Financial support and advice

The coronavirus outbreak has affected people in different ways. If you have seen a reduction in your household income and are experiencing financial difficulties there is support available for you.

There are many different types of support and organisations who can help you, or give you further advice on where to get help and support.

Assistance and payments

The Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS)

The Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) may be able to help you if you are having serious difficulties managing your income due to a crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency. Help is for a short time and only if you have no other means of support. Help can be offered 3 times over a rolling 12 month period but will not be provided for the same reason more than once. This is a discretionary service.

Council Tax Reduction

You can apply to your local council for Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support). You will get a discount on your bill if you are eligible.

Food banks

If you are having difficulty buying food you can search for local foodbanks.

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

If you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local district or borough council under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Visit your local council website for more information:

Charities, advice and support organisations

Citizens Advice

It is important to get help straight away if you are in debt, or are worried about money. Citizens Advice has trained advisors you can talk to about claiming benefits or getting more from your current benefits. You may be entitled to more if you’ve lost your job, are self-employed and cannot work, your workplace has closed, you have covid, or are following guidance to stay at home.

They can advise on how to speak to organisations you owe money to about asking to pay smaller amount or payment breaks.

Money Helper

Free support service that provides advice on clearing debts, reducing spend or making the most of your income.

Gateways

Gateways are a drop in service where you can access public and voluntary services. You can speak to an advisor if you are facing financial hardship, homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, or require advice on benefits.

Turn2us

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship get access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. You can use tools on the website or find an advisor to help with benefits, debt, housing and legal issues.

  • Call 0808 802 2000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (all calls are free from a UK landline and from most mobiles. If calling from a mobile please check with your network provider)
  • Visit the Turn2us website (web chat and contact form available)

National Debtline

National Debtline provides free advice and resources to help you deal with your debts. You can access National Debtline by phone, webchat, or get advice through the website.

Help with homelessness

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, then Help with homelessness can provide you with useful information and guidance from your local authority in Kent. Don’t wait until you are homeless before seeking help. Visit the Help with homelessness website.

Shelter

Shelter offer online housing advice and also an urgent helpline. They can help if you have nowhere to sleep, or might be homeless soon, if you have somewhere to sleep, but nowhere to call home, or you are, or could be, at risk of harm.

Feel more prepared

You can read our wellbeing advice about how to feel more prepared and feel less concerned about what is happening.