Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age who are working and on a low income, or are out of work. It is a benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and not by your local council.
Find out more about universal credit
Sure Start Maternity Grant
If you are pregnant and the child is expected within 11 weeks or have just had a baby you may be entitled to a Maternity Grant.
Find out more about the Sure Start Maternity Grant
If you’re on a low income and pay rent for the property you live in, you may be able to get housing benefit to help with rent. You can apply for housing benefit, or continue to claim housing benefit, if one of the following applies to you:
• have more than 2 children
• live in supported accommodation
• live in temporary accommodation provided by a Council
• are of Pension Credit age
• are a severely disabled person
• live in the Kentish Town Job Plus Centre area*
*Universal Credit will be available in the Kentish Town area from December 2018. Until then, you should claim housing benefit.
If nothing in the above list applies to you, please apply for Universal Credit instead.
Council Tax reduction
If you are married or co-habiting, you are jointly liable for your abusers Council Tax. If you separate or maintain separate lives within the same house please inform the Council Tax team.
Your Council Tax bill can be reduced in a number of ways:
• Council Tax Reduction - if you are on a low income and have less than £16,000 in savings/capital
• Single Person Reduction - if you are the sole adult in the household
• Disability Reduction - if your home is used by a person with disabilities (certain conditions apply)
• Other reductions depending on your circumstances i.e living in temporary accommodation. Please note there is no public register for Council Tax, so you do not have to worry that your partner will be able to find you by this method.
Find out more about Council Tax discounts and exemptions
Child maintenance is financial support towards your child’s everyday living costs when you’ve separated from the other parent.
You and your ex-partner can arrange child maintenance yourself if you can agree. This is called a ‘family-based arrangement’. A family-based arrangement is a private way to sort out child maintenance. Parents arrange everything themselves and no-one else has to be involved.
If you cannot agree, you will need to apply for Child Maintenance with the Child Maintenance Service.
Your child maintenance payments might be affected if you’re claiming Universal Credit.
Find out more about Child Maintenance
If you have joint bank accounts or credit cards, you should inform the relevant bank or financial institution that you have separated and ask them to remove your name from the account. This will stop you being responsible for any bills or overdrafts your abuser may incur.
If you leave your home and bills are in your name e.g. gas or telephone, remember that you should immediately inform the relevant authority that you no longer live at that address.