you’re disabled, you should check if you’re eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
If you look after a disabled child, you should check if you can claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your child.
Getting PIP or DLA won’t reduce the amount of Universal Credit you get.
If you would like to speak to one of our advisors because you are concerned how the reduction in Universal Credit will impact you, please call 0808 2787992 or alternatively email us at [email protected]