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I am worried about money

We have worked with the Independent Food Aid Network, Transformation Cornwall, the Trussell Trust and other partners to provide information for anyone experiencing financial hardship.

Please see the information below which can help you find the support you could be entitled to.

You can also download this information as leaflet

Download the Cornwall ‘Worrying About Money?’ leaflet


Use the interactive version which takes you through 3 steps. Please note this may not be accessible for screen readers.

View interactive version

I suddenly have no money

  • Lost job/reduced hours
  • Lost money/unexpected expense
  • Disaster (e.g. flood or fire)
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Money stopped (e.g. failed a medical)

Some options to consider

I am waiting on a benefit payment/decision

  • I made a new claim for benefit
  • or my benefit payment is delayed
  • I'm waiting for a benefit decision

Some options to consider

My money doesn’t stretch far enough

  • Deciding between food/fuel/mobile credit
  • Low income or zero/low hours contract
  • Statutory Sick Pay too low to cover costs
  • Facing redundancy
  • Not sure if eligible for support
  • Change of circumstance (e.g. new baby/bereavement/illness/left partner)

Consider maximising your income

Anyone who is struggling financially can get a benefit check and speak to an adviser 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.

There’s no limit to how many hours you can work. Your Universal Credit does not stop if you work more than 16 hours a week.

Use a benefits calculator to see how increasing your hours or starting a new job could affect what you get.

Government benefit calculators

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 charitable grants or free school meals.

Benefits and budget tool

  • There have been a series of announcements from the government regarding support with energy bills
  • extra support for people with disabilities
  • Cost of Living payments and more

The information about all these, and any new help that is announced, or changes to existing help, is on the government’s Help for Households hub.

There is also information about help with

  • transport costs
  • childcare payments
  • finding work
  • and energy-saving tips

Help for Households website

Support for additional housing costs

You may be able to get support for additional housing costs if you're already claiming Housing Benefit.

Council support schemes for housing

Get help with interest payments on mortgages or loans

If you’re a homeowner on qualifying benefits, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.
Check if you're eligible for Support for Mortgage Interest

95% mortgages for homes up to £600,000

You may be eligible to borrow up to 95% of the cost of a property worth up to £600,000 thanks to the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Contact mortgage providers to see if you're eligible

Individual support


Extra money available for carers

You could get £69.70 a week if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and the person you care for gets certain benefits. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.
Check if you're eligible for the Carer's Allowance

Pension Credit for those on low income

You could get extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income, even if you have savings or own your own home.
Check if you're eligible for Pension Credit

Find out about what benefits or short-term grants you may be eligible for;

Benefits and support

0300 1234 121 (chose option 2)

Cost of Living Payments

Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £650 this year.

This will be made automatically in two instalments, one in summer and another in the autumn.
Check if you're eligible for the Cost of Living Payment

Older people

For older people, claiming Pensions Credit, if you are entitled to it, is important.

It opens the door to a lot of other help.

The National Age UK website has specific advice for older people, including advice on energy bills.

Age UK Energy advice 

Disability Cost of Living Payment

Individuals on disability benefits will receive a one-off £150 payment in September to help with extra costs, such as for specialist equipment or transport.

This is in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits.
Check if you're eligible for the Disability Cost of Living Payment

Benefits for autistic adults

Some benefits are paid to meet basic living costs, some are paid for specific expenses such as rent, other benefits are paid if you meet certain criteria such as being in full-time work.

Find out more from the 

Cost of living advice for people with learning disabilities

Find support from Learning Disability England

Learning Disability England website

Or the Mencap website

Cost of living support on the Mencap website

Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills.

This winter, they will also receive an extra £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment per household, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
Check if you're eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment

Check if you're eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme

Support for families

Free school meals

Find out if you are eligible and how to make an application.

Find out about free school mealsCornwall Council has received funding from the Government’s Household Support Fund to help families with the increased cost of living. The money will support households in the most need against rising living costs, including:

  • energy
  • food
  • and water bills

We will be making targeted cost-of-living payments to low-income families who meet the benefits-related Free School Meals eligibility criteria. This will be £80 per child in Reception through to Year 11. We hope that a cash payment will allow families to use this support in the way that best meets their needs.

Help with childcare costs

You may be eligible for funding to help with your child care costs.  Funding is available for 2 to 4 year olds if you meet the eligibility criteria.  Find out about the various funding options and whether your child is eligible.

Childcare and funding

Claim Healthy Start vouchers

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
Check if you're eligible for Healthy Start

Holiday activities and food programme

The Time2Move Holiday Programme will offer fun physical activities, games and wider activities plus a meal for all children.

The next round of activities will be taking place over the summer holidays in 2023.

All children aged 5 to 16 are welcome to attend and it is completely free for children that are eligible for benefits-related Free School Meals. 

The activities are all delivered by approved providers with the main focus on fun and enjoyment. 

Find out more about Time2Move

Get help with maternity costs

You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.
Check if you're eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant

Help with transport costs

Save a third on rail journeys

You can get up to a third off train fares with a railcard in Great Britain, saving up to £142 a year on average.
Save one third on rail journeys with a railcard

50% off travel if you're on Universal Credit

You may be eligible for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card if you're on Universal Credit.
Find out more information on the National Rail website

Bus passes

In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the State Pension age.
Apply for an older person's bus passIf you’re disabled then you may be eligible for a disabled person’s pass if you live in England.
Apply for a disabled person's bus pass


You may be able to get free NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and help with other NHS costs.

Use the NHS tool to see what help you could get

Get help looking for jobs

You can search and apply for jobs across a range of industries across the UK through our Find a job website.
Search and apply for jobs

Personalised job support

You can get personalised support, tips and advice to find your next opportunity through JobHelp.
Get support, training and advice on finding your next job

Extra support for working families

The Flexible Support Fund is available to those on Universal Credit and can help pay for things you need to get into work and progress your career, such as initial childcare costs, training, uniforms and work tools.

Speak to your work coach

Get free advice from Citizens Advice

Benefits - Citizens Advice website


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