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Benefits, grants and payments

Benefits calculators

There are a number of benefits you could be entitled to that could help reduce bills or maximise your income. We recommend using a benefits calculator to get a good idea of the financial help you could be receiving. Citizens Advice has an up to date list of reliable benefits calculators.

If you have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) or are otherwise unable to receive benefits for British and Irish citizens, we recommend that you look at support for migrant families from the NRPF Network.

Our benefits, grants and payments information

You can find out more about the benefits and discretionary payments that you may be eligible for in our benefits section. You can also view your benefits online.

At the national level, you can find more information about benefits on GOV.UK, including the housing element of Universal Credit.

If you need additional help after viewing the information available, you can contact our benefits team.

£100 million Council Tax Support Fund

The government announced £100 million of additional funding for local authorities to support the most vulnerable households in England for 2023/24. The funding allows councils to deliver additional support to the 3.8 million households in England already receiving Council Tax Support. The government expects that billing authorities will use their grant allocation to fund further reductions in the council tax liability of individuals receiving Council Tax Support with an outstanding Council Tax liability, by up to £25. Local authorities are also able to use a proportion of their allocations to determine their own local approaches to supporting economically vulnerable households with Council Tax bills.

Do I need to apply?

You do not need to apply and there is no need to contact us regarding this additional funding. We will determine who is eligible for support and automatically apply the reduction to the 2023/24 Council Tax liability. The reduction will apply to current Council Tax Support claimants who have an outstanding Council Tax liability for the 2023/24 financial year.

How much will the reduction be?

Having regard to the level of the fund allocated, we have determined to use a proportion of our allocation to top-up the reduction to support the most vulnerable households. The reduction will be up to £40 (which is made up of the up to £25 reduction referred to in the first paragraph above, plus a discretionary reduction of up to £15) for those in receipt of Council Tax Support and have an outstanding Council Tax liability for 2023/24.

If in 2023/24 you are liable for Council Tax and in receipt of council tax support and do not have an outstanding Council Tax liability to pay, no further Council Tax reduction can be awarded.

When will the Council Tax reduction be applied to Council Tax bills?

The up to £40 reduction will be applied to Council Tax bills starting with the 2023/24 annual Council Tax bill. The annual Council Tax bill is issued during the month of March.

While the limited fund allows, if during 2023/24 you start to receive Council Tax Support and have an outstanding Council Tax liability, the reduction will be applied to your Council Tax bill along with Council Tax Support.

Household Support Fund

The government's Household Support Fund was set up to help those in need over winter. Keep up to date with the latest information on our Household Support Fund page.

Housing benefits, grants and payments information

Government payments and grants

The government have arranged a number of payments and grants for those in need.

There are also general grants and credits still available that the government set up before the current cost of living difficulty.

Income payments and grants

Household and energy payments and grants

Keep up to date with information about the national Council Tax Energy Bill Rebate and our local Discretionary Energy Bill Rebate, announced earlier this year. You will have received a letter from us if you are eligible for the discretionary rebate.

Childcare payments and grants

Cost of living payments

Make sure to keep up with the latest guidance and support on the cost of living payments page on GOV.UK.

Crisis advice scheme for BCP residents

If you are under significant pressure or in danger, we may be able to offer help through our crisis advice scheme. Please note that you must be a BCP resident over the age of 16.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice BCP mobile outreach vehicle - to help make reaching their services that little bit easier. The Community Advice Vehicle will be in these areas across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the coming months.