Independent financial help

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
email
Published , updated

How to find independent financial advice.

There are many independent organisations which provide useful benefit checking and budgeting advice tools which may be helpful if you are struggling with your finances. If you need help in your home or on your scheme you can visit our help and support page to find out about the services we offer. 

Coronavirus - guidance for customers having trouble paying their rent

We are committed to help prevent our customers falling into debt and we will continue to provide support and guidance to customers who may be experiencing difficulty in paying their rent. This can include putting payment plans in place or supporting customers with Universal Credit, Housing Benefit claims and discretionary housing payment/hardship applications.

We are unable to offer rent breaks however we will work with each customer on a case by case basis to agree an affordable repayment plan.

Managing your account and getting in touch

Customers can view their account, make payments and arrange a Direct Debit with an online account. To set up an online account please register. You must be a primary or joint tenant and have an email address recorded with Derwent Living in order to create an account.

Our income team are also here to help and provide support if you are struggling with your finances. You can call them directly on 01332 614 900

Please note that we are asking a few more questions than usual as part of our service to help our customers and it is very likely that it will take us a little longer to answer calls.

To help avoid longer waiting times please use this website to contact us if you can. We thank you for your patience and understanding in these challenging times.

To help answer some of the most common questions being asked, we recommend you visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are required to stay at home due to Coronavirus you may need financial support quickly. The government have put in place special measures for anyone affected by coronavirus. Statutory Sick Pay has been extended to those affected and you may also be able to claim Employment and Support allowance (ESA). You may want to consider applying for Universal Credit if you are worried you are going to struggle. The websites below have useful information to assist you.

Guidance for customers who need support to help manage finances

We are committed to help support our customers as much as we can during this difficult time. If you’re worried about your finances, these guides from Stepchange can help you and your family get the support you need.

Government and NHS websites

More websites which offer support are shown below.

Help to pay your rent

You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income.

Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

You can apply for Housing Benefit from your local authority  You can find your local council by visiting the local authority finder website – just click here.

Discretionary payments 

You may also get extra help from your Local Authority called a ‘discretionary housing payment’ if your Housing Benefit doesn’t cover your rent.

You can also apply for ‘a discretionary housing payment’ if you are receiving the housing element of Universal Credit and it doesn’t cover your full rent.   

Universal Credit

Universal Credit includes a housing element that will replace Housing Benefit and is being rolled out across the country over the next few years. You can find out more about it here.  

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provide free independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. The website features a postcode checker to find your nearest centre

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Money advice service

The Money Advice Service website has been set up by the government, and offers free and impartial advice to help people manage their finances.

To make sure customers are getting the support they're entitled to, this page has lots of links to information on extra support available for people on low incomes. This could be winter fuel payments, funeral payments, free school meals, etc.

There is also a useful budgeting tool to help people planning their Christmas spending.

Gov UK

The benefits section of the gov.uk website has links which direct people to free to use, anonymous, independent benefits calculators. 

www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

Turn2us

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship access welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

www.turn2us.org.uk

entitledto

The benefits calculator on the entitledto website can be used to check which means-tested benefits customers may be able to claim.

www.entitledto.co.uk

StepChange

StepChange is the UK’s leading debt advice charity, helping over 650,000 people every year to take back control of their finances, and their lives. The support they offer is free, impartial and confidential. Every StepChange client receives expert, personalised advice to help them deal with their debts.

We work in partnership with StepChange who can offer you the support and advice you need to help turn those 'what ifs' into 'what to do next'.

For more information or financial advice through StepChange, please click here or call them for free on 0800 138 1111 (Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm).

Other

For older customers, Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk) and Independent Age(www.independentage.org.uk) both provide a wide range of advice and support for older people, including money advice and benefits calculators.

Independent Age also has a Christmas budgeting calculator.