If like many, you are worried about the current cost of living, there is support available for you, here in Plymouth.
We are currently living in difficult times, and most people will naturally be concerned about coping with the cost of everyday life.
There are organisations that can offer advice and guidance around managing money, dealing with debt, maximising your income and benefit support.
Find advice and guidance here;
Council Support Schemes - People on low incomes may be able to access housing benefit, council tax support and discretionary housing payment from the council. You may also be eligible for a support grant to help you stay in the community and an exceptional hardship payment if already accessing council tax support. This will depend on your current circumstances. You can find out more at: www.plymouth.gov.uk/benefitsandgrants
Maximise your income - Anyone who is struggling financially can get a benefit check and speak to an advisor for free and confidential advice. A benefit check can ensure that you are receiving all the money you’re entitled to, especially if your circumstances have changed recently. Speaking to an advisor could also help you find cheaper deals on things like gas and electricity and make sure you’re not missing out on things like school clothing grants or free school meals.
Debt Advice - Debt can happen to anyone. Free advice and support can help you find ways to manage your debts and reduce how much you pay each month.
Benefit Advice - If you have made a new claim for benefit and are in financial hardship while you wait for your first payment, you may be able to get an advance to afford things like rent or food. It’s important to get advice before taking out an advance. Benefit advances must be paid back, and the money will be taken from your future benefit payments (a loan).
Hardship Fund - If you have been sanctioned, you may be able to request a hardship payment from the Jobcentre. Hardship payments are not always paid immediately, and they’re not available to everyone. Hardship payments of Universal Credit need to be paid back (a loan), but hardship payments of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance do not (not a loan)
Challenge a decision - You can challenge a benefit decision if your benefit has been stopped / sanctioned / reduced / refused or you have been overpaid. Most benefit decisions need to be challenged within one month.
For advice and support, you can contact any of the below organisations who will be able to help.
Citizens Advice Plymouth
Provide advice on benefits, debt, housing and more 0808 278 7910 (advice queries) 01752 982 880 (debt telephone drop in) www.citizensadviceplymouth.org.uk
Money Advice Plymouth
Debt advice charity offering benefits and debt advice 01752 208 126 www.moneyadviceplymouth.org.uk
PATH – Plymouth access to housing
Housing and renting support for those vulnerable to homelessness 01752 255 889 www.pathdevon.org
Debt advice service covering all of Plymouth 01752 643 955 firstname.lastname@example.org
Plymouth Focus Advice Centre
Independent debt advice, dealing with creditors, help with form filling, benefits and tax credits 01752 669 785 www.plymouthfocus.co.u
Christians against poverty
Debt counselling charity with two centres in Plymouth 0800 328 0006 (freephone) www.capuk.org
For a full list of help available in the Plymouth area, see attached guide: