Government cost of living support
General cost of living advice
For general advice, head to the Advice Gateway, a free, independent resource to help you quickly find the information you need to claim benefits, access help and support or look for a job or training opportunities.
Paying your energy bills
Can I get any additional financial support?
If you’re under Pension Age and struggling to meet your outgoings, you may be entitled to Universal Credit.
Use this calculator to see if you’d qualify, or if you’d be better off changing from any existing benefits.
Alternatively, you can check out the Government website or simply apply online.
If you have any questions, please give us a call and we will do our best to advise you on your options.
Can I still get help if I am disabled, unable to work for health reasons or care for someone who is disabled?
Absolutely! The general rule is that everyone can apply for support and your circumstances will be assessed individually. If you have fallen ill and cannot work, you may still qualify for New Style Employment Support Allowance; if you’re eligible, you can apply here.
If you currently receive Universal Credit but have health problems, please contact your Work Coach, or update your Journal.
You may also qualify for an element of Personal Independence Payment if your health impacts your ability to complete day-to-day tasks. Obviously, this is a personal situation and depends on each individual. You will need evidence and supporting documents from your GP; more information can be found here.
If you care for someone, you may also qualify for Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit. This is a monetary award to support people who care for a friend or family member and who may be unable to work due to the level of care provided.
What if I’m a shared owner with a mortgage?
Universal Credit also supports homeowners as the part-rent portion of your expenses can be claimed through Universal Credit here.
If you cannot meet your mortgage payments, please speak to your mortgage provider first or take advice from an Independent Financial Advisor.
If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help with interest payments on your mortgage. For more information please visit the Support for Mortgage Interest page.
Can I get any help with budgeting?
Things are not easy for anyone at the moment with rising costs across many day-to-day items and essentials.
If you’re worried about managing your income and outgoings, please contact us or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
What do I do if I’m worried about debt?
If you’re worried about debt, you can speak to us for advice or you could contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for independent advice.
Pocket Power - discounts and deals on household bills
We’ve partnered with Pocket Power, a UK-wide service that helps people switch to cheaper deals and apply for discounts on household bills, including water, broadband, phone, car insurance, banking, and grant applications. Through a referral to Pocket Power, customers can save an average of £200 on their bills from your first call!
There are two ways to book an appointment.
1 – visit Pocket Power (pocket-power.co.uk)
2 – Call our customer contact centre on 0300 303 1010 and we can make a referral for you.
Better Housing Better Health
If you’re worried about your energy bills, want to know how to make your home warmer, or need advice on accessing financial support, Better Housing Better Health is here to help.
Help into work
Please contact us if you need support to get back to work. We have links with local training providers and job clubs who can help.
We can signpost you to what support is available in your local area and what is the best route for you to take.
Please use the links below to help you find what you need:
Managing your home
Your local council may be able to help you get hold of items of furniture. If your local council does help with furniture, some will provide it for free, while others will only offer you a loan to get the items yourself. You can usually only apply a limited number of times within a given period.
Most local authorities with a scheme only help with the most essential items such as a cooker, fridge/freezer, and bed. Some will also provide a washing machine, sofa and wardrobe.
Please call us if you would like our help getting in touch with your local authority.
Paradigm works closely with local food banks, and we support our customers to access their services when they need them.
As food banks are community-run organisations, you’ll usually need to get a referral before you can use them. Our Customer Services team can help refer you to your local food bank. Call 0300 303 1010 to be directed to someone who can help. You can also get food bank referrals from other organisations, for example, schools, healthcare professionals and social services.
If you live in a rural area and can’t afford to travel, your nearest food bank might be able to deliver.
If the food bank is run by a church or other religious group, they’ll still help you even if you’re not religious or from a different religion.