What benefits are available?
Find out what benefits may be available to you and where to get support.
Help from the Jobcentre
The main benefit for people who are out of work or on low incomes is universal credit (UC). This is a government benefit which you apply for online. It is managed through the local Jobcentre.
You may be able to get advance payments while you wait for your full UC claim to be paid. You must pay advance payments back over up to 24 months. You can also ask the JobCentre about other financial help such as the flexible support fund to help you attend interviews and get into work, a budgeting advance (which you’d need to pay back) or a hardship payment if your claim is sanctioned or suspended.
Help from us
If you are in crisis and struggling to pay for food, gas or electricity, you may be able to get help from the community support grant.
If you are claiming UC or on a low income you can apply for help to pay your council tax. This is called council tax support or CTS. If you are already receiving housing benefit, CTS is automatically included. We sometimes offer extra council tax discretionary relief on top of CTS.
If you’re claiming UC or other benefits your child may be entitled to free school meals.
Help to pay your rent
Other payments or support
- People on low incomes can get help with NHS medical and dental costs.
- Healthy Start offers vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables if you’re pregnant or have a child under four
- Legal aid can help pay for legal advice, family mediation and representation in court.
- WaterSure allows you to have your water bills capped if you are on certain benefits.
- SureStart maternity grants are one-off payments of £500 to help with the cost of having a child
- Funeral payments are available if you are struggling to pay funeral costs
- You can also access cold weather payments, and help with prison visiting costs.
- Help to Heat is a scheme to help qualifying householders replace their boiler or insulate their home.
- Help to get central heating installed for the first time: Warm Homes Fund
- Help with travel costs if you are out of work.
- The Big Difference Scheme can give people on low incomes big discounts off their Severn Trent Water bill.
- You could be entitled up to £500 towards childcare by applying for tax-free childcare.
Where can I go for help and advice?
Citizens Advice LeicesterShire
Free, independent and confidential advice on debt and budgeting, housing, employment, family issues, immigration and community care.
There are a number of ways to get advice.
You can get general advice over the phone from 9am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday. You can call the free phone number on 0808 278 7970.
If you want to make a new claim for universal credit call the Help to Claim line on 0800 1448444.
Community Advice and Law Service
Free, independent and confidential support for people with specialist welfare benefits, debt and housing issues.
You can get advice over the phone on 0116 242 1120, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.
Contact an advisor online by visiting the Community Advice and Law Service website and filling in a webform.
Advice for service providers
Social Welfare Advice Partnership (SWAP)
We host a forum for organisations that offer advice in Leicester. SWAP aims to allow regular communication between advice providers. Member of the group discuss any information, issues or future changes for Leicester's advice services. The group is important to us because members work closely with the public and it helps us to understand how local and national changes impact on you and your communities. Email us if you would like your organisation to join SWAP.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org