As well as Council benefits there is extra financial help available:
- If you are struggling to meet the top up of your rent and you are on a low income you may be eligible to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment
- If you need extra help with Council Tax, Exceptional Hardship Payments may be available to you.
- If you are struggling with day to day living or need to purchase some household goods due to unavoidable and unexpected financial emergencies you may be eligible to apply for an Essential Living Fund
- If you are an owner occupier on a means tested benefit and need a loan to carry out repairs to your property you may qualify for an interest free home repair loan
- If you are a disabled person and need adaptations to your home you may qualify for a disabled facilities grant
You may be able to receive extra support if you are struggling to pay your rent and receive either Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.
This is called a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) and is usually paid for a short period to help you make steps to manage your budget (e.g. by looking for work, finding somewhere cheaper to live or maximising your income).
Who can claim DHP
You may get a DHP if:
- You receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.
- Your benefits don’t cover the full rent charge.
- You are struggling to pay your rent.
Make a claim
For further information, please see our DHP policy:
There is no formal appeals process for DHP decisions. However, you can ask for your application to be looked at again. To do this, please email email@example.com confirming this and also why you think the decision should be changed.
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax and are receiving Council Tax Support then you may be able to apply for extra support.
This is called an Exceptional Hardship Payment (EHP) and is usually paid for a short period to help you make steps to pay your Council Tax in the future (e.g. Reducing your expenditure, maximising your income or finding work).
Who can claim EHP
You may get a EHP if:
- You are receiving Local Council Tax Support (LCTS).
- You are struggling to pay your Council Tax charge.
- You commit to work with us to improve your situation moving forwards.
Please see the Exceptional Hardship Policy for further details:
Make a claim
To apply for an EHP, please either:
- download the Exceptional Hardship Payments Form (pdf) or
- pick up in person from Contact Harlow at the Civic Centre
Free school meals
You may be eligible to receive free school meals. Please visit www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals/essex for more details.
You may be entitled to a grant for school uniform. For further information please visit: Essex County Council - Uniform-Grants