Our financial advice is supported by Pivotal Financial Planning.
We have supplied some financial resources for the benefit of our community. There is financial support, benefits and grants available which you may be applicable for. This information is intended to help guide you towards grants and benefits which you may be entitled to. It also aims to help provide guidance should you encounter any financial difficulties.
One form of financial support you may wish to consider is a grant to adapt your property. A grant can provide funding to adapt your property, should it be beneficial to you.
- Scotland: There are grants in Scotland for housing adaptions. You can read more information here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/access/adaptations
- England, Wales & Northern Ireland: You could be eligible for the Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. You can read more information here: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/housing-grants
If you do decide to adapt your property then it could increase the banding of your property’s council tax. You can apply to reduce your council tax bill if this happens via the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme https://www.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-for-disabled-people
Government Financial Support
There may be some Government support that you can claim to help you with your financial requirements. These include:
• Universal credit
This benefit is currently being rolled out to take over from existing benefits (Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit)
• Income Support
If you work part time and/ or earn a low income then you may be suitable for Income Support which is a top up on your salary. You must work less than 16 hours a week, aged between 16 and pension credit age, have no or a low income and have less than £16,000 in savings.
• Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
Personal independence payments are in the process of taking over from disability living allowance as DLA is phased out.
If you are aged 16-64, have lived in England, Wales or Scotland for two of the last three years and struggle with mobility then you could qualify for extra financial support under PIP. You can apply for PIP if you are working or unemployed.
• Attendance Allowance
If you’re 65 or over and have a physical or mental disability then you could claim for the attendance allowance, which is £55.65 to £83.10 p/w.
• Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If your disability impacts on your ability to work then you could apply for employment support allowance, regardless if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed. You must not be in receipt of state pension, jobseekers allowance or statutory sick or maternity pay.
To determine which support you may be suitable for you can look at the Government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits or EntitledTo has an excellent calculator which could help: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/
Mortgage / Rent:
Your mortgage or rent is a priority payment to help maintain ownership of your property. If you own your property and have a mortgage then you could ask your mortgage lender for a payment holiday. You could also reduce your mortgage payments to interest only for a period of time to make the payments more affordable.
If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments then you could apply for help to pay your mortgage interest. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) and you can apply for it if you meet the criteria here: https://www.gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest
For rental properties, if you’re not working or are earning a low income, then you could apply for housing benefit. This would help pay a proportion, if not all, of your rental costs each month. If you’re solely applying for housing benefit then you can do this through your local council. However, if you’re applying for other benefits also then you should contact Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.
Other Financial Services:
Life insurance: Life insurance is an important policy for everyone. It ensures that outstanding mortgages or other costs are covered for the benefit of family members.
Income protection: You may wish to consider income protection if you are in employment. This means that your salary will be protected for a period of time should you be unable to return to work in the future.
Unsecured Debt Problems
If you have problems paying back money you borrowed and find that your debts are increasing, then there is advice and support available.
In the first instance you should speak to each creditor and make them aware of your circumstances. Your creditors may be able to set an affordable payment plan, freeze interest and / or pause any charges.
Charities can give you guidance and support to understand what options you have, including:
Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Citizen’s Advice Bureau: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Debt Support Trust: http://www.debtsupporttrust.org.uk
These useful websites could help provide you with more information about the financial support you could be eligible for: