Finding it difficult to make ends meet? Here are some of the services provided by Mid Sussex District Council such as discounts, benefits and reduced price services which may be of help.
Free or reduced price travel
Residents of Mid Sussex District Council who are aged 60 or over, or eligible disabled, can apply for a Bus Pass allowing free bus travel anywhere in England. Taxi Vouchers are also available instead of a bus pass for people unable to use public transport.
Senior/Disabled Railcards are also available which entitles the traveller to reduced rail travel.
For further information on the above schemes, please ring 01444 477304, or click on this link http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/7512.htm
Need help to pay Rent or Council Tax?
If you have a low income or in receipt of a means tested benefit and have less than £16,000 in savings, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit. For more information, or if you want a quick check on benefit that might be payable to you, take a look at the online Benefits Calculator telephone 01444 477264.
The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as his/her main home) the Council Tax bill is reduced by 25%. To get more information click on this link, http://revsandbens.centralsussex.gov.uk/council_tax/245.htm or telephone 01444 477564.
Council Tax Benefit is being replaced by a Council Tax Support Scheme from 1 April 2013. Pensioners and those unable to work will continue to receive their current level of benefit. Those who able to work may face reductions in their benefit. For further information please see the Mid Sussex Council Tax Support Scheme page.
The Government introduced changes to welfare benefits from April 2013, including reductions in Housing Benefit of between 14%-25% for tenants of working age in social housing if they have more bedrooms than the Government say that you need. A Benefits Cap was introduced in July, placing a limit for the total amount of benefit of £350 per week for a single person and £500 per week for a couple or family. Details are available on the Benefits Changes page of our website. There is a section on our website providing access to information on Financial Advice and Getting into Employment.
Into Work Helpline
We know that getting into work can be difficult for people who have been out of a job for some time or who haven’t worked before. That’s why Mid Sussex District Council is working with Sussex Oakleaf to provide a helpline which can help you find the right support you need to get into work. The helpline will also offer advice on managing your finances and ensuring you are receiving the benefits you are entitled to.
The free helpline gives local people a number to call for advice on finding a new or better job, developing new skills, and managing their income effectively. Helpful and friendly staff will be able to provide information on training courses, work experience placements, debt management and improving confidence when looking for work.
If you are concerned about recent changes to your personal circumstances and would like some free, impartial advice about getting into work then please call the free Mid Sussex Into Work Helpline number on 01444 447378. Lines are open from 8am until 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am until 12 noon on Saturday. Calls are confidential – you won’t even have to give your name if you don’t want to - and staff can call you back if needed.
Work opportunities for young people
There is a page on our website providing advice and support for young people in finding work, apprenticeships, colleges or other types of work experience opportunities. The West Sussex County Council Yourspace section of their website includes advice and information for young people, such as careers and choices, financial advice for students and details of the Connexions and Information shops.
Mid Sussex, as an area, provides a superb natural environment from the beautiful South Downs to its northern border. The District has breathtaking green open spaces and views, along with picturesque villages. Take a walk in one of the nature reserves, or for more information on enjoying the outdoors, click on this link or chose to visit one of the many historical villages in Mid Sussex.
Keeping fit - concessions are available at the three Olympos Leisure Centres. To find out more information, contact the Olympos Leisure Centres direct at Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill or East Grinstead, click on this link
There are free play parks and skateparks dotted all around Mid Sussex District, and subsidised sporting facilities available.
Every resident within Mid Sussex may use our Pest Control Service. The department offers treatment for a variety of pests including rats, mice, wasps and some insects. There is a fee for the treatment of pests, although this is reduced for those in receipt of a variety of benefits. For further details please ring 01444 477423.
Bulky Waste Removal
If you have a bulky item that you need to dispose of, we can come and remove it for you, hassle free. Prices start at £10 for a small chest of drawers and range up to £25 for a washing machine. Alternatively, we can charge on a time to load basis, where many items of all different sizes can be loaded at £50 per 25 minutes. For those in receipt of Council Tax/Housing Benefit these charges are reduced by 50%.&bsp; For further details or an application form please ring 01444 477440 or visit our bulky waste collections page for more details.
Housing Advice Service
The Council's Housing Needs Team (tel. 01444 477574) holds the following weekly housing advice surgeries on a first come first served basis without an appointment. Please do check that the surgery is being held before you go:-
Our Offices in Haywards Heath
Mon, Tues & Fri 10am-1pm (tel. 01444 477574)
East Grinstead Library (by appointment only)
Wed 1.30-3.30pm (tel. 01444 477574 to book an appointment)
Burgess Hill Town Council (by appointment only)
Thu 1-3pm (tel 01444 477574)
The Council also publish a series of 12 Housing Option Booklets (free).
Further information on Housing Advice can also be found here.
You may also wish to contact the MyKey Service who give advice, guidance, information and encouragement to help people in housing difficulties get back on their feet. Contact details are 01903 867350 email MyKey@southdownhousing.org
Local Assistance Network
From April 2013 the Government changed the way that people in crisis situations are helped. Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants are no longer available from Job Centre Plus. West Sussex County Council has introduced a new scheme to support people in West Sussex called the Local Assistance Network. The assistance available covers a range of basic needs, in many cases from charitable sources.
Savings and loans
Credit Unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer savings and good value loans at competitive rates for members, with free insurance and flexible repayment terms. They are run on ethical principles, which means more money staying locally working for the people of Mid Sussex. To join the Credit Union, take a look at the website below.
They also operate a drop-in at Burgess Hill town centre every Wednesday morning from 10 am to 1 pm at St John's Church Hall, Lower Church Road, Burgess Hill RH15 9AA.