John Nicolson MP: Cost of Living Resources
The global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent energy and cost-of-living crises have had a substantial impact on our lives. Rising energy, fuel and food costs are having a significant financial impact on people in our communities. If you are struggling to pay your household bills, there is a range of support and help available. If you are unable to work or your income has been affected, there may be financial help available. There are also a number of benefits available. This is why it’s important to know what benefits you are entitled to and how best to access them.
With different benefits being provided by different authorities, this guide aims to outline the advice services available to help you find the support that you need, as well as brief descriptions of the types of benefits that are available and where to apply for them.
What benefits am I entitled to?
Depending on your situation, you can use the Turn2us, Entitledto and Policy in Practice benefit calculators to check which benefits you can get.
You’ll need information about savings, income, pension, childcare payments and any existing benefits (for you and your partner).
If you’re under 18, only the Policy in Practice calculator will work for you.
None of the calculators will give you an accurate and detailed calculation if you’re:
- a student
- not a British or Irish citizen
- on strike
- living outside the UK
- living permanently in residential care or a nursing home
- a prisoner
How can I manage my budget?
StepChange has compiled a webpage of top money management tips, to help you stay in control of your finances. You can find it here: https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/manage-your-budget.aspx
The Citizens Advice Bureau has a budgeting tool which allows you to see exactly where your money goes each month.
Where can I get help with bills?
If you’re trying to cut your spending or are having trouble keeping up with payments, see the Citizens Advice Bureau’s advice on getting help with bills.
Need further advice on benefits entitlement, budgeting or managing debt?
If you are a participant of one of Clackmannanshire Council employability programmes (e.g. Fair Start Scotland), you may be entitled to advice from the Welfare Rights Money Advice Service on how to better manage your money and removing financial barriers to participation in the labour market. Call on 01259 219404 on Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 15:00.
If you live in the Perth and Kinross Council area, you can refer yourself (or someone else) to the Welfare Rights Team via this online form. The Welfare Rights Team at Perth and Kinross Council aims to ensure that the residents of Perth and Kinross are not missing out on their entitlement to benefits and other related help by providing a free, confidential and impartial benefits advice, information and appeal representation service. You can phone the Welfare Rights Advice Line on 01738 476900 (option 1).