Cost of living support and advice

It’s important to make sure you are claiming all the benefits you can and accessing government funding. Even if you do not receive benefits, or you are already getting benefits like Universal Credit or Pension Credit, there may be extra money you can get. This page will help you make sure you’re getting the right benefits and payments.

Benefit calculators

Online benefits calculators can help you understand what you might be eligible for:

The Citizens Advice website has information about all the different benefits all in one place and benefit calculators so you can check you’re getting what you’re entitled to.

Help paying your council tax and rent

You might be able to get a reduction of your council tax or help to pay your rent.

See if you’re eligible and apply:

If you pay rent to live in your home and have a low income, you may be able to get help by claiming housing benefit:

Cost of living payments

Guidance on government help with the cost of living if you’re entitled to certain benefits or tax credits.

Help with childcare costs

Everything from nursery provision and child minders to school uniform and free school meals. Find out what support is available for parents and caregivers

Childcare support if you get Universal Credit – From 28 June, the maximum amounts you can get towards childcare costs with Universal Credit have increased to £950.92 a month for one child and £1630.15 a month for two or more children. If you are starting work, you may be able to get help with your first month’s childcare costs through the Flexible Support Fund, and you can now claim that money back in your next Universal Credit payment, to help pay for your childcare costs for the next month. Visit to see what help you could get with childcare costs.

Pension credit

Are you over state pension age? Do you know someone who is?

The government estimates that up to 1 million pensioner households may be entitled to Pension Credit, but don’t claim it. Some pensioners think because they’ve got savings or own their home they would not get any Pension Credit. You might also be able to get support with other living costs such as council tax, heating bills or your TV licence.

No recourse to public funds?

If you have no recourse to public funds, (this might be because you are in the UK on a study visa or you are seeking refuge) you won’t be able to claim benefits.