Rent, Benefits and Debt Advice

Need help paying your rent?

If you are having difficulty paying your rent, please contact your Income Management Advisor. We can help with all sorts of issues.
In the last year we have:

  • Assisted residents with requests to backdate Housing Benefit, preventing eviction in a number of cases
  • Helped residents to apply for hardship payments to deal with their council tax debts
  • Ensured residents are signposted to dedicated support providers where specific, specialised assistance is required

Need help with debt or benefits?

Our Welfare Support Officer Chris James is here to help you with:

  • Checking you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
  • Filling out forms
  • Getting advice on changes to benefits, including Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Budgeting to pay your rent and other bills
  • Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) applications (when benefits are stopped or changed)
  • Benefit Decision Appeals following refused MR
  • Applications and appeals for Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Carers Allowance
  • ESA and Essential Living Fund grants.

Chris has been successful in securing over £100,000 in additional benefit income for Colne residents in the last year.

Contact Chris on 01206 244772 or email:

The Benefit Cap - how we can help

The reduced Benefit Cap for working age claimants was phased in by local authorities in Essex in November 2016.

Our Income Management Team has been preparing for months for the roll out,  enabling the 71 Colne residents affected so far, to adjust and continue to pay their rent on time.

Others have been referred to our welfare specialist Chris James for extra support.

There cap restricts the amount of benefit a working age household can receive. Any household receiving more than the capped amount will have their Housing Benefit reduced to bring them within the limit.

The cap has reduced from £26,000 per year to £20,000:

To work out how much your benefits may be affected, please use the benefit cap calculator.

Benefits that are included in the cap

Bereavement allowance Carers allowance
Child benefit Guardians allowance
Maternity allowance Universal credit
Income support Job Seekers allowance
Employment and support allowance (except where the support component has been awarded) Child tax credits
Parents allowance Widows benefit

Benefits that are NOT included in the cap

Bereavement payments Council tax support
Discretionary housing payments Retirement pension
Social fund payments Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay
Statutory sick pay Working tax credit
Disability living allowance Personal independence payments
Attendance allowance War Widows and Widowers pension

If you are concerned about the changes and how they may affect you, please contact your Income Management Advisor  as soon as possible who will be able to offer you practical advice and support.

Universal Credit

Are you of working age and making a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance? You are likely to be asked to make a claim for Universal Credit (UC).

Click here to find out more.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) – Five key facts

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or disability.

Click here to find out more.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit for people on low incomes to help pay their rent. It is administered by the local authority/council.

We can give advice and assistance on:

  • claiming Housing Benefit
  • calculating approximate entitlements
  • problems with your existing claim.

For more information or to make an appointment, please contact your Income Management Advisor.