Benefits & grants

Benefits advice

Our Benefits Maximisation Service can provide advice, guidance and assistance with the full range of welfare benefits.

You can refer yourself, or someone else. If you are referring someone else, please make sure that you have their permission first.

Make a referral

Use our online benefits advice referral form

On receiving your referral form, the Benefits Maximisation Service will aim to get in touch within 10 days of receipt of your enquiry. 

If your problem is urgent you can tell us about it on the form and we will contact you within an appropriate time.

What do we do?

We offer a detailed benefit check to see whether you are entitled to any additional benefits, and whether any existing benefits are being paid at the correct rate.

We can also:

  • Help you to make a claim for any new or increased benefits - including backdating claims.
  • Help you challenge decisions to stop benefits - including help with overpayments.
  • Represent you at appeal tribunals.
  • Where we cannot help you we will refer you to an appropriate local specialist agency or department.

Tell us about a change in circumstance

If you are in the process of applying for Housing Benefit, or already receive it, we need to know if your circumstances change straight away as it could affect what you are entitled to. You can now tell us by phoning us. Find out more.

Help and advice on the benefit cap

From November 2016, the government is reducing the limit on the total benefit a ‘working age’ household can get. This is known as the benefit cap. If you are affected, the Job Centre Plus will contact you.  Read more about the benefit cap and how it may affect you.

If you are social housing tenant please contact your landlord first as they can offer detailed advice on the benefit cap and details of help and support available.

If you are a private tenant you can contact us for detailed advice. We can also offer private and social housing tenants the following advice and support:

  • Details of how you may be affected and how much benefit you could lose.
  • A benefit check to see if you could qualify for some benefits such as Carers Allowance or Disability Living Allowance which would make you not affected by the benefit cap.
  • Details of temporary help with the costs of the benefit cap through a Discretionary Housing Payment, which may be available to you. These payments help people who need extra help with their rent when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not meet the full amount. 

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