Benefit advice

You can find information on:

Benefit types

Universal Credit

If you're eligible for Universal Credit, you'll receive a single payment each month instead of receiving any benefits or tax credits separately. 

Universal Credit replaces working-age benefits including:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit. 

Standard allowance

You'll get one standard allowance for your household. This is the amount you'll get to live on including:

  • buying food
  • paying your bills.
How much you'll get Monthly standard allowance
If you're single and under 25 £265.31
If you're single and over 25 £334.91
If you live with your partner and you're both under 25 £416.45 (for you both)
If you live with your partner and either of you are over 25 £525.72

Universal Credit Housing Element

If you're receiving Universal Credit, you may be eligible to claim the housing element to help pay your rent. 

The payment can help you pay:

  • your rent to a private landlord
  • your rent and some service charges if you rent from a housing association or local council
  • interest payments on your mortgage and some service charges if you or your partner own the property you live in. 

If your circumstances change, you need to report any changes in your circumstances.

Applying for Universal Credit

To apply you'll need:

  • a valid ID, for example a passport or driving licence
  • a registered UK bank account
  • a computer with internet access.

Apply for Universal Credit on GOV.UK

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help you to pay part of or all your rent. 

Find out how to apply for housing benefit.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

LHA helps to work out Housing Benefit for private rented tenants.

Find out more about LHA.

Local Welfare Provision (LWP)

LWP helps Medway residents who cannot afford essentials and are in crisis. They provide support including:

  • food
  • toiletries such as feminine hygiene products
  • bills such as emergency heating top ups
  • clothing.

Find out how to apply for LWP.

Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund provides support to Medway residents who are most vulnerable due to rising living costs.

Find out about the Household Support Fund

Claiming benefits

To check if you could be entitled to certain benefits you can:

If you're single and need help with rent, you may be able to get an allowance towards a room in a shared house.

If you have children and need help with rent, you may be able to get an allowance towards a flat or house. 

Other help with household costs

You can apply for extra help with financial difficulties through Universal Credit.

You could also be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction.

Finding furniture

To save money when you're looking for furniture, you could:

  • check if friends and family have any furniture they do not need
  • search on Gumtree
  • visit a local charity shop or second hand shop
  • look for free items on Freecycle
  • view End Furniture Poverty where they have online tools to help find furniture, grants and affordable credit
  • view In Kind Direct which charities can use to help people access essentials such as toothpaste, soap and toilet roll.

Charitable grants

Many charities can help with the cost of household items including:

  • Family Fund: provides grants to families who have disabled or seriously ill children
  • Glasspool: gives small grants for items including beds, bedding, children's clothes and baby products 
  • Wavelength: provides televisions, radios and tablet computers to lonely and isolated people living in poverty.