DEBT ADVICE

First check that you do really owe the money. Mistakes are common and it is possible that your debts have been miscalculated. If you do owe it, check if you can get any discounts. Your debts can be cancelled or reduced to smaller repayments. And check you get all the help available to maximise your income.

To challenge charges for homecare (by your council) send in detailed information about your disability-related expenses. People’s individual situations vary widely, and there is no limit on what is or is not a disability-related expense – only examples. Get back-up, as before.

UK-wide info: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/charging-community-care

See also "Challenging Charges" in the Campaign Against Care Charges old leaflet. www.winvisible.org/HC/selfhelp_information.htm

Debt advice agencies in Camden:

www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/contacts/categories/contact-debt-advice-agencies-and-solicitors.en

UK-wide help – Turn2Us website: www.turn2us.org.uk/

South London – Oasis: www.oasischurchwaterloo.org/what/debt-advice-centre

Zacchaeus 2000: http://z2k.org/free-help-advice/

For help with Housing Benefit arrears call: 08088 02 05 08.

For other debts 020 7259 0801, 10am-12 noon, or fill out their enquiry form online and an adviser will contact you.

Fuel debts: companies are under pressure to help customers in difficulty. Some have their own charities which help with one-off debts, e.g. British Gas Energy Trust. Call your company, or visit their website to find out more about help you can get. Check with advice services about extra help if you are a pensioner, have young children, are sick or disabled, etc.

Campaign group Fuel Poverty Action have Energy Know Your Rights cards and a guide to dealing with your energy supplier, etc.