If you’ve been affected by the benefit changes, here is what you can do and how Catalyst can support you.
You may need to claim these new benefits, such as Universal Credit, via the internet.
If you don’t have a computer with internet access at home, you can use one for free at:
- your local Catalyst office
- nearest library
- your job centre if you are unemployed
- community centres – ask your council for details of the closest one
- UK Online Centre provides free or low cost internet access. Just call 0114 227 0010 or visit their website.
Get back to work
The new benefits system aims to reward people who are in work by making sure they’re financially better off, while penalising others (through sanctions) not actively looking for work. Your local job centre will be able to support you get back to work.
If you live in London contact our skills and employment centre to get help with your CV, looking for jobs, or practice for interviews. Just call 0845 437 9705 or send us an email.
Get skilled up
Go on our welfare reform training so you can get a better understanding of the benefit changes, how they affect you and what you can do.
For more details or to find out about the free training we offer download our training catalogue.
Take in a lodger
This will bring in extra income to help you towards paying your rent. However, you should get some independent advice before doing this to make sure it’s right for you.
Move to a smaller home
If you’ve been affected by the under occupation charge (the bedroom tax), speak to your neighbourhood manager about how you can move to a smaller home.
Catalyst works with many choice based letting schemes so you can find a home that’s right for you. These include Locata in west London, Bucks Home Choice in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire Home Choice and many other letting schemes.
We’ll also give you up to £1,000 for every bedroom you give up and up to £500 towards removal costs.
Speak to us
If you don’t pay your rent, you could lose your home. Our income team or your neighbourhood manager can help you:
- come up with a manageable repayment plan
- give you advice on debt and the benefits you may be entitled to
- put you in contact with independent agencies so you can get impartial advice
Prioritise your debts
If you’re in financial difficulty, it’s important you pay your priority debts first.
|Type of debt||What happens if you don’t pay|
|Child support and maintenance payments, council tax, TV licence payments or payments ordered by the courts||You could go to prison|
|Mortgage or rent||You could lose your home|
|Gas or electricity bills||Your energy supply could be cut off or you may have to accept an expensive pre-payment meter|
|Credit card debts, hire purchase agreements, water bill, or unsecured bank loans (loans that are not secured against your property).||The people you owe money to may sue you by getting a county court judgement against you. If you don’t keep to the terms of the court order, the creditors can go back to court and ask them to make you bankrupt. You could lose your home if you’re a home owner or they may send bailiffs to seize your non-essential goods.|