England is now subject to National lockdown: Stay at Home restrictions. You must stay at home.
Do you have money worries or want to make the most of your money but aren’t sure where to go for advice and support? We can help. There is plenty of free, confidential and local advice available to help you:
Advice Portsmouth, supported by Portsmouth City Council, can help you if you are not sure what to do. It is for anyone who lives or works in Portsmouth. It offers free, confidential and local advice on bills, benefits, debt, housing and employment issues. Call 023 9279 4340, text 07789 550593 or email email@example.com.
A change in your household or your work situation are just two reasons why you may be missing out on benefits support you’re entitled to. Universal Credit and other payments, such as Council Tax Support, are designed to help you when you need them most.
Don’t be put off if you’re unsure how to apply or are confused about the changes to Universal Credit. Help is on hand to check what you could be entitled to and make sure you know how to apply. If you want to find out more:
If you are a city council tenant, you can get advice on claiming benefits from your housing officer
If you’re struggling with unmanageable debt, you’re not alone. You might feel like you don’t want to talk about it, but getting help to manage your debts can make you feel a lot better, and let you take back control of your finances. So the sooner you seek support, the better.
You don’t need to pay for debt advice. Don’t borrow more money if you’re struggling to pay your debts; instead, get free advice and get back on track.
A debt adviser will:
Tips for getting on top of debt:
Make sure your plan to clear your debts is realistic and one that you can stick to. The Money Advice Service has lots of information and tips to help you regain control of your debts.
Make sure you’re not paying more than you need to on bill and everyday costs, like gas, electricity and everyday essentials:
Private sector tenants and homeowners
If your landlord is not doing enough to maintain your home, or if you own your own home but cannot afford to bring it up to a decent standard – contact the Private Sector Housing Team for help and advice.
Electric heaters can be loaned for short term emergencies, these are expensive for households to run so should only be used in an emergency. Phone 023 9268 8369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help for council tenants
If you’re struggling to keep your home warm, or to meet the cost of your energy bills, contact your local housing office. They can check whether any improvements are needed in your home, and give you advice about your bills.
Housing association tenants
Contact your housing association customer service team and ask about help to make your home more energy efficient.
Priority Services Register
let your energy company know, and ask to be added to their free Priority Services Register.
you should also be eligible for a free annual gas safety check. Contact your gas supplier to request one.
Warm Home Discount
This is a one-off payment of £140, made each winter, towards your electricity bill or meter. Find out on the Gov.Uk website if your electricity supplier is part of the scheme, and if so, whether you will receive this automatically, or if you are eligible to apply for it. If you need to apply, do it as soon as possible, as there is a limited amount of funds available.
Do you know how much all of your outgoings come to each week, and how much you have left to spend?
Write down or use the Money Advice Service’s online budget planner to record every penny you spend in a month, including all your bills, like rent or mortgage, council tax, gas and electric, as well as all your shopping for food, toiletries clothes etc.
Then, write down all the money you have coming in, including wages, benefits, pensions etc. When you compare the two, do you have enough money coming in to match what is going out? If not, don’t panic – here’s what you might be able to do:
Set a savings goal so you have a safety net for emergencies.