Advice and support with money
Benefits, money and debt advice
Cost of Living Support Campaign
Find out about the many different government schemes that are available to help with the cost of living.
Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund (HSF) has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food and household energy bills. You can apply for the HSF by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, although the support is administered by Cambridgeshire County Council.
You are eligible to receive support if:
- You have not received support from the Fund in the past 3 months
- You live in Cambridgeshire
- You have £16,000 or less in money, savings, and investments
- You have income levels less than identified in the tables below
If you are paid monthly, the figures are before any tax due, though you should include all sources of income (benefits, pensions, investments etc).
|Gross annual income||No children||1 child||2 children||3 or more children|
If you are paid weekly, the figures below relate to the amount you receive each week after any changes made by the tax and benefits system.
|Net income per week||No children||1 child||2 children||3 or more children|
To apply, please fill in the application form. If you have any difficulties with this, please email email@example.com and include your phone number in your email so we can complete the application with you. For more information on this scheme, please visit the household support fund page.
Council Tax and Benefits
- Our benefits calculator will help you check your eligibility to benefits. These benefits could include: Universal Credit, Disability and Carers' benefits, Pension credit, and Working from Home Allowance.
- If you are on a low income and struggling to meet Council Tax payments, you may be eligible for Council Tax support.
- If you are already claiming certain benefits, you may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment, which can provide further financial help.
- You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for 6 months. You will have to pay back the amount you borrow (repayments are taken automatically from your benefits).
- If you’re on Universal Credit you may be eligible for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card for up to 50% off.
Income and budgeting
- You can check the National Minimum Wage calculator to see if you’re being paid the right amount. If you believe you are not being paid the right amount, or your deductions are incorrect, you can seek support from Citizens Advice to correct this.
- Our Welfare and Money Maximisation Officer supports people in crisis or distress. They can signpost help on the best deals, and offer advice on grants. You can contact them by completing a Financial support referral form
- The cost of living survival guide (including saving money and budgeting tips) is available from MoneySavingExpert.com (founded by Martin Lewis CBE).
- To help you to sort your bills/payments into the right order and advise on what you need to do if you’re struggling to pay (before you miss a payment) you can use the Government bill prioritiser tool.
- You can visit the government’s MoneyHelper website for help living on a restricted income.
- The government also have a Money Navigator Tool, that will help you work out what issues to deal with first and ways of staying on top of your bills.
Help for parents and families
- Visit the Government’s childcare webpage for information on tax-free childcare, Child Benefit and a one-off payment of £500 to help with maternity costs.
- The highly successful holiday voucher scheme currently operating in Cambridgeshire has been extended until the end of March 2024.
- The Cambridgeshire Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme offers holiday scheme places for free during the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays, to eligible children.
- Regular food and milk vouchers can be provided by Healthy Start to help buy fruit, vegetables and milk for those who are pregnant or have a child under four.
- If you are in receipt of certain benefits, your child may be entitled to free school meals. This scheme is available for school-age children and to post-16 students at a school with a sixth form or college.
- Secondary school children who are entitled to free school meals might also qualify for help with school transport costs.
- Kids eat free in Morrisons cafes all day, everyday, when an adult meal is bought for £4.99 or over.
- You could save up to a third on train journeys with a railcard.
- Try local free or recycling websites to purchase low cost items. Some examples in Cambridge include: