Help for people with money problems
There is a range of support to residents who are having money problems during the coronavirus emergency. If you are a local business please refer to our business support page.
This page has information on support available from:
- Citizens Advice – independent advice and support
- Council Tax and Housing Benefit
- Universal Credit
- Utility Companies
- Money Advice
- Turn 2 Us
- StepChange Debt Charity
Find out more on our Coronavirus support information flyer (pdf).
Benefits and financial advice for people affected by coronavirus
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, there have been a number of changes to the benefit system, along with job retention/self-employment schemes. Hertfordshire County Council’s Money Advice Unit has been providing updates and guidance for professionals and residents as these changes have developed.
Their latest factsheet includes help, advice and updates for people affected by coronavirus and may be of interest to colleagues also. In addition, the Unit is also providing a Universal Credit online training course, which is available to anyone who works with people living in Hertfordshire.
The Citizens Advice Service in Three Rivers is currently providing telephone and online support only. You can contact them on:
Rickmansworth - 01923 293136. Tuesday & Thursday 9:30am – 3pm
South Oxhey - 0208 515 8341. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30am - 4pm
Abbots Langley - 01923 271 707. Monday & Tuesday 9:30am - 3pm
You can also contact them by webform at: Contact Us
For people who live anywhere else in Hertfordshire - 03444 111 444. Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm
You can also contact them through webchat: Webchat
For online advice about debt go to: Talk to a debt adviser Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
For Help to Claim Universal Credit go to: Get Help Applying for Universal Credit Mon-Fri 8am – 6pm
For help with consumer services including the supply of gas or electricity go to: Consumer Service
The National Citizens Advice website contains lots of useful advice regarding employment, benefits, advice for the self-employed, advice if you cannot pay your bills, and advice if you are worried about working.
They also provide national helplines:
Free national Help to Claim phone service: 0800 144 8444 or Textphone: 18001 0800 144 8444
Advisers are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. If you need a British Sign Language interpreter, call the textphone number. An adviser can arrange for an interpreter to translate for you over a video call.
Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133 or Textphone: 18001 0808 223 1133
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
There are a number of discounts available for Council Tax. You can read more on our website and apply online. You can also call the Benefits Section on 01923 773138 or email email@example.com
If you are having trouble coping with paying your rent – then you may be able to claim Universal Credit (See below). If you are of Pensionable Age or you are living in supported accommodation you can still make a claim for Housing Benefit. More information is on our website and apply online. You can also call the Benefits Section on 01923 773138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check you are eligible for Universal Credit to help you with your living costs if you are on low income or out of work. Visit the government’s website: How to claim Universal Credit The website includes information on how to make a claim, applying for an advance on your first payment and reporting changes of circumstances.
Universal Credit helpline: 0800 328 5644 or Textphone: 0800 328 1344
NGT text relay – if you cannot hear or speak on the phone: 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
You gas or electric energy supplier should help you find other ways to keep your energy supply stay connected if you cannot afford to top up because you are ill with coronavirus or following guidance to self-isolated. You can read more on the Citizen’s Advice website at: You can't afford to top up your meter
More advice is available on the Citizen’s Advice website including advice if you are struggling to pay:
- Council tax
- Energy bills
- Court orders
- Tax bills
There are a number of Foodbanks operating in Three Rivers. These provide 3 days of emergency food to local people in crisis. You can request a Foodbank Voucher from Three Rivers District Council by contacting us on 01923 776611. You will be directed to the nearest available Foodbank that can support you
Hertfordshire County Council’s Money Advice Unit has a series of online factsheets about benefits and where to go for money advice. This includes benefits and financial advice for people affected by coronavirus.
Their first Universal Credit e-learning course is now available. Developed in partnership with Child Poverty Action Group, the UK’s leading benefits advice specialists. The course can be accessed from www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/benefits.
Click on the link on the right hand side of the page called ’courses for professionals – universal credit’.
The course is free and you can access this short, interactive learning from your tablet, phone, laptop or PC. The course takes about 30 – 40 minutes to complete. You can do it in one session or spread it over a time to suit yourself.
You can also access information on the National Money Advice Service website. You can call the national helpline for impartial money advice on 0800 138 7777.
Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide financial support to help people get back on track.
Use their free and easy-to-use Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tools to check what benefits you might be able to claim and what grants you might be able to apply for.
StepChange is a debt charity the offer free, confidential and expert debt advice online or over the phone. They recommend the best debt solutions for your individual circumstances and support you while you deal with your debt problems, for as long as you need help. They also campaign on your behalf to reduce the risk of problem debt and the harm it causes.
You can still get free, impartial debt advice over the phone. Call us for FREE on 0800 138 1111 (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm). Our services are currently running as normal.