Customer Hardship Fund

We’ve set up the Southern Water Hardship Fund to provide additional assistance to individuals who are experiencing financial difficulty.

Through this fund, we offer three types of assistance:

  • A one-off bill reduction (of up to 50%)
  • A debt write-off (of up to £2,000)
  • A grant for specific home improvements (of up to £1,000)

To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate significant financial hardship, either long or short term, or challenging personal circumstances that have a financial impact.  If you feel you meet the criteria, please complete the short form below and we’ll let you know the outcome within six weeks.

 

Frequently asked questions

What support is available?

There are three different types of support available:

  • Up to 50% one-year bill reduction for customers hit temporarily by hard times
  • Debt write-off of up to £2,000 for customers who have managed to get back on track with payments but will never be able to repay their debt
  • A grant of up to £1,000 to make improvements to a customer’s home

What are the eligibility criteria?

 

Bill reduction

  • The household income is greater than current Essentials threshold (£21,000)
  • The customer’s expenditure significantly outweighs income due to a temporary shock – such as bereavement, main earner’s loss of employment, sudden additional caring responsibilities
  • The customer expects the circumstances to improve fully

 

Debt write-off

  • The customer is making regular payments that cover (or nearly cover) current usage
  • The customer has a significant debt (over £500) that has accrued due to circumstances outside of their control (such as financial abuse by a partner, mental health breakdown, prolonged absence from work)
  • The customer is unlikely to ever be able to clear the debt

 

Non-financial assistance

  • The customer faces significant financial hardship with no support network
  • Although paying their water bill, the customer can’t afford basics (such as proper food, clothes or heating)
  • The customer already benefits from a reduced bill
  • There is something that can be done to provide long-term benefit (such as replacing a washing machine or arranging for a plumber to fix a leaky toilet) or assistance in a crisis (such as food vouchers)

 

Can I apply more than once?

No. Only one application per household is allowed.

How are decisions made?

Applications are assessed against the criteria. Our Head of Customer Services, the Vulnerability Lead and a Finance Manager meet each month to decide how funds are awarded.

When will I hear the outcome?

Within six weeks of application.

When is the support available until?

We currently anticipate the scheme will run until March 2022. However, the situation is being kept under review.

What is included in the grants?

  • Anything that will make a permanent improvement to a customer’s living arrangements.
  • This might be the purchase of white goods that a customer cannot afford to replace, repairs to heating or water systems that they cannot afford, etc.

Applicant information

This information will only be used to assess your application for additional assistance.
For details on how Southern Water uses information generally, please refer to our Privacy Notice.

 
 
 
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