What to do if you cannot pay your bills

What to do if you cannot pay your bills

There are things you can do if you’re struggling to pay your bills because of COVID-19. This includes things like your:

  • rent
  • council tax
  • mortgage
  • energy bills
  • court orders
  • tax bill

It’s important you don’t ignore your bills. Speak to the organisation you owe money to – they might be able to help by letting you pay smaller amounts, or to take a break.

It’s also worth checking with your bank or building society – they might be able to help you with your debts or let you delay loan or credit card repayments.

Some bills can cause you more problems if you don’t pay them. Paperweight can provide support and guidance in understanding which bills you should pay first.

If you’re already getting benefits you may be eligible for further support. This includes any ‘statutory sick pay’ your employer might give you.

To better understand what help is available to you, please call Paperweight or e-mail us on info@paperweight.org.uk


If you can’t pay your energy bills

Speak to your energy supplier as soon as you can. You might be able to set up a payment plan with them to help spread the cost of your bills.

Your supplier will try to help you find ways to keep your energy supply connected if you can’t top up your meter because of COVID-19. Tell your supplier as soon as possible if you can’t top up. You’ll find their contact details on their website or on your bill.

If you’ve run out of credit and need gas or electricity urgently, contact your supplier to ask for temporary extra credit. You’ll need to pay this back when you next top up.

If you have an existing debt to your supplier, you can ask them to reduce the amount you repay each week.


If you can’t pay your water bill

You can find your water supplier’s details on Water UK’s website by entering your Postcode: https://www.water.org.uk/advice-for-customers/find-your-supplier/


Council Tax

If you already receive a council tax reduction and are working age, your local council should give you an extra £150 off your bill for 2020-2021. You don’t need to do anything – your local council will send you a new bill.

If your council tax bill is already less than £150, you won’t have to pay anything for the coming tax year, 2020-2021.

You can find your local council by entering your Postcode: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

If you don’t already receive a council tax reduction, you might qualify for a reduction if your income has fallen or if you recently started claiming benefits.

You should check your local council’s rules to see if you qualify for a council tax reduction. If you don’t think you qualify, it’s still worth asking your local council. They might be able to help by reducing the amount or delaying your payments.