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 accesible for screen readers.

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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.

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.

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

Benefits and support

0300 1234 121 (chose option 2)

Free school meals

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

Find out about free school meals

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

Get free advice from Citizens Advice

Benefits - Citizens Advice website

Government advice

Guidance on finding work, claiming benefits, managing debts and pensions if you’re being made redundant.

.Gov.uk website

People & Skill Hub

Find help with redundancy, work and skills

People Hub website

I have debt

  • Rent or Council Tax arrears
  • Gas or electricity
  • Credit or store cards
  • Personal loans and overdrafts
  • Owe friends and family
  • Benefit repayments

Some options to consider

Talk to us and arrange a payment plan

Sort your Council tax arrears

If you are unable to pay your rent, for any reason you should:

  • Contact your Rent Management Officer Immediately on 0300 1234 161
  • If you think you might be entitled to housing benefit, contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 121 to make an application 
  • Keep your Rent Management Officer up to date with information about your housing benefit claim and financial circumstances

Gas and electricity bills

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills you can find advice from Citizens Advice website

Gas and electric bill advice

Broadband bills

Find information from Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis

Money Saving Expert website

Debt Advice

Debt can happen to anyone. Free advice and support can help you find ways to manage your debts and reduce how much you pay each month.

Christians Against Poverty

Debt counselling charity with a number of centres in Cornwall

0800 328 0006 (freephone)

Christians Against Poverty website

Citizens Advice 

Debt and Money - Citizens Advice website

Family and Information Service

Find support with childcare, parenting, money matters and more

Family Information Service website

Government website

Gov.uk advice on options for paying off your debt

Moneyhelper website

If you’re struggling with money, you can talk to a specialist online or by phone, who will be able to help you start sorting out your financial problems. 

Help if you are struggling with debt

Step Change

StepChange provides free and confidential counselling on debt problems – including personal budgeting and credit advice.

Telephone: 0800 1381 111 from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm on weekdays

Step Change website


Information and financial support to help people get back on track

Turn2us website

Council Support Schemes

People on low incomes may be able to get housing benefit and council tax support from the council.
This will depend on your current circumstances and you can find out more at:

Benefits and support

Benefit Advance

If you have made a new claim for benefit and are in financial hardship while you wait for your first payment, you may be able to get an advance to afford things like rent or food.

It’s important to get advice before taking out an advance. Benefit advances must be paid back, and the money will be taken from your future benefit payments (a loan).

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

Benefits and support

0300 1234 121 (chose option 2)

Find out if you are eligible for a crisis award, if you face a sudden change

Crisis awards

Hardship Payment

If you have been sanctioned, you may be able to request a hardship payment from the Jobcentre.

Hardship payments are not always paid immediately, and they’re not available to everyone.

Hardship payments of Universal Credit need to be paid back (a loan), but hardship payments of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance do not (not a loan).

Find information about this on the Citizens Advice website

Hardship payment information

Challenge a Decision

You can challenge a benefit decision if your benefit has been;

  • stopped
  • sanctioned
  • reduced
  • refused
  • or you have been overpaid

most benefit decisions need to be challenged within one month.

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