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Cost of living support and advice

First, make sure you are getting all the help you can. Some people think that because they are getting a wage they are not entitled to support.

Use a benefits checker to see if there’s anything you could be entitled to.

New style benefits

If you have been working and paying National Insurance, and then stop working due to ill health or unemployment, you might be eligible for support even if you have savings, or your partner is working.

Help with prescriptions charges

Check whether you could get help with prescription costs

If you have been prescribed certain types of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) you could be eligible to get a year’s worth of HRT for the price of 2 prescription charges. Read more a out the scheme

Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is a payment you can get when you take time off work to have a baby.

You could get it if you are employed or self employed, have recently stopped working or you do unpaid work for the business of your spouse or civil partner.

Reduce your tax bill

Marriage Allowance – If you’re married or in a civil partnership you can transfer some of your personal tax allowance to your partner if you do not pay income tax.

You can claim tax relief on work-related expenses.

Check that you are getting the right wage

If you’re employed, you can use this calculator to check if you’re getting the minimum wage.

Worried about mortgage repayments?

Free, specialist debt advice

If you are finding it hard to repay credit cards, loans or other debts, get free, confidential and impartial advice to find the right solution for you to get out of debt.  Advice is available in person or online.

Social tariffs for utility companies

A social tariff is a targeted discount energy deal for qualifying low-income customers. Speak to your energy provider or utility company to find out if they can help.

Portsmouth Water’s Helping Hand tariff is for customers who have a low household income or are in receipt of certain benefits. If your application is successful, then your water bill will be capped at a minimum charge. On 1 July 2023 the household income limit will be raised to £21.000 from £17,005. Find out more.

Help to reduce your energy bills

 Other things that could help

Cheap gym memberships – Being a member of a gym can be pretty expensive and many of us join the gym but don’t go very often. Find out how you can get a cheap gym membership and find alternative ways to keep fit

Supplement your food shop by joining a local food larder or pantry – Buy groceries and essentials for a low price to supplement your weekly shop.  Membership is open to anyone living in the local area.

Foodbanks and Community meals – You don’t need to be receiving benefits to be referred to a foodbank if you can’t afford to buy food, or you can visit any of the community meals in the city that are all open to anyone.