How to pay bills and pay off debts with the help of benefits

Some of your accounts (including renting an apartment and utilities) can be paid directly from your benefits. This practice is called Fuel Direct or Third Party Deductions (TPD).

For this purpose you can use:

a single social payment - Universal Credit;

unemployment benefit based on income level (Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance);

benefit for the law-income and the unemployed, based on income level (Income-related Employment and Support Allowance);

benefit to people with a small income (Income Support);

pension credit (Pension Credit).

How to apply

Contact the job centre (or your pension centre if you receive a pension loan).

You will need:

data on who you should pay and how much;

number of your personal account (for bills);

your national social security number.

Employees of the job centre or pension centre will ensure that a certain amount of your allowance is paid monthly to the person or company you owe.

How this system works

If you get Universal Credit

From your Universal Credit can be deducted:

5% for payment for gas, electricity and water;

minimum 5%, but not more than £108.35 per month for fines;

from 10% to 20% for renting an apartment.

You can use this money to pay for gas, electricity and water and at the same time pay off your debt. Deductions will stop as soon as you pay back everything you owe.

If you receive other benefits

Deduction can occur every time you receive benefits. With each benefit £3,70 will be deducted to pay your debt and an additional amount covering your monthly current accounts.

The amount is set by the job centre or pension centre, but if it exceeds 25% of your benefits (including Child Tax Credit), you will be asked to consent to the deduction of money from benefits.

If the amount is under to 25%, deduction of funds can be made without your consent. You will be told what amount will be deducted, and will be warned if it is changed.

When you cannot use benefits

You cannot use benefits to pay off:

debt to a previous service provider or homeowner;

more than three types of debt (for example, for gas, water and rent), but in some cases you can use this money to pay for more than three current bills.

Additional help with bills

You may have right to receive:

Winter Fuel Payment - an annual payment that will help pay for heating in winter;

Cold Weather Payment - a payment that will cover additional heating costs in too cold weather;

Warm Home Discount - a discount of £140, which is entitled to some people receiving a pension loan, and some people from low-income families.

If you received the last warning about the need for payment (final demand)

You should not receive the final demands about the need to pay if you pay bills using benefits. Contact the job centre (or your pension centre if you receive a pension loan), if the person or company you owe to has mistakenly sent you the final demand.

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