Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 17:00, 7 August 2020

Benefits, money and debt

We understand that the coronavirus outbreak is increasing the financial hardship faced by many, and people may be concerned about their ability to cover costs, make payments and pay bills, including Council Tax or rent payments.

We're doing all we can to mitigate the impact and put additional support in place. Your patience and understanding is so important in helping us to do this.

The Scottish and UK Governments have announced new measures to support people's incomes. We ask again for your patience and understanding as we work to implement these new measures.

On this page:


I'm struggling to pay my bills/mortgage. Where can I get advice?

It's important to get the right advice as soon as you know you will struggle to pay your bills or your mortgage.

You should speak to your bank, energy supplier, our Council Tax team and any other organisation you are due to pay. Most organisations have ways to support you to change how you pay your bills or mortgage right now. 

You can get free, impartial and confidential advice from these services.

Advice Works

Our Advice Works service is a free and confidential service where trained advisers give money and debt advice.

You can call them on 0300 300 1238 or email adviceworks@renfrewshire.gov.uk for support.

Advice Renfrewshire

Advice Renfrewshire is a website that provides free, confidential, impartial advice on a range of issues that you may be facing.

If you can't find the advice you're looking for, you can call them free on 0808 1642922.

Renfrewshire Citizen's Advice Bureau

Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau is a local, independent charity that provides free, impartial and confidential advice and information that will give you the tools you need to sort out any issues or problems.

You can call them on 0141 889 2121.


Should I be claiming benefits?

If you are no longer being paid by your employer, you have lost your job and you don't qualify for any of the self employed support, you should apply for all the benefits that you are entitled to, such as:

Universal Credit if you are on a low income or out of work

Crisis Grants from Scottish Welfare Fund

Best Start Grants from Social Security Scotland

You should also apply for Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit if you are eligible. 


Can I reduce my Council Tax?

Council Tax Reduction is awarded to people on a low income to help with the cost of their bill. You can apply whether you own or rent your home.

You can apply for Council Tax Reduction online. 


Can I apply for Housing Benefit?

You can apply online for Housing Benefit to help with your rent.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

If you need help to pay your housing costs, you may qualify for help from a council fund called Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).

These are extra payments made to help with housing costs like some or all of a rent shortfall over a few weeks or a new tenancy rent deposit

You can apply online for a Discretionary Housing payment or report a change in circumstance through MyAccount.

If you have any queries relating to Discretionary Housing Payment, please email our Benefits team

Note that Discretionary Housing Payments for under occupancy are added to a Housing Benefit claim automatically.


I don't have any money for food. What should I do?

You can apply for Universal Credit or a Crisis Grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

If you have children, you can apply for a Best Start Foods payment from Social Security Scotland.

Renfrewshire Foodbank can also help you with food if you are in crisis.


Can I get help with school meals and school uniforms?

The deadline to apply for a clothing grant has now passed but you can still apply for free school meals.


What should I do about energy bills? 

You can find advice on reducing your energy bills from the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre. You can call them on 0808 808 2282.We also have a directory of energy advice on our website. 


I need to pay for a funeral but can't afford it. Where can I get help?

Firstly, we're so sorry to hear that you've suffered a bereavement. The restrictions on attending funerals make this an incredible difficult time for you and your loved ones.

The Council runs a Respectful Funeral Service that can help you during this difficult time.

You can also apply for a Funeral Support Payment from Social Security Scotland.

You can read more information on this webpage: Death and bereavement support


Where to find additional support

Money and debt advice

Help and support