Help & Assistance on Universal Credit

Every little helps” so the Tesco’s adverstising logo says; and at a time when many across the Folkestone & Hythe District will have to claim Universal Credit (we advise you read this) due to being laid off due to the coronavirus crisis pennies matter.

The first thing new claimants of Universal Credit need to do is to assemble all their financial data, and then use a benefits calculator – there is one on the Turn2us website – which will give a good indication of the sum payable.

All applicants are expected to file their claim online, or via the helpline. At the start, claimants must verify their identity – so have your passport or driving licence to hand.

We understand that people have been reporting that it is impossible to get through. on the phone. However, the DWP accepts there have been long waiting times, and said on Thursday 9th April it was ending the need to call up. Instead, it said, its staff will be:

  • proactively calling claimants if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the claim, as well as messaging them on their online journal to confirm details”.

It is difficult for us to say how much you will receive as each person’s calculation is based on their household income, how much rent they pay, number of children etc.

Universal credit is paid monthly in arrears and there is a five- to six-week wait for the payments to start. Those needing money immediately can claim an interest-free loan called an Advance within the first month, three days after filing the claim.

If you live in the Folkestone & Hythe District and are eligible for Universal Credit and/or other benefits you may be eligible for other help to keep your bills down, such as the Affinity Water Low Water Tariff scheme; Southern Water WaterSure scheme; Council Tax Reduction, Discetionary Housing Payment and the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Affinity Water Low Water Tariff

The Low Income Fixed Tariff is for customers on a low income or who are claiming benefits. If eligible, you will receive a reduced fixed bill for the year that can be spread monthly.

To be eligible you must either:

A) have a household income of less than £16,105 excluding benefits.
B) claiming one of the following benefits: Housing Benefit, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance
Pension Credit, Universal Credit

If you are eligible, you’ll need to supply supporting evidence and can make an application ⇒ here

Southern Water WaterSure

Southern Water can help by putting a limit on your charges for water and wastewater services, as long as you meet the following conditions:

You (or someone in your household) are receiving one of the benefits or tax credits shown below:

  • Child Tax Credit (you must receive more than the family element), Housing Benefit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Income related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).

And either:

You (or someone in your household) are responsible for three or more children under 19 in full time education who live with you.

Or you, your child or the person receiving the benefit or tax credit have a specified medical condition requiring the use of more water than normal. The specified medical conditions are:

  • Abdominal stoma, Crohn’s disease, Desquamation (flaky skin disease), Eczema, psoriasis or varicose ulceration (weeping skin disease), Incontinence, Ulcerative colitis, Renal failure (where they need home dialysis), Another condition which means they have to use a lot of extra water.

In order to be considered for any, or a combination of, our assistance schemes and tariffs, you’ll need to complete the application form.

Alternatively email us at or phone us for free on 0800 027 0363 8am–7pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday.

Council Tax Reduction (Folkestone & Hythe District)

You can apply for Council Tax Reduction (also known as Council Tax Support) if you get any of these benefits, tax credits, Universal Credit, or if you are working and have a low income:

  • Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, ‘Guaranteed Credit’ part of Pension Credit

The reduction you get will depend on your circumstances, including; your household income, including savings, pensions and your partner’s income; your age; any children who live with you.

You can apply for Council Tax Reduction ⇒ here

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) (Folkestone & Hythe District)

Discretionary Housing Payment is a payment you may receive at the discretion of your local authority which can help towards housing costs. You can only get it if you are entitled to Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit.

It is available to people who are not receiving enough to cover their rent.

You may be able to get a DHP if you’re already getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit

You can only qualify for an award if

  • You can only qualify for an award if you are entitled to Housing Benefit or can provide evidence that you are entitled to the housing element of Universal Credit; and
  • Pay rent and require further assistance with housing costs

DHP is a temporary solution while you find a way to cover your rental shortfall by, for example, finding work or moving to affordable accommodation.

To complete this form, you may need:

  • Details of household income and expenditure
  • Details of how much rent you are charged and landlord details including bank details
  • To upload evidence to support your application eg copies of pay slips, tenancy agreement showing rent amount

You can apply for a DHP ⇒ here

There may well be other schemes you may be able to apply for and we would strongly advise anyone who has recently had to claim Universal Credit due to the coronavirus to contact the local Citizens Advice Bureau:

on 01303 241435. Please note this number is not for advice and may not always be answered so please leave a message and we will get back to you.

by email ⇒ here

for those who may have lost their employment due to the coronaviru pandemic and had to make a claim for benefits we hope you find this information of use.

The Shepwayvox Team

Stay At Home – Protect The NHS – Save Lives. 

About shepwayvox (1820 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: