Perthshire Advertiser

Helpis available forthose struggling inwinter

- STAFF REPORTER

Perth and Kinross residents feeling the pinch this winter are being advised financial help and support is available.

People who are concerned about paying bills, covering housing costs or heating their homes can contact the council to make sure they are getting all the support they are entitled to.

A range of support is in place to help people through the pandemic including the council’s financial security fund which is open to applicatio­ns for people who might need assistance with: • Fuel debt

• Broadband debt that prevents people getting online

• Difficulty meeting the essential needs of children under two-years-old or a child with disabiliti­es of any age, such as nappies, milk or wipes

• Additional costs of living rurally

The council’s welfare rights team is also available to make sure everyone is claiming the benefits they are entitled to. Last year more than 5000 people contacted the team, who were able to help them claim an additional £6.5 million in benefits.

Council tenants can also make an applicatio­n from the tenancy sustainmen­t fund if they are struggling to pay their rent due to difficulti­es caused by the pandemic.

Advice is available about how you can minimise your household fuel bills this winter.

The full range of support available can be found on the council’s website at www. pkc.gov.uk/feelingthe­pinch

Perth and Kinross Council’s depute director of communitie­s Clare Mailer said: “The pandemic is having a significan­t financial impact on many of our residents through redundancy, reduced incomes, increasing heating bills or furlough.

“We know that many people are finding things very difficult, through no fault of their own.

“Taking the first step to ask for help can often be difficult but I would urge anyone who is struggling at the moment to contact us to see how we can help, whether it be to check you are getting all the benefits that you should be, or for advice about reducing your bills.”

Anyone who wants to talk about the range of help the council can provide should call 01738 476900 and select option one.

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