How to find support in the cost of living crisis

Key in front door with a house keyring.
Claire Wong

Digital Content Producer

Do you know what help’s available to you in the rising cost of living? 

If you’re watching your bills and weekly shop go up in cost and worrying about how to find support in the cost of living crisis, you’re not alone. Right now, the majority of us are being affected by price increases, and that can mean it’s harder to pay the bills or stay out of debt.* If that’s you, do you know what help is available?

At Christians Against Poverty, we have 25 years’ experience helping people escape the weight of debt and financial crisis. And we want everyone to be equipped to access all the support they need.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to some of the free services you can use. So here are six ideas to help you find support in the cost of living crisis.

1. Check what benefits you’re entitled to

Whether you’re already getting benefits or just wondering if you might qualify for them, you can use a free calculator to check that you’re receiving everything you should be. Use a benefits calculator to find out what benefits you’re eligible for.

2. Get help paying your utility bills

There are grants available to help with energy and water bills for some customers so it’s definitely worth checking if you could apply for one of these.

Find out more about grants at Turn2Us.

3. Find budgeting help

If you’d like help with setting up a budget as well as other useful advice on managing your household finances, why not try our local money coaching workshops? Our free courses are designed to help you get on top of your money, feel confident about budgeting, and even start to save for the future.

4. You might be able to get a grant from the Household Support Fund

If you live in England or Wales, the Household Support Fund allows local councils to offer small grants to vulnerable households who need support with things like paying for utilities, clothes and food. Some councils will directly contact anyone who qualifies, while others will ask you to apply to them, so have a look at your council’s website to see what their process is.

If you’re based in Scotland, the Scottish Welfare Fund is worth checking to see if you’re eligible for support. And for NI, have a look at the Discretionary Support Fund for local help.

5. Check if you can pay less Council Tax

It’s worth finding out if you might be paying more Council Tax than you need to. There are reductions available for people on low incomes, and if you’re the only adult in your house then your bill can reduce by 25%. Citizens Advice provides a full list of when you can pay less for you Council Tax.

You can check your eligibility for Council Tax support through using our benefits calculator.

6. Access your local foodbank

It’s a difficult time for everyone at the minute, inflation is soaring and food prices are rocketing. You might find yourself needing to access your local foodbank to bridge the gap between paydays.

Read our guide to accessing your local foodbank and the process should be as easy and stress free as possible.

7. You may be eligible for the Government’s Cost of Living Payment

The Cost of Living Payment is extra funds provided by the UK Government to help support those living on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits. Find out if you’re eligible for the Cost of Living Payment.

8. Find free Debt Help

More people are getting into debt because of their energy bills this year than before.** Christians Against Poverty offers face-to-face debt help through our debt centres around the UK. We won’t ever judge you, and our award-winning service is completely free of charge. If the rising cost of living has tipped you into unmanageable debt, use our postcode search to find your nearest CAP Debt Centre or give us a call on 0800 328 0006.

Find your local CAP Debt Help

Whatever you do, if you’re worried about the rising cost of living, please don’t struggle alone. Contact one of the organisations above for help, or browse our range of free services to find the support that’s right for you.

*The Office for National Statistics has published statistics on the higher cost of living and its impact on individuals in Great Britain: November 2021 to April 2022

**Money Advice Trust: National Debtline service found the proportion of callers with energy debt significantly higher so far this year compared to 2021 (32% in 2022, up from 23% in 2021).