Struggling to pay your essential bills?

Struggling to pay your household bills? Speak to our financial inclusion team

Many people have been affected by the ending of the extra financial support put in place by the Government to help them through the economic impact of the Covid pandemic. As this support has ended, some residents may be facing a reduced budget and worrying about how to make difficult choices like paying for food or going without heating and hot water.

Here, we have outlined the recent changes that people need to be aware of and what we can do to help if you are in financial difficulty.

What are the key changes to the support?

Covid Support

What was it

When did this end?

Universal Credit & Working Tax Credit £20 per week uplift

An increase of £20 per week to the standard allowance (except household affected by the benefit CAP) and basic element.


6 October 2021

The Job Retention Scheme

A grant to help employers cover a percentage of  employees’ wages to prevent redundancies.


30 September 2021


Income Support Scheme

A grant worth 80% of profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.


30 September 2021


Minimum Income Floor

Self-employed benefit claimant’s income is set at full time wages of 35 hours per week at the National Minimum Wage (£311.85 gross), even if actual earnings are lower than this figure.

1 August 2021

In addition to the Covid financial support ending, you may also be impacted by:

  • increases in food prices
  • energy price increases
  • National Insurance contributions increasing by 1.25% (from April 2022)

Impact of the Universal Credit £20 per week uplift payment ending?

You may be able to offset the reduction of £20 per week in Universal Credit payment by working additional hours per week.   However, Universal Credit is a means tested benefit, so working more hours could reduce your entitlement and you may not be able to work enough hours to make up for the benefit reduction.

What if you can’t work extra hours?

If you think, due to your or your circumstances, that you will not be able to work enough extra hours each month to balance your budget, contact our Financial Inclusion Team for help.

We understand that it may not be possible for everyone to work more hours than they currently do and that not all employers are able to offer extra work.

Do you know about our Benefit & Money Advice Service?

We have 3 easy steps to get help?

1. Call Octavia's financial advice line on 020 8354 5500, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 11am
2. Your details will be logged
3. Someone from our Financial Inclusion team will call you back the same day - usually within 15 minutes

If you think you need a longer appointment with us, call on 020 8354 5500 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Our Financial Inclusion team can help with benefits, budgeting, and general money matters such as:

  • your income reduces or you become unemployed after the furlough scheme ends
  • making new benefit claims and challenging benefit decisions
  • you are strugglingly to pay your essential bills
  • you are worried about getting into rent arrears or you are a threat of losing your home

Do not delay in contacting us - we are here to help.

More information about our Financial Inclusion service