Benefits, debt and money advice
Guidance to support you
Take a look at the information below to find out about any benefits you maybe entitled to, advice around handling your finances, handling debt, borrowing money and where you an get independent financial advise.
Benefits and allowances
It's often difficult to know what, if any, benefits you're entitled to. The Money Advice Service has a list of all the different types of benefits to help you to find out if you could be claiming something. There is also advice on what to do if your benefit changes and where to go to get help and advice about benefits.
Money Advice Service - Benefits
The Department of Work and Pensions can also help you check if you qualify for certain benefits. It can also give you an idea of how much you may be able to get.
Managing your money through a budget is a good way to make sure you don't go in to debt, and make your pounds go further. Put simply, a budget helps you see how much money you have coming in and how much you have to spend. The Money Advice Service has lots of advice and budget templates to help you draw up a budget that works for you.
Debt and borrowing money
It's easy to feel overwhelmed if you know you're struggling financially. There are lots of borrowing websites available now but you must be careful and make sure short-term loans don't cause you more money problems in the long run.
The Money Advice Service has lots of information and advice around debt and borrowing money, including where to find free debt advisors to help you get back in control of your money.
Money Advice Service - Debt and borrowing
Citizens Advice support individuals by providing knowledge and confidence to move forward with problems they may be experiencing.
Two Pennies Money Advice offer local money advice for individuals having problems with debt in Worcestershire.
Phone: 01905 27001
Be aware of loan sharks! A loan shark is someone who lends cash as an unauthorised business. It’s not always easy to spot a loan shark as they come in all shapes and sizes and will at first appear friendly, just part of the community.
It is when you can’t pay that they will turn on you. Stop loan sharks
Independent financial advice
It can be worth talking about your finances with independent advisers to be sure that you are getting the most from your money.
It is also important that any advice you receive on money matters is impartial and puts your needs and interests first.
A lot of information and advice is available free, however if you are requiring regulated financial advice or needing the services of a legal person, like a solicitor, there may be a charge for these services.
The organisation or individual you contact should tell you what charges, if any, apply.
Who can help to advise you?
The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)
A database of accredited private financial advisers who specialise in giving advice on finances in later life, enabling you to plan ahead or to make the most of your money once you reach retirement and older age. Visit the Society of Later Life Advisers
Money Advice Service
An independent service, set up by government to help people manage their money by giving free and impartial advice on all money matters. Visit the Money Advice Service
Pensions Advisory Service
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is here to give people professional, independent and impartial help with their pensions for free. Visit the Pensions Advisory Service
Millions of workers are being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by their employer. Once you're enrolled, not only will you pay into it but so will your boss and the government. Visit the Workplace Pensions website.
Information from the government on all issues relating to occupational and private pensions. Visit Pension Wise
Worcestershire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Free and impartial advice on welfare benefits and debt visit Worcestershire Citizen Advice Bureau
The national Age UK website offers advice to older people on all kinds of money matters.
Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire to ask for more personal advice.
Which? Elderly Care
The consumer organisation Which? has an elderly care website giving free, independent and practical advice for older people and their carers across the UK. Visit the Which? Elderly Care website.
Financial advise for carers
As a carer there may be a number of benefits which you could be entitled to help you with any costs you may incur. In addition to this, the person you are caring for may also be entitled to benefits.
Your local Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and professional advice, including a benefits checking service.
The Carers UK benefits calculator can also help you find out about benefits and entitlements.
Further information can be found at support for adult carers
Carers Allowance is the main benefit for carers and is for people providing at least 35 hours of care each week. Although a low amount, it can help make a difference to your finances.
You can also read more on Carers UK website or read their Carers Allowance Factsheet.
And more details on the Government website.
The Department for Works and Pensions offer disability-related financial support that you may be able to claim if you are in receipt of care or have long-term ill health or a disability.
These benefits are not means tested and are awarded based on your needs and disability.
If you are residing in a care home, you will only be able to claim for disability-related financial support if you are paying for the full costs of your placement.
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a tax-free benefit for people aged 16 or over who have not reached State Pension age. It can help with the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or a disability.
Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people who are State Pension age or over, have a disability and need someone to help look after them.
Financial help if you're disabled: Disability and sickness benefits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)