Struggling With Bills? UK Debt Help
Mar 20, 2023 ● 6 min
Since October 2022, UK households have received a £400 government discount on energy bills through the Energy Bill Support Scheme. But on the 31st of March 2023, this scheme is due to end, leaving many concerned about affording their upcoming household bills.
What help is available for my bills?
Whilst the EBSS is coming to an end for most households, the government have announced that the price guarantee for energy prices will be frozen for an extra three months, so bills are not expected to rise as high as anticipated from April. Despite this, households across the UK will still be paying more for their bills than they have done in recent years and if you’re already struggling with arrears, you may want to consider what debt solutions are available.
From April 1st, there will be extra financial help from the government available to certain households that qualify, including £900 that will be paid in instalments for people claiming benefits such as pension and universal credit. Also, if you have not yet received the EBSS discount or have received your discount in vouchers that have not yet been redeemed, you have until 30th June to claim the money off your bills.
If you’re still struggling financially, you may also be eligible for further help.
There are several other forms of help from the government available in the UK, to help individuals and families manage the cost of living. Here are some of the main forms of government help available:
- Housing Benefit: If you are on a low income and struggling to pay your rent, you may be eligible for Housing Benefit. This benefit can help cover some or all of your rent costs.
- Council Tax Reduction: If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction in your council tax bill. This can help lower your monthly bills and make it easier to manage your finances.
- Universal Credit: Universal Credit is a benefit that is available to individuals who are on a low income or out of work. It can help cover the cost of living expenses such as housing costs, food, and bills.
- Free School Meals: If you have children who attend school, you may be eligible for free school meals. This can help reduce the cost of feeding your family and make it easier to manage your budget.
- Winter Fuel Payments: If you are over 60 years old or receive certain benefits, you may be eligible for a winter fuel payment. This payment can help cover the cost of heating your home during the colder months.
- NHS Low Income Scheme: If you have a low income, you may be eligible for help with the cost of prescriptions, dental treatment, and other healthcare costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP): If you have a long-term illness or disability, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment. This benefit can help cover the cost of living expenses such as housing, bills, and healthcare.
Overall, there are many forms of government help available to help individuals and families manage the cost of living in the UK. If you are struggling to make ends meet, it is worth exploring the options available to you to see if you are eligible for any of these forms of support.
There are multiple options available when it comes to debt help for household bills. Solutions such as IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements) and DMPs (Debt Management Plans) allow you to place your unsecured debts into one plan, and at the agreement of your creditors, you can make one affordable monthly payment to cover the debts.
An IVA lasts 5 years and is a legally binding agreement where your creditors agree to write off a portion of your debt at the end, so long as you have kept up with your payments. A DMP is an informal solution where you pay monthly until your debts have been covered in full.
If you are considering a debt solution, it’s advisable to seek professional help. Make sure you are made aware of all options available to you, and be wary of companies charging fees for advice.
Want to know more?
If you’re in debt and are concerned about rising bills, speak to Money Advice. Our team are here Monday-Saturday, and we offer a free, no-obligation service. You can call us on 0333 242 0013, or request a callback below: