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Getting everything you are entitled to

We contact all our new tenants to make sure that they are getting the right benefits. You can use this online benefit checker to see how much benefit you could claim. We have specialist staff who can give advice on benefits and how to apply or appeal against decisions.

The government have also produced a new benefits calculator which can also help with calculation of Universal Credit. Please click on the attached link

For general information on benefits, including help with your Council Tax, visit the Colchester Borough Council benefits page. Visit our money advice page for information on how to make the most of your money.

Help with your rent

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Housing Benefit or Discretionary Housing Payments to cover all or part of your rent. For more information and to apply, see our help with your rent page.


In an emergency the pdf icon Essential Living Fund [97kb] may be able to provide you with essential items, such as household items, fuel, clothing and general living expenses. For details on how to apply see essential living fund for essex or call 0300 7900124 (this number is charged at local rates from any number including mobiles).

Benefit cap

If you are of working age, the most you can receive in certain benefits is £500 per week for a couple or family and £350 for a single person. If the money you get from a range of benefits comes to more than this, your Housing Benefit payments will be reduced or stopped. To find out more visit Direct Gov - benefit cap or call 0845 605 7064.

Changes to benefits

The government has introduced a programme of welfare reform. This means a large number of changes including reductions in Housing benefit if you have more bedrooms then you need and the introduction of Universal Credit. For more information on benefits, including the government's programme of welfare reform, visit Turn 2 us - benefits advice