We understand that many residents may have a lower income at the moment due to lockdown measures related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We want to help local residents who are struggling financially because of this.
Financial assistance may be available to you whether you have never claimed benefits before, or if your current benefits are no longer enough.
Test and Trace Support Payments
Test and Trace Support Payments are designed to help people on low income who cannot work from home and will lose income if required to self isolate. Find out if you are eligible here.
Difficulty paying any Council bill or invoice
Please contact us if you are unable to pay any money owed to the Council - we may be able to help.
Residents on the lowest income already do not pay any Council Tax due to our Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
The government has announced a COVID-19 Council Tax Hardship Fund, and this means:
- if you already receive some Council Tax Support but still have part of the bill to pay, you will now get a bigger reduction – and in some cases will not have to pay any Council Tax at all. This discount will be automatically applied to your Council Tax bill if you are eligible, and we will send you an updated bill.
- if your circumstances have changed and you think you are now eligible for Council Tax Support, please tell us by going to our Council Tax Support page to claim online.
- if you are having immediate difficulty paying your Council Tax bill please get in touch with our trained advisors who will be able to help. Telephone us on 01234 718097 or email LocalTaxation@bedford.gov.uk
Please contact us on 01234 718097 or by emailing CustomerServices@bedford.gov.uk if you are in immediate financial crisis. We already have hardship support and crisis grants in place and want to help.
At this crucial time it’s very important that those who can pay their Council Tax continue to pay as normal to support the important services in our community. Council services are under huge pressure, working to deliver care for the vulnerable and elderly, and keeping vital day-to-day operations running.
If you run a business
If you run a business you may be eligible for a business support grant.
Free school meals
Your child may qualify for free school meals if you receive certain benefits even if the school is closed.
If you are getting less work or no work at all due to Coronavirus outbreak (including if you are self employed) you can apply online for Universal Credit.
Problems affording your rent
If a lower income means you cannot pay your rent then you may be able to receive help with the cost through Universal Credit.
Other welfare benefits
See more information from the Government about other types of welfare benefits.
Free advice about money management, dealing with debts, claiming benefits and more
Bedford Citizens Advice can offer free and confidential help with managing your money, dealing with debts and a wide range of other advice.
Visit Bedford Citizens Advice or phone 01234 867944.
Crisis or emergency
if you are on a low income and have an unexpected crisis or an emergency the Council may be able to help with a crisis grant.