Benefits, debt and money advice

Help paying your Council Tax

There is help available if you're struggling to pay your Council Tax.

It's important to contact us as soon as possible to avoid any delays in receiving a reduction.

Help paying your rent

You could get benefits to help pay your rent if you're:

  • unemployed
  • on a low income
  • claiming other benefits

Find out more about Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and how to claim.

If you already claim Universal Credit or Housing Benefit but need extra help to pay your rent or Council Tax, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) or discretionary award.

We also offer housing debt advice.


Our Helping Hand Team may be able to secure a grant to help pay your rent arrears.

If you're currently claiming Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, the team can only make a grant application on your behalf if:

For more information about grants contact the Helping Hand Team.

If you're at risk of homelessness

If you can't pay your rent and you're at risk of homelessness see Help if homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Help with new or existing benefits claims

If you're unemployed or you’re not earning enough money to support you or your family, you may be entitled to financial benefits.

If you receive Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits and need help with your current benefits or new claims visit:

If you receive council benefits and need help with current or future benefits visit:

For help with applying for Universal Credit visit:

For information about Pension Credit and how to claim, see our advice on claiming Pension Credit.

Moving from Tax Credits to Universal Credit

Tax credits are ending and, in their place, most people will need to apply for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit brings together six previous benefit systems:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you are claiming any of the above benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send you a ‘Migration Notice Letter’ explaining what you need to do and by when.

To continue receiving financial support, you must claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given in your letter. This is three months from the date the letter was sent out.

If you can't claim Universal Credit by the deadline date, contact the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline 0800 169 0328 as soon as possible.

You will only be given more time to make a claim if you have a good reason and request it before the deadline date.

For further information visit the GOV.UK page on moving to Universal Credit.

Help paying your mortgage

If you're struggling to pay your:

  • mortgage arrears
  • other large debts

Visit: Citizens Advice Bucks or call 0808 278 79 38

If you can't pay your mortgage and you're at risk of homelessness see Help if homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Further debt and money advice

If you're worried about debt it’s important to talk to someone who can help you manage your finances and resolve any debt-related issues.

Our housing debt advice information explains more about priority debts and how to deal with them.

Citizens Advice Bucks offers:

  • detailed free advice on managing your money
  • short-term financial help

Visit the Citizen Advice Bucks website or call 0808 278 7938

Other organisations who can help with debt and money problems are:

  • Money Helper - free and impartial help with money issues, backed by the government
  • StepChange - a charity that offers free online debt support

For more help in dealing with debt, you can check out the below video series from Citizens Advice Bucks:

Step one: Identifying debt

Step two: Prioritising debt

Step three: Breathing space