This page has a highlights a range of support availuble and can sign-post you to support
What are you entitled to?
To find out what you might be able to claim for, please visit the Entitledto benefit calculator and enter your details. You will then receive an estimate of your entitlement to benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit.
The Household Support fund has been extended to help the most vulnerable households deal with rising costs of essentials. If successful you will receive a voucher based on the size of your household, or support with paying essential household bills. You will need to provide evidence to support your application when completing the application form. The West Sussex County Council team will assess your circumstances against our eligibility criteria.
To complete the online support form CLICK HERE
Help with your bills or rent
Universal Credit - You can apply for universal credit if:
- you are working less hours; or,
- you are self-employed and are not earning the same as you could before covid-19
Help with your energy bill then CLICK HERE
The Government can offer help towards the interest payments on your mortgage and some other loans. Alternatively, you could speak to your mortgage or loan provider and ask them about payment holidays.
Help with paying your council tax
If you are struggling with the cost of your council tax to get in touch with Chichester Discrict Council, they will try and work out how to help you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange for an officer to contact you.
Help with food, water and other essentials
If your support need is urgent (for example, you are going to run out of food, medicine or essential supplies within three days), you should call West Sussex Community Hub on 033 022 27980.
Community Hub at West Sussex County Council is where you can apply for support with food and other essential items
Free school meals in all West Sussex County Council maintained, and free schools and academies, are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of a qualifying benefit. It is important to register for free school meals if you are eligible, even if your child is reception or years one and two who get a free school meal regardless of income. This is because free school meal eligibility may automatically mean that you get other support.
Pop-Up Pantries offer affordable food and advice locally to those who may need a little support. Bring a bag, choose the food you need and donate to pay.
Southern Water offer support to financially vulnerable customers to assist with water bills, including reduced tariffs and other hardship schemes. They also have a priority register so that vulnerable customers can access support in the event of a disruption to supply. You can check your water supplier using the postcode checker.
Social tariffs for broadband and phone services If you are having difficulty paying for phone or broadband you should speak to your provider, some have offer cheaper packages to some customers depending on their circumstances.
Help with debt
If you are worried about debts or missed payments, there is free and independent debt advice available. The government sponsored Money Helper can help you find support, including a money navigator tool. This tool provides guidance and support for customers whose income have been impacted by Coronavirus.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice can help with budgeting, debt, accessing grants, increasing your income and more. They offer advice over the phone and online, or you can drop into their Chichester office Mondays and Wednesdays. Home visits are available for disabled people and carers.
- General advice on debt, benefits, housing, employment, and more - call 0808 278 7969 (Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm, freephone), book a video appointment or start a Citizens Advice Bureau web chat (Opens in a new window) . Drop into East Pallant House Mondays and Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
- Energy advice - their dedicated team can help you save money on your energy bills and access emergency fuel support, as well as improve your energy efficiency. Call the team on 01243 974063 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).
- Citizens Advice - Getting extra support from your energy supplier (Opens in a new window) - If you find it hard to deal with your energy supply company or want to find out about getting priority services because you are vulnerable.
- Getting online - if you'd like to learn how to shop safely and save money online, 'Technology Doesn't Byte' may be able to help you. The Digital Money Coach can help you find and fund a device for getting online, as well as looking at ways to pay for your Internet connection. Call 01243 776528 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm) and ask for an appointment with the Digital Money Coach.
- Universal Credit - if you're new to claiming benefits or unsure if you're eligible, speak to the Help to Claim team on 0800 144 8 444 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).
Christians Against Poverty CAP
Christians Against Poverty (Opens in a new window) offer a free debt counselling service for anyone struggling with unmanageable debt. The service is completely free, always providing a solution and route out of debt, working with creditors and providing support throughout the journey to debt freedom. Book an appointment by calling 0800 328 0006 or by visiting the CAP website.