Our Money Advisors can help you to access housing benefits, universal credit and free childcare.


Depending on your circumstances you could be allowed to claim some benefits to help you pay your rent and cover other costs. It’s important to make sure you get all of the help that is available to you.

Take a look at the information below including all the ways our team can help you.

You can contact our team by calling 0300 790 6530 or emailing Citizen.adviceservices@citizenhousing.org.uk. Please include your full name and address when emailing.

Available benefits

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It replaces:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit

Instead of receiving any of these benefits individually, Universal Credit means you are paid one amount to cover them.


Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK. You don’t need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions.


If you are on Housing Benefit when you switch to Universal Credit this will come to you instead of directly to us and that means you are responsible for paying your rent on time.


You can use the Government’s Universal Credit Personal Planner tool to find out what you need to do to prepare for Universal Credit.



Visit the Government's website for more information

Visit the Money Helper website for free, impartial information about Universal Credit.

Housing Benefits can help you pay your rent if you are not in work, on low income or claiming benefits. It is being replaced by Universal Credit.


You can still make a new Housing Benefit claim if you are in certain circumstances – for example if you are living in temporary accommodation, you have reached state pension age or live in sheltered housing.



Government guide to housing benefit

Struggling with benefits

If you’re struggling with benefits, we can help.


If for any reason you are struggling to access benefits or having trouble paying your rent contact us straight away.


Our money advisers can give you advice to help to get you back on track and even help you with benefit applications.


Here are some steps you can take to make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to, and that you’re prepared for changes to benefits and you avoid getting into debt.


Do a benefits check – make sure you’re getting what you’re entitled to. It’s free and easy.

Benefits calculator 


Use this calculator to check the affordability of your new property.

Affordability calculator for new customers


Focus on monthly budgeting – this is what universal credit is built around so organising your budget by month is really important.

Money helper service


Get a bank account – you have to have a bank account to receive universal credit and it’s a really important way of receiving wages and paying your bills. For advice on bank accounts, including how to set one up, visit the Money Helpers Service’s dedicated page


Get online – having access to the internet is important as being online makes managing your finances and applying for benefits much easier.

Ask to speak to our dedicated Digital Inclusion Officer by calling 03007906530 or email us on moneyadvice@citizenhousing.org.uk.


Get support

We’re here to help. We can help you with applications, debt advice and much more. If you are worried about paying your rent or any other aspect of your finances just get in touch.

Contact our Money Advice team for benefits advice


Call us on:

0300 790 6530


Or email:



Please include your full address when emailing.

Council tax

Council tax support is a means tested discount that helps low income households with the council tax payments.


If your household is classed as being of working age then you’ll need to pay a percentage of your council tax bill. You may receive help with the remaining percentage depending on your income and the make up of your household.


Pension age households can receive up to 100 per cent support depending on their financial circumstances.


A 25% discount applies to all single households. Exemptions apply for people who are severely mentally impaired and live on their own.


Visit the government website to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.

Access to free childcare

You could qualify for free childcare depending on your circumstances.



Visit the government’s free childcare website to find out more.

Childcare choices

Managing debt

If you need advice managing debt or support with budgeting we can help.


We can help you with applications, debt advice and much more. If you’re worried about paying your rent or any other aspect of your finances call us on 0300 790 6530 or email Citizen.adviceservices@citizenhousing.org.uk. Please include your full name and address when emailing.


If you’re struggling to pay your rent it is really important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can help.


  • Set up a Direct Debit – This is a great way to make sure your bills are paid on time. We can set this up for you in minutes. Just call us on 0300 790 6530
  • Pay off any debts – Even small debts can quickly get out of hand
  • Get into work – ask to speak to our dedicated employment coaches by calling 03007906530 or email us on moneyadvice@citizenhousing.org.uk
  • Get free debt advice – Step change debt charity: https://www.stepchange.org/


You can read our Income Collection Policy here.


You can also access free financial support through the Money Helper Service.

Talk to us if you think you can’t pay your rent because there are ways we can help you.



Fraud awareness

  • always remember – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • keep your personal information safe. Never give anyone your bank PIN or National Insurance number and shred or tear up any letters that include your personal details — don’t just throw them in the bin.
  • change your passwords regularly and make them as complex as you can remember. Install the latest anti-virus protection on all your devices.
  • Be suspicious of ‘cold callers’ — anyone trying to sell you goods or services on your doorstep or over the phone where you haven’t asked them to make contact. If you have any concerns, tell them politely but firmly that you’re not interested and close the door or put the phone down. Never get drawn into extended conversation, as fraudsters will use that ploy to try to persuade you to buy goods, often against your better judgement.


If you believe you are the victim of fraud, you can report the incident to Action Fraud. Visit actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040 to log your case.


Fraud – Victim Support can help you fill out forms and connect you with services and networks.


Visit our fraud awareness page for more information.

What is cyber based fraud?


Cyber crime is a global threat. It’s a criminal activity that uses a computer or the internet to target victims. Cyber criminals seek to exploit human or security vulnerabilities in order to steal passwords, data or money directly.


The most common cyber threats include:


  • Hacking – including of social media and email passwords
  • Phishing – bogus emails asking for security information and personal details
  • Malicious software – including ransomware through which criminals hijack files and hold them to ransom
  • Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against websites – often accompanied by extortion

How to prevent cyber crime


According to the National Crime Agency, most cyber attacks could be prevented by taking these basic security steps:

  • choose strong passwords and don’t reuse them for multiple logins.
  • install security software such as anti-virus and two-factor authentication.
  • keep all security software and operating systems updated

Reporting Cyber Crime


For further advice on how to stay safe online please visit Cyber AwareGet Safe Online or the National Cyber Security Centre.


If you are a victim of cyber crime please report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

Fraudsters are constantly adapting and find new ways to scam people and it’s important to keep up to date with current scams.


You can find details of the latest scams here:



You can sign up to receive alerts about scams in your area on the Action Fraud website.

Useful links and support




  • The entitledto benefits calculator will check which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to. The calculator is anonymous & free to use wherever you have internet access. Please see the following website link https://www.entitledto.co.uk


  • Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. Please have a look at the grant search: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/ or call them direct on 0808 802 2000




  • Housing costs and Universal Credit: You can get help paying for your housing if you’re eligible for Universal Credit. This is called your housing payment. How to claim: If you already get Universal Credit, apply for housing payments in your online account.


  • Social Supermarkets: A social supermarket is a shop which sells discounted food for those on lower incomes. So, social supermarkets differ from food banks, in that the food is not entirely free, but provides a wider range of food than a food bank may have, for a very low cost.  One of the best ways to find your nearest social supermarket is to use the internet. The internet can be your best friend and a very crucial tool when it comes to saving money and finding cheap and affordable food. Type in ‘Social supermarket’ followed by the area you live in to find the nearest social supermarket to you. For example, a google search for ‘social supermarket Bristol’, will show you the nearest community stores near you.




  • Age UK: Age UK is the leading charity for older people. Visit Age UK today for help, information, and advice. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/


Advice services