People in Nottingham are being urged to come forward for help if they’re struggling with bills, debt or facing eviction.
With the cost of living set to rise significantly over the coming months due to increases in food and energy prices, the withdrawal of the Universal Credit uplift and the rise in National Insurance levels next year, it is likely to be a financially challenging time for some households.
There is a variety of advice agencies in Nottingham from the statutory, voluntary and faith sectors with experience of supporting people going through financial hardship.
Meanwhile, the City Council and local partners have teams on hand to provide support to residents on a range of areas, including benefits advice.
Last year, the authority and partners identified more than £19m of unclaimed benefits and tax credits for people who weren’t aware they were entitled to financial support.
This included payments to cover lost work or reduced hours due to the Covid pandemic. Staff can advise on how the changing national situation affects the benefits that residents are entitled to, and how they can claim them.
In addition, the Council’s Welfare Rights Team and advice centres can help with bills or outstanding debt owed to companies. Most will allow customers to spread payments or even write-off debt in certain circumstances. Support is available to:
- Look at pay, income and bills to determine options and provide assistance
- Speak with the companies owed money to make realistic repayment arrangements
- Provide advice on the best long-term options to resolve issues, for example debt-relief orders, bankruptcy and advice on making applications for these.
Further help is offered to tenants facing eviction from homes. This includes support to negotiate rent arrears, securing benefits to pay rent and advice with possession orders issued by landlords.
Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “The past 18 months have been really tough for many people due to the Covid pandemic and households are now facing a pretty hefty increase in their cost of living. We want to take this opportunity to remind Nottingham residents that we’re here to help where we can.
“I’m really pleased that since the start of the pandemic last March we’ve been able to signpost residents to around £19m of benefits payments, which in many cases they weren’t aware they could apply for. This has made a huge difference to them and their families.
“But we understand that the help needed in our communities at present goes beyond benefits payments. It includes debt advice, money management, household budgeting and support around evictions and issues with landlords. The council and our partners are committed to supporting local people through these difficult times.”
Emma Bates, co-ordinator of Nottingham Financial Resilience Partnership, said: “It is really important that people get help with their money problems as soon as possible and contact one of the free advice services in the city.
“I’d urge them to make sure they are claiming any benefits they’re entitled to and especially to get help with their debts as early as possible.
“The services are all here to support you. Nottingham Financial Resilience Partnership is bringing together all organisations with a role in helping people with money issues, or in preventing them. Advice services are a crucial part of the group and we are all helping to tackle the issues by working together.”
Residents can call the Welfare Rights Team for help with bills, debts, benefits and evictions on 0115 915 1355 between 8.30am and 4:50pm, or email at email@example.com
For links and contacts to wider support services across Nottingham, visit https://www.asklion.co.uk/kb5/nottingham/directory/advice.page?id=RPMRNRqTO6o
Nottingham City Council and other advice services in the city can help people struggling with bills, debts, benefits and evictions. They are all free, confidential and there to help. The Council’s Welfare Rights Team is involved in a partnership of services in the city (Nottingham Financial Resilience Partnership) working to together to support people around money problems.
Many people don’t claim council tax support, pension credit or warm home discount that they are entitled to.Residents on Universal Credit need to make a separateclaim for Council Tax Support to the Council – see here.
To check eligibility for pension credits, use the online calculator https://benefitscheck.ageuk.org.uk or call Age UK Notts on 0115 844 0011.
Warm Home Discount is for people on low income and certain benefits – check with the supplier.
Nottingham City Homes Tenants
If you are a Nottingham City Homes Tenant, then they have a dedicated team to help tenants with all money issues, including rent and they can help make sure that people are getting all the benefits they are entitled to, plus making sure that you’re getting the best deal on your bills.
Call 0115 915 4920, email firstname.lastname@example.org text DOSH and your message for free to 80800 and they will call you back.
Further useful contacts:
- Citizens’ Advice: For debt enquiries call 0115 945 3989; for housing enquiries call 0115 945 3970, for help to claim Universal Credit call 0115 945 3986 (open 10am to 2pm). For all other enquiries call 0300 330 5457 or visit http://citizensadvicenottingham.org.uk/opening-times
- Bestwood Advice: 0115 962 6519 or www.bestwoodadvice.org.uk/
- Clifton Advice: 0115 940 5551
- Meadows Advice: 0115 986 0197 or http://advicenottingham.org.uk/meadows/
- St Ann’s Advice: 0115 950 6867 or https://stannsadvice.org.uk/
- Nottingham Law Centre: 0115 978 7813 (there is also a contact form at https://www.nottinghamlawcentre.org.uk/forms/contact-us)
- Age UK Notts: 0115 844 0011
- Step Forward Money Advice: 0115 988 7069 or https://www.communitymoneyadvice.com/centre/trent-debt-advice
- know that sometimes, finding the money to pay the rent is tough. Unexpected costs can arise, but please. always prioritise your rent, to make sure you keep the roof over your head. If you’re struggling, let us know and we can run you through a check to make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to, plus making sure that you’re getting the best deal on your bills. Call 0115 915 4920, email email@example.com text DOSH and your message for free to 80800 and we’ll call you back. Don’t struggle alone.