If you're struggling financially, help is there. There is support for those on low income or are experiencing a change in financial circumstances.
As well as Government support there is also support provided locally in Surrey. This can be in the form of benefits, or money to help with paying the bills such as food or energy.
- Government support
- Financial support provided in Surrey
- Household Support Fund
- Surrey Crisis Fund
- Help with Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
- Help with energy bills
- Carers support
- Free School Meals and Pupil Premium
- Can I talk to someone about getting help and support?
The Government offer a range of benefits depending on your needs. These include Jobseekers allowance, Universal Credit Employment Support Allowance and Child Benefit.
Find out if you can get Government funded benefits and how to claim visit the Benefits calculators.
Gives you temporary protection from most types of debt collection this can be provided while you work with a debt adviser to take action to get on top of your finances. More information on our Breathing Space debt support webpage.
Universal Credit advice
Universal Credit supports you if you are on a low income or out of work. It includes a monthly payment to help with your living costs. More information can be found on the Understanding Universal Credit website or you can also call the Universal Credit helpline to get help making your claim online or if you need help applying for an advance payment. Telephone 0800328 5644 or Textphone 0800 328 1344 (open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).
If you're waiting for your first or next Universal Credit payment or experiencing a change in your income and want to try to keep on top of your outgoings eg bills, spending or dealing with debts and need more support, the Government's new Money Manager tool can help. MoneyHelper gives you free, confidential money help that's quick to find, easy to use and backed by government.
Winter Fuel Payment
Help with winter energy bills, with rising fuel costs and changes in financial circumstances there is funding available to help with fuel bills. Some people are eligible for support from the Government through the winter fuel and cold weather payments.
Financial Support provided in Surrey
Some grants have been provided to Surrey County Council and District and Borough Councils to help fund various services to help people who might be struggling financially.
Household Support Fund
Funding has been allocated via the Department of Work and Pensions to help those families who are struggling financially in Surrey. Financial assistance will be available for food, fuel, water and other essentials, and will be distributed via organisations within the county who become aware of those families that are in financial crisis.
October 2021 to March 2022 funding
Please note: Money from the Household Support Fund will be distributed by organisations as outlined above. It is not something individuals can apply for directly for themselves.
How the fund was allocated:
- The council decided that £2m of the fund would be used to enable the continued provision of food vouchers to eligible children over the October half term, Christmas holidays and up to Easter 2022.
- A further £2.8m has been allocated to borough and district councils who will work alongside representatives from the voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) to help the most vulnerable households in their area.
Money has also been set aside to top up food banks, community fridges and food clubs. Visit Surrey Information Point for information on Food Banks in your area.
Surrey Wide organisations that will be receiving funding to support residents:
- Surrey Care Association will actively support carers. Many carers cannot work due to obvious care duties and find themselves in situations of poverty.
- Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum will be utilising their minority ethnic network member organisations to reach those communities and vulnerable households that otherwise may not access forms of support.
- Transform Housing have single people living independently of all ages who are on universal credit and fall out of wider support available for families/children so they will further support these people using this fund.
- Surrey Community Action through their existing 'Fuel Poverty Project' will continue to support hundreds of people through their partners and networks Including foodbanks and National Energy Action groups.
- Citizens Advice Charities –The funding will enable Citizens Advice to increase their support to Surrey residents around budgeting, debt and benefits advice and ensuring that people are making the most of what they are entitled to, providing support to manage difficult situations. This welfare support positively mitigates the impact that poverty can have on individuals enhancing their health and wellbeing. Search for your local Citizens Advice at Surrey Information Point.
Surrey Crisis Fund
The Surrey Crisis Fund is a discretionary fund run by Surrey County Council providing financial help to our residents who have nowhere else to turn in an emergency or after a disaster.
Depending on your circumstances which will be considered when you apply you could be eligible for some of the following support:
- food and toiletries
- essential white goods and furniture; please note we do not provide replacement items
- certain utilities
- emergency travel costs (hospital appointments, job interviews and so on)
Help with Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
If you need help with Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support please contact your local District and Borough Council their contact details can be found at:
- Elmbridge Borough Council - Benefits and support
- Epsom and Ewell Borough Council- Benefits
- Guilford Borough Council - Benefits and financial support
- Mole Valley District Council - Financial Support for Residents
- Reigate and Banstead - Support from the Council
- Runnymede Borough Council - Benefits and support
- Spelthorne Borough Council - Housing Benefit
- Surrey Heath Borough Council - Benefits
- Tandridge District Council - Benefits and support
- Woking Borough Council - Benefits
- Waverley Borough Council - Benefits
£10,000 to reduce your energy bills
Funding is available for eligible households under a new government-funded project, offering insulation and solar panels. Over £1 million has been awarded to the Action Surrey partnership of local authorities to help Surrey households save money on their energy bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The funding is available through central Government's Green Homes Grant scheme and will provide eligible households with up to £10,000 of fully funded home improvements. Grant Funding Available in Surrey - Action Surrey
- There may be a number of benefits, which you could be entitled to as a carer. The person you care for may also be entitled to benefits.
- Your local Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and professional advice, including a benefits check service. This useful booklet helps you understand your welfare benefits entitlement.
- The Carers UK benefits calculator can also help you find out about benefits and entitlements.
- If you are looking after the finances of the person you care for, you may also want to explore legal issues like power of attorney. For more information on managing someone else's affairs visit the Citizens Advice website.
- You can also look at our support for carers web section for helpful support and guidance.
Free School Meals and Pupil Premium
Pupils are eligible for free school meals if their parents receive one or more of a range of benefits. The current list of benefits can be found on Apply for free school meals on the Gov.uk website.
Schools may also claim the deprivation pupil premium for pupils who are eligible for free school meals or who have been eligible at some time in the previous six years. Visit the Surrey County Council eligibility for free school meals and pupil premium web pages.
Can I talk to someone about getting help and support?
Our Community Helpline will be happy to signpost you to the relevant local help and support that may be available to you.
Community Helpline on 0300 200 1008 which is open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm.
SMS 0786 0053 465 for deaf and hearing impaired residents only (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
Citizens Advice Service can help with enquiries about benefits and financial support.
Visit Citizens Advice Service or call Adviceline (England): 0800 144 8848.
Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0800 144 8884