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Cambridge City Council

Financial support

Please contact us if you are unable to pay any money owed to the council - we may be able to help.

Additional government payments

In May 2022 the government announced further payments to be made to households to support with the rising cost of living.

This includes:

Council Tax

People on low incomes may be eligible for Council Tax Support – to reduce the amount of Council Tax you will owe. Other Council Tax bill reductions are available, such as the Single Person Discount. And we also have a Discretionary Council Tax scheme. Please contact us for more information about help with your Council Tax payments.

Housing costs

If you are of working age and on a low income you may be able to receive help with the cost of rent by applying for Universal Credit. If you already receive Universal Credit, help with rent should already be included in your Universal Credit payment.

People who are pension-age and/or on a low income may be entitled to Housing Benefit. Housing Benefit is available to both social and private renters.

If you are already receiving Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and this does not cover the full cost of your rent, you can apply to us for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Get help with all or part of your rent

You may get help with all or part of your rent. There’s no set amount of housing costs support and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council or housing association.

Use a benefits calculator to find out if you can get benefits to help pay your rent.

Get help with interest payments on mortgages or loans

If you’re a homeowner on qualifying benefits, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.

Check if you’re eligible for Support for Mortgage Interest.

Benefits

Benefits you are entitled to

If you are of working age and on a low income you may be able to receive help with the cost of rent by applying for Universal Credit

Use our benefit calculator to work out what your Universal Credit entitlement would be, as well as any Council Tax reductions or other benefit entitlements.

You can also find support from charity Turn to Us which helps people access the money available to them, through welfare benefits, grants and other help.

Check the government’s income support pages for more ideas, including:

  • claiming the Marriage Allowance
  • eligibility for Carer’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • help if you can’t pay your tax bill

Benefits loans

You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for six months. You have to pay back the amount you borrow, and repayments are taken automatically from your benefits.

You can't get a budgeting loan if you’re on Universal Credit, but you might be able to get a loan as part of your Universal Credit if you need to cover a specific expense - this is called a 'budgeting advance'.

Check your wage and deductions are correct

Check the National Minimum Wage calculator to see if you’re being paid the right amount. You can also check when your employer can make deductions from your pay (such as for income tax, national insurance and student loan repayments).

If you believe you are not being paid the right amount, or your deductions are incorrect, you can seek support from Citizens Advice to correct this.

Help with travel costs

You could save up to a third on train journeys with a railcard.

If you’re on Universal Credit you may be eligible for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card for up to 50% off.

Childcare cost help

Visit the government’s childcare webpage for information on:

  • tax-free childcare
  • 30 hours free childcare
  • 15 hours free childcare
  • Child Benefit
  • a one-off payment of £500 for help with maternity costs.

Help with summer holiday childcare costs

Financial support is available to help pay for childcare during the summer holidays. Through Tax-Free Childcare, families can receive up to £2,000 a year per child – or £4,000 if their child is disabled – to put towards the cost of childcare. It is available for children aged up to 11, or 17 if the child has a disability.

The money can help towards the cost of holiday clubs, before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, and other approved childcare schemes. The government will pay 20% of childcare costs by topping up the money paid into a Tax-Free Childcare account. This means for every £8 paid into the online account, families will automatically receive an additional £2 in government top-up.

Five weeks of free holiday activities for families with primary-school aged children

Our summer holiday programme offers free activities every weekday from 25 July to 26 August in Cambridge’s parks.

There is no need to book and children and families can come and go to any of the sessions in the parks around Cambridge, but children under the age of seven will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme

Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS) supports people facing unexpected financial difficulties. CLAS can provide information, advice and practical support and assistance in times of exceptional pressure.

Following an assessment, you may be eligible for a CLAS award. The awards can be in the form of supermarket vouchers, energy vouchers, new white goods, decorating packs, beds, mattresses, recycled white goods and furniture. You can self-refer, contact CLAS directly.

Digital inclusion

If you do not have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone or are unsure how to use them, local charity Cambridge Online can provide help with skills and access to the internet or internet devices. You can contact them on 01223 300407 or via the Cambridge Online website.

Map of reductions and money saving tips available in Cambridge

See Cambridge Carbon Footprint climate map for reductions and money saving tips available in Cambridge. 

Health cost help

Check your eligibility for free help from the NHS for things like prescriptions, dental or glasses. 

Recycled or low cost items

Try local free or recycling websites to purchase low cost items. Some examples in Cambridge include: