Help and support with money worries and debt

We know it’s a really difficult time as many of us are facing rising living costs. If you are struggling to afford the essentials, or if you’re worried about money or debt, please read the information on all of these pages to check you’re accessing all of the support that you’re entitled to.

If you don’t know where to turn, call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), call Citizens Advice Camden on 0808 278 7835 or get in touch with one of the local organisations in Camden Advice Network (CAN). Find out more about CAN.

If you are facing severe financial hardship, read about our Cost Of Living Crisis Fund.

Debt advice

If you’re struggling with council tax arrears, call 020 7974 6414.

If you’re worried about losing your home, find out what to do depending on where you live

If you’re struggling with debt, there are several local and national organisations who can provide a variety of free help, advice and support:

Financial support payments and discounts

If you’re struggling financially, there are a number of local and government-led support and payment schemes that are available now or coming soon. Please check that you’re accessing everything you’re entitled to. If you're unsure, call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), call Citizens Advice Camden on 0808 278 7835 or get in touch with one of the local organisations in Camden Advice Network (CAN). Find out more about CAN.

Scheme Who is eligible Link to full eligibility criteria How to apply
£150 energy rebate discretionary payment  Camden residents suffering financial hardship and responsible for energy bills Energy rebate Discretionary Payment Scheme

Apply for energy rebate discretionary payment or call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) to make an appointment to apply in person.

Deadline to apply is 1 October 2022.

£1,500 childcare grant (note this is paid directly to childcare providers) Lone parents who live in Camden and who are looking to re-enter employment Childcare grant

Apply for childcare grant or call 020 7974 1666.

£45 food vouchers for families If your child gets free school meals in Camden, or you receive Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit Access to food If you're eligible, you will receive a letter from the Council with instructions to claim the payment. 
£90 payment to pensioners  Pensioners living in Camden receiving Council Tax Support n/a If you're eligible, you will receive a letter from Camden Council with information on how you will receive the payment.
£650 Cost of Living Payment (split over two payments in summer and autumn) Anyone who receives means-tested benefits Government’s Cost of Living Support factsheet 

If you’re eligible, you should receive this payment automatically from the government.

£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

Residents of pension age who receive the Winter Fuel Payment Government’s Cost of Living Support factsheet 

If you’re eligible, you should receive this payment automatically from the government.

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

Anyone who receives disability benefits. This is in addition to the £650 cost of living payment Government’s Cost of Living Support factsheet 

If you’re eligible, you should receive this payment automatically from the government.

Winter Fuel Payment Top Up - £300 per household Pensioners who receive the winter fuel payment Winter Fuel Payment: Eligibility

If you’re eligible, you should receive this payment automatically with your Winter Fuel Payment from the government in November 2022.

£400 deduction in energy bills via the government’s cost of living support Find out more about the government's cost of living support Find out more about the government's cost of living support Find out more about the government's cost of living support
Camden Council’s Cost of Living Crisis Fund

Individual residents or families facing severe financial hardship.

Households in need will be able to receive a maximum of two £500 payments a year and those in greatest need will be prioritised. 

Read about the eligibility criteria Find out how to apply

 

If you’re worried about losing your home

Advice for council tenants:

If you’re a council tenant and are worried about paying your rent, council tax or bills, speak to your neighbourhood housing officer as soon as possible. 

If you are still able to pay your rent, council tax and bills, you should pay as normal. We really don’t want any of our tenants to build up debt, and we need to carry on collecting rent so we can keep looking after you and keep all of our housing services running. For questions about rent, other bills or any other concerns, you can call your neighbourhood housing officer on 020 7974 4444 (option 3 then 5).

Advice for leaseholders:

If you're a leaseholder and you think you will have difficulty paying your service charge or major works invoices, we are here to help. Please email leaseholder services or call 020 7974 3559.

Advice for private renters:

If you are a private renter and you’re struggling to pay your rent, speak to your landlord first. They might agree to a rent reduction or accept a late payment to your rent. Get any agreement in writing. You might also be eligible for Universal Credit. If you are already receiving Universal Credit or Housing Benefit you can apply to the Council for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

For help and advice, contact the Homelessness Prevention Team on 020 7974 5801 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday).

Advice for home owners:

If you’re a home owner and struggling to pay your mortgage, please call your mortgage provider to find out what support is available.

If you’re receiving benefits already but your income has stopped or dropped

If you’re receiving benefits already, it’s really important that you tell both us and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about any changes to your income. This is so that we can adjust the amount you’re entitled to.

You can tell us about changes by emailing our benefits team or by filling in a ‘change in circumstances’ form. 

Change of circumstances form

Report changes to the DWP or telephone the Job Centre on 0800 169 0310.

Gov.uk: Report a change in your circumstances 

If you’re currently receiving benefits, please also seek advice to check you’re receiving everything you’re entitled to, using a benefit calculator to help you.

Accessing benefits for the first time if your income has stopped or dropped

If you’re struggling financially and not on benefits already, you may be eligible to apply for the following:

  1. Council Tax Support: This is a type of benefit that reduces the amount of council tax you need to pay. The discount you’re entitled to is worked out by looking at your income and your individual circumstances. Find out more about Council Tax Support and if you think you're eligible, make a claim. 

  2. Universal Credit: If you’re not claiming benefits at the moment and you’re now unable to work or your income has dropped, as long as you fit the criteria, you can apply for Universal Credit. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manages this so you will need to apply online or if you need help call them on 0800 328 5644. You do not need to go to the Job Centre and you can receive an advance payment from DWP.

  3. Contributions-based benefits: If you have recently lost your job, you may also be eligible for contributions-based benefits – Job Seeker's Allowance or Employment Support Allowance – which you can apply for at gov.uk. Your eligibility will only depend on your National Insurance contributions – the amount you have in savings and/or your partners’ income won’t be taken into account. Please use a benefit calculator to help you.

Cost of Living Crisis Fund

Cost of Living Crisis Fund Payment 

Camden Council’s Cost of Living Crisis Fund is for residents and families facing severe financial hardship and who cannot afford essentials – including food, energy bills, water, electricity and housing.

  • The maximum award for a household of any size is £500
  • A household can only receive a maximum of two awards in a 12-month period
  • We will prioritise those in greatest need

The support can take many forms including payments into bank accounts, vouchers, help with debt repayments or equipment that will help you to reduce your costs and/or keep warm this winter. 

How to apply

We want to ensure residents are getting all the help and advice they need to live well in Camden. 

If you are a tenant and in financial hardship, speak to your neighbourhood housing officer who will be able to refer you to the scheme and help you get other forms of support. 

If you live in temporary or supported housing or have a social worker, speak to your support worker as they can also refer you for a payment and help you get other forms of support.

If you live in the private rented sector, other social housing or own your home and are in financial hardship, speak to one of our advice partners. You can also get help via Good Work Camden, by calling Citizens Advice Camden on 0808 278 7835 or by calling us on 020 7479 4444, option 9 (welfare support).

Eligibility criteria

  1. You must have lived in Camden for at least six weeks. We will check the council tax database and if you are not registered then we will come back to you for another form of proof such as a bill, bank statement or benefit letter addressed to you at the address you are claiming for. The faster we receive proof of residency the faster the award can be made.

  1. No more than two payments will be made per household in any 12-month period. When you apply, we will check records to see how many awards a household has received. If there is more than one adult or family in the household, the application must come from the person responsible for council tax. 
  1. You must be over 18 to apply, but we will accept applications from 16 to 18 year olds living independently because we know that not all young people are able to remain at home
  1. You must be able to prove that you are in severe hardship or financial crisis 

Additional information

If you get in touch to apply for a Cost of Living Fund payment, wherever possible we will also help you access other advice and support that’s tailored to the situation you’re in. This may include advice to reduce your energy bills, benefits and debt advice, help to increase your income (e.g. accessing free school meals, healthy start vouchers, pension credit), help to find a job, childcare, advice on reducing costs and wider issues such as mental health and wellbeing support and helping you to access the internet and a digital device if you don’t already have it.