Organisations who can help
Struggling with finances and the rising cost-of-living? Get access to up-to-date information, and links to other organisations that can help.
Looking after your money
Life can cost a lot more when you’re raising a disabled, or seriously ill, child. From higher bills for heating, cooling or electrical items for your child, to buying specialist play equipment, food and adapted clothing. Or paying for travel and parking, for frequent hospital visits. There are a lot of costs to cover which can be difficult on a reduced income due to full time caring.
See below for information, and links to other organisations, that could help if you’re struggling with costs.
Help for Households
Help for Households provides information from government departments on how to get help with your costs-of-living. This includes whether you’re entitled to help and any payments you may be able to receive. They’ll also give you information on support with energy bills, help with household costs, child care costs and income support.
GOV.UK is the website for the UK government and the best place to find out about government services. It has important information that may affect you, and your family.
Use GOV.UK for guidance on housing, debt, transport and disability services. You can also use it to find the latest information, to apply for benefits you may be entitled to. Have a look at the GOV.UK website to find out more information.
For help with using the GOV.UK website, use our interactive guide or watch our YouTube video.Get help with using the GOV.UK website
MoneyHelper exists to help people clear debts, reduce spending and make the most of their income. It’s backed by the government and is a free service. You can use the MoneyHelper budget planner on our website to create a budget, see where your money goes and look at where you can start saving. For free, impartial money guidance call them on: 0800 138 7777 (Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm). Or visit the MoneyHelper website.
Citizens Advice is a network of local charities which provides free, confidential advice online, over the phone and in-person. They provide resources on how to apply for benefits, deal with debt and get help with housing. They also have guidance on managing family life.
To get help in person, use the Citizens Advice website to find your local team. Please note that some can only give you advice if you live in their local council area.
Your benefit entitlement
Sometimes the type of benefits you can apply for depends on which nation you live in. If you live in Scotland, Social Security Scotland delivers some additional payments you may be entitled to apply for, such as the Best Start Payments or the Child Winter Heating Assistance. Find out more on the mygov.scot website.
Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship get access to benefits, charitable grants and support services. Use the Turn2us benefit calculator to see if you are entitled to additional benefits that you are not currently receiving. You can also check whether you’re receiving the right amount of benefits, for the entitlements you’re already receiving.
Paying your bills
Take a look at the organisations below for help with paying your bills:
Payments from government
The winter fuel payment provides additional support, of between £150 and £300. You get this payment automatically if you’re eligible for a state pension or get another social security benefit. If you are getting certain benefits, you may also get a cold weather payment. This covers times the average temperature is below zero degrees celsius for over seven days.
The government warm home discount scheme reopened in November 2022. If you are eligible, you could receive £140 off your electricity bill.
Dealing with debt
If you need support and advice with managing debt, take a look at StepChange.
StepChange is the UK’s leading debt advice charity. It helps hundreds of thousands of people each year deal with money worries. Offering free, impartial and non-judgmental advice, StepChange can provide debt information online, or you can contact them for help over the phone.
Go online to access the StepChange online debt advice service at a time that best suits you. It takes around 20 minutes to complete. It will ask you questions around your debt and then you’ll then get expert, personalised and confidential debt advice. The charity will recommend the best course of action for your circumstances, and help you take control of your finances.
To check if you have a debt problem, or how close you are to having a problem with debt, use the StepChange 60-second debt test on their website. You can also call them on 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm and Saturday 8:00am to 4:00pm). Or visit the StepChange website.
If you have no money to buy food, and need to use a food bank, you can get a referral from a professional for food support. This can be either your child’s school, your social worker or your local Citizens Advice team).
We’ve also listed some organisations below that can help you with food costs.
Extra government support
In England, Wales or Northern Ireland, if you’re pregnant, or caring for at least one child under the age of four, you may be eligible for the government’s Healthy Start Scheme. If you’re eligible, you will be sent a Healthy Start card with money already on it. This can be used this to buy healthy food and milk in some UK shops. In Scotland, you may be eligible for help with food through the government’s Best Start Foods payment. You can apply for the Best Start Foods programme, through Social Security Scotland on their website.
Too Good to Go
Too Good to Go is an anti-food waste app that lets you rescue delicious, unsold food from businesses. Visit the Too Good to Go website and download the app.
Grants and funding
To find organisations that can help with grants or funding for your family, use our interactive ‘Finding grants online e-learning course’ below. This helps you find out more about how to apply for charitable grants and how to use the Turn2us grant search tool. The course also includes tips on how to prepare a successful application.Finding grants online e-learning course