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Benefits and financial support

Residents' Support Scheme

The Residents' Support Scheme is designed to help residents who are either in or at risk of being in crisis or are in need of immediate help and have no source of financial support available to them.

The scheme can help with short-term living costs such as credit food and gas/electric pre-payment metres. It can also help in some circumstances with white goods and furniture. Cash will not usually be awarded, but a pay point voucher can be supplied to the applicant where necessary.

You can apply online.

If you are finding it difficult to apply online, or if you have a query about a new or existing application, please email lwpqueries@northgateps.com or call 020 7520 7217.

If you would like to appeal a previously refused application, or you wish to make a formal complaint, please email lwpappeal@northgateps.com.

Support with new Universal Credit applications

The council has a dedicated phone line for people who want help with Universal Credit.

To book a phone appointment with a  council officer, please call 020 7364 7010.

Welfare benefits advice

The council is working with local advice agencies to continue providing welfare benefits advice remotely. Their contact details are listed below. All our partners are experiencing unprecedented demand so we would ask you to keep trying if you cannot get through at your first attempt.

Organisation

Telephone advice

E-mail

Account 3

0207 739 7720

admin@account3.org.uk

Age UK

0208 981 7124

info@ageukeastlondon.org.uk

Apasen

0207 001 2266

syeda.ara@apasen.org.uk

Bromley by Bow Centre

020 8709 9757

020 8709 9745

Advice@bbbc.org.uk

Carers Centre Tower Hamlets

0207 709 1765

enquiries@ccth.org.uk

Citizens Advice Bureau

0203 855 4472

advice@eastendcab.org.uk

DeafPlus

077 4570 8878 (Text only)

Aiysha.begum@deafplus.org

Fair Finance

0203 475 8811

info@fairmoneyadvice.co.uk

Financial Health Centre

0207 364 2200

fhc@thh.org.uk

Island Advice Centre

0207 987 9379

admin@island-advice.org.uk

Legal Advice Centre

0203 606 0372

admin@legaladvicecentre.london

Limehouse Project

0207 538 0075

info@limehouseproject.org.uk

Local Link/Real

020 7001 2175 

local-link@real.org.uk

Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham

0207 510 1081

info@mithn.org.uk

Ocean Somali Community Centre

 

abdi@oceansomali.org.uk

Paxis

0207 749 7608 (Wednesday 2 - 4pm)

0207 749 7605 (Thursday 10am - 12.30pm)

admin@praxis.org.uk

Positive East

020 7791 2855

talktome@positiveeast.org.uk

St Hildas

0207 739 8066 (Monday to Thursday, 10am - 2pm)

alaya@sthildas.org.uk

St Peter

0207 729 1036

stpetersba@live.co.uk

Stifford Centre

0207 790 3632

info@stifford.org.uk

Tower Hamlets Law Centre

0207 538 4909

info@thlc.co.uk

Tower Hamlets Resident Support Outreach Service

0207 364 7010 

LBTHResidentSupport@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Toynbee

020 7392 2953 

advice@toynbeehall.org.uk

 

Tower Hamlets Community Advice Network

The Tower Hamlets Community Advice Network (THCAN) is a partnership of local advice centres that provide free advice and representation in areas of social welfare law. The advice centres work together through THCAN to ensure that Tower Hamlets residents have access to free, high quality advice on welfare benefits, debt, housing and other areas of social welfare law.

The THCAN website is kept up to date with resources and information about advice providers that can help during this crisis and beyond.

Housing benefit

Protecting and supporting vulnerable residents who are affected or experience hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is one of our top priorities. We are working with the government on this and working through plans on what this will look like.

 We will of course continue our usual housing benefit administration. We are also making changes to our processes to help residents who may have to self isolate, particularly where we need information and evidence from them in support of their claims. 

While housing benefit is a Department for Work and Pensions benefit administered by local authorities, we are also aware that residents may experience sudden reductions in their income and that this may be the case for the weeks ahead. In these circumstances, we will adjust the housing benefit entitlement to help our residents pay their rent.

Council tax

We have a council tax reduction scheme, which offers support to residents. The scheme is means tested and the council offers a 100 per cent discount on council tax for residents on the lowest incomes.

What to do if you’re income suddenly stops or reduces:

If you currently receive housing benefit and/or local council tax reduction 

If you do not currently receive housing benefit and/or local council tax reduction 

  1. Check whether you are entitled to universal credit on the government's website, and if so make an online claim.
  2. You should also claim council tax reduction from the council using this link. 
  3. If you are not eligible for universal credit you can claim both housing benefit and council tax reduction from the council using a single application form.

Support from energy suppliers

Working with the government, energy suppliers are in the process of putting in place new measures to help customers who need support around prepayment meters, or for people who are in vulnerable circumstances and may be unable to pay their bills.

You can find a summary of how prepayment suppliers are helping customers, along with helpful contact information on the MoneySavingExpert website. This page will be continually updated as more information becomes available.

Changes to the Taxicard scheme

London Councils are contacting members of the Taxicard scheme via text message or letters with changes to the Taxicard scheme.

The rules for the taxicard have been relaxed to 

  • allow Taxicard drivers to pick up and deliver essential supplies for you; and
  • allow friends and family to travel on your behalf using your Taxicard for the same purpose.

Find out more

Extra support available for people with direct payments

 We understand that during this period additional support may be needed for people with direct payments and/or a personal health budget. To make things easier, we have allowed additional flexibility for direct payment recipients to amend their support package if this is required and meets their needs.

Further information is available on our direct payments page