Reminder to residents about the financial support available to them

As more people in Bath and surrounding areas begin to face pressure on their household budgets as the cost of living rises, residents are being reminded of the support available to them.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is shining a light on the social support some families may not be aware of and encouraging people who are struggling to pay their bills to seek help and advice before their financial worries become an issue. crisis.

Councilor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “We cannot underestimate the situation many people are facing with the strain on their household bills. .

“Squeezed budgets are hitting everyone and for some it means a tough choice of having to choose between food or fuel.

“We want to make people aware of the support and advice that is out there, enabling them to take action before their issues become critical.”

The local authority said it was developing a system for distributing funds such as the council tax refund scheme announced by the government.

The following supports are already available to residents:

  • Supermarket vouchers are available to families eligible for benefit-linked free school meals. An e-voucher worth £40 per child for the Easter holiday period can be used to purchase food and essentials. Households that received vouchers during the February semester will receive an email asking them to confirm that they want a voucher for Easter. Families who have not yet applied can do so here. If you have any questions about the process, call the benefits team on 01225 477777 (option 4).
  • The social support program can help people on low incomes and in financial difficulty with short-term emergency assistance for living expenses. Residents can apply for retail vouchers, to be used at a supermarket for food and household essentials, as well as access to their local food bank. Social assistance can also help cover housing costs, household items, furniture, moving, household expenses and certain debts. More information can be found here.
  • Housing allowance can help you pay your rent if your name is on the tenancy agreement and you have reached retirement age, live in supported accommodation or have been placed in temporary accommodation by the municipality. To know more, Click here.
  • Council tax support is a local scheme that could reduce the amount you have to pay on your bill. To be eligible, you must live on a low income, be the person named on the council tax bill, and have less than a certain level of savings or capital. To visit this page for information.
  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are for people receiving Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs Element of Universal Credit, who need more help with their housing costs. Learn more here.
  • Hospitality cafes and dining clubs providing meals and fresh food for free or at reduced prices, helping to reduce food waste and promote healthy eating. Details of Weston Welcome Café and Food Club, Radstock Foodies Club can be found on the Live Well website.
  • The BANES Food Finder lists groups that provide affordable food or emergency food parcels. To learn more, visit this link or email [email protected]
  • The Community Wellness Center is a collaboration between the council, the HCRG Care Group and local third sector organisations. It offers support services, including help accessing food and transportation, as well as financial counseling and benefit support. Call 0300 247 0050 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or visit their website.
  • Advice to Citizens Bath and North East Somerset is an independent charity that offers free, confidential expert advice on benefits, debt, family, housing and more. They have offices in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton, or you can call free on 0808 278 7897. More information can be found here.

You can find more information about social assistance and other benefits you are eligible for on the council’s website, or you can email [email protected] or call 01225 477277 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 4.30pm and Friday 9am to 4pm).

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