Get help with the cost of living
If you don’t have enough to live on, you might be able to get help from the government or your local council to afford essentials like bills and food.
You don’t have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council. If you do get benefits, they won’t be affected if you start getting money from a welfare assistance or Household Support Fund scheme
You may be eligible for extra payments from the government. You won’t have to pay tax on them and they won’t count as income when calculating your benefits.
Citizens Advice can help you check what benefits you can get
You might be able to claim benefits or increase your current benefits if you’re:
- of working age and on a low income
- sick or disabled
- of State Pension age and on a low income
- a carer
- responsible for children
Get your benefit paid early
Most benefits can be paid early. This is known as a ‘short term benefit advance’. A small amount will be taken off future payments to pay it back – usually for 12 weeks.
You can also ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit to help you while you’re waiting for your first payment. To ask for an advance, contact the DWP office that’s dealing with your benefit claim. You can find their contact details on any letter or email you’ve had from them.
You can’t get a benefit paid early for Housing Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Child Benefit, Guardian’s Allowance, Working or Child Tax credits
If you owe money and you’re struggling to pay
You should speak to the organisations you owe money to – they might let you pay smaller amounts or take a break from payments.
Don’t ignore bills or letters about money you owe.
If you would like help dealing with the cost of living or any other issue, please contact Citizens Advice to see how we can help.