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Support with the Cost of Living

Find out what help may be available to you through benefits, grants and other sources of support.

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If you are in an emergency situation, use our Emergency Information guide to get yourself stable, then come back to this plan.

Step One: Maximise your income 

Benefits

You may be entitled to benefits, depending on your situation.

To check what benefits you might be entitled to quickly and easily, you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator.

The Benefits Calculator mainly calculates means-tested benefits. Depending on your circumstances, there might be extra benefits you can claim.

Depending on your situation, you may find the following information pages helpful:

Charitable grants

Help may be available to you through a charitable grant and other help, depending on your background, circumstances and needs.

To find out what help may be available from grant-giving charities, you can use the Turn2us Grants Search

Money from local councils (England, Scotland, Wales)

Help may be available through your local council, such as  local welfare assistance schemes, depending on your circumstances and where you live in the UK.

Councils in England, Scotland and Wales have also been given money to provide £150 to all Council Tax payers in bands A-D. People who pay Council Tax by direct debit will get this automatically. Otherwise, you may need to apply. Keep an eye on your council's website to check for updates (see council finder link in the first paragraph of this section).

Money for people in Northern Ireland 

We don't have any information about whether people in Northern Ireland will receive any equivalent of Council Tax rebates or other help with the cost of living.  

Northern Ireland introduced a energy costs support scheme to help people on low incomes on certain benefits during the winter 2021-2022 and has a emergency fuel payment scheme.  See NI Direct: Energy Costs Support Schemes for more information.

The NI Direct website may have more information on help available if you live in Northern Ireland.

Step two: Managing your budget

Draw up a budget

The government-backed Money Helper website, produced by the Money and Pensions Service, provides information on a wide range of financial subjects, including:

You can also contact them for money guidance that's impartial and free to use, whether that's online or over the phone. See the Money Helper: Money Guidance page for details.

Money Saving Expert

Money Saving Expert is a website with articles and tips for saving and managing your money, including:

Quaker Social Action Made of Money

Quaker Social Action Made of Money service promotes financial well being through resources and training to help people on low incomes manage money better.

Debt

If you're struggling to keep up with debt or paying a lot in interest, it is important to get free, confidential, and responsible debt advice.

Water bills

Water companies have schemes to help people who are struggling to pay their water bill or who have fallen behind on their water bill.

Energy Bills

Energy companies have schemes to help people who are struggling to afford their bills. 

Energy Saving Trust provides information on help to improve the energy efficiency of your home and so cut your bills.

Help with phone, TV and Internet bills

There are discounted tariffs available for people on low incomes.

The Citizens Advice website has an If you’re struggling to pay your mobile, phone, internet or TV bill guide(This links to the information for England. If you live in Wales or Scotland, choose your country from the drop down menu under the title of the page.)

Food

Read the I don't have enough to eat section of our Emergency Information guide for details of food banks and how to access them.

Health costs

Some people can get free or discounted prescriptions, help with travel to medical appointments, and help with the cost of dental services. See our Help with Health Costs guide for more information.

Extra help for disabled people

Getting a disability benefit can give entitlement to a range of schemes to help with the additional costs of living with a disability.

Household items

The Reuse Network

The Reuse Network is a national charity that works with reuse centres that stock high-quality, affordable household items including furniture, electrical appliances, IT equipment and more. 

Are you looking for somewhere you can find affordable household items, find a reuse centre near you

Advice and Support

Turn2us is unable to offer advice on individual situations. To find an adviser in your area to discuss your situation with, you can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser

Updated: 5 May 2022

Check benefit entitlement

Find out what means-tested benefits you might be entitled to, including tax credits.

Use the Benefits Calculator

Grants Search

Search our database of grant-giving organisations

Search for grants