Help with money worries
The rising cost of living is impacting on household incomes. Help and support is available if you are finding it difficult to manage your money. Use this collated information and the related pages to help you manage your finances.
Maximising your income
If you are struggling to pay your rent, you may be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments if the Housing Benefit or Universal Credits you receive does not cover your full rent.
If you have a mortgage and you would like to request a mortgage hoiliday, visit the Money Advice Service website.
Universal Credit is being rolled out across the country and has replaced claims for the following means-test ‘legacy’ benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseek’s Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Visit the government's website for more information.
Citizens Advice offer a Help to Claim service to support you with the early stages of your claim. Their advisers can help you work out if you can get UC, help you complete an application and check that your first payment is correct.
You can use a benefit calculator to work out what benefits you are entitled to. You can also use them to work out how moving into work or moving jobs could affect your income and benefits.
If your household income is squeezed, Moneyhelper's guide will tell you how to claim any benefits you’re entitled to, find extra sources of income and understand the support available to help you manage household bills and save money.
You may be entitled to free school meals if you are entitled to benefits including Universal Credit and Tax Credits. Eligibility for free school meals may also attract other benefits such as, discounted or free school trips.
Housing financial support
- Crawley Open House provides welfare benefit, debt management and budgeting advice for homeless households
- Giving Back Crawley provides free meals and support to those living in temporary accommodation, street homeless or sofa surfing
Employ Crawley can help you find a job, move jobs to increase your income and offer you advice about childcare.
Managing money and debts
There are a number of online tools to help you prepare and manage a budget as well as offering advice on how to address debts. You can also access face to face or telephone support from some providers and there are some specialist agencies who can help too.
If you are worried about debts or have missed payments, the government's MoneyHelper website offers free independent advice.
Free and impartial money advice, set up by the government to provide:
- Online budget planner
- Money mangement tools
- Benefits and pension advice
Mental Health and Money Advice provides support for people experiencing issues with mental health and money.
Crawley Citizens Advice provides support with benefits, money, debts, employment, paying bills and more. Face to face and telephone advice available.
Turn2us offers advice and support with money and debts.
National Debtline is a charity who give free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.
Home-Start provides support to families who need help with a variety of challenges including money issues.
Crawley Open House provides welfare benefit, debt management and budgeting advice.
The MoneySavingExpert budget guide gives you some helpful tips and tricks and includes a free budget planner, which analyses your finances to help you manage and control your cash.
Macmillan Cancer Support provides specific money advice and support for residents who are diagnosed with cancer.
The RBL's BDMA service provides free, confidential advice about benefits that you may be entitled to, assistance in making an appeal against a benefit decision and comprehensive advice for those in unmanageable debt - available to residents who are serving, or have served in the Armed Forces including dependants and carers.
Loans and savings
Taking out a loan to help you manage everyday income and expenditure is not advisable and you should seek help to put together a budget
- If you need to get a loan to help pay for a one off expense, such as replacing a household appliance that has broken down, then consider whether you can afford this by preparing a budget (See managing money and debts section above).
- Avoid using Payday lenders as the interest rates are disproportionate and the repayment rates are high
- Never use a loan shark, these are illegal lenders who charge very high interest rates and can use immorale methods to recover loan payments
- If you are considering taking a loan out and can afford to do so, shop around for the best rate
- If you are claiming benefits you might be entitled to a budgeting loan or Universal Credit advance payment, talk to the DWP if this applies to you.
You could also consider a loan from Boom Community Bank who will help to support you to set up a savings account at the same time as taking out a loan.
Managing the rising cost of energy bills is a real worry for many households. Advice, support and online tools are available, ranging from how to reduce energy bills to how to access social tariffs. Visit our home energy page for more information.
The government recently announced a support scheme to help people with their energy bills.
From April, households in the Council Tax bands A to D (and some in band E) will receive a one-off payment of £150 to help with energy bills. Only one payment can be made to each eligible property. Visit our energy bill rebate page for more information.
You could get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
Complete an application form to request assistance with utility bills. Available until September 2022
Use the Energy Monitor tool for an easy way to stay on top of your bills. Consider switching providers to obtain a better tariff.
If you’re worried about not being able to keep up to date with payments or you already have arrears on your energy bills, visit StepChange's webiste for support.
Smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you’re using via a remote connection to your energy supplier. They come with an in-home display screen to help you visualise your energy usage and support you to reduce your energy consumption. Visit Energy Saving Trust's website for more information.
Social tariffs and energy trusts are unique to your supplier, if you are struggling to pay bills or have utility debts contact your provider.
If you're struggling to pay your water bill, you may be entitled to help.
Customers may be eligible for multiple financial support schemes, depending on their circumstances. Visit their website to see if you meet the criteria.
Support with food and managing food bills
With pressure on household incomes some families may have less money available to spend on food or may be in crisis and have no money left for essentials. Whatever your situation, there are a number of local options.
Access to food
Crawley Foodbank Partnership provides urgent help with food.
The Community Hub provides urgent and non-urgent help with food.
The Love Your Neighbour Project can help with:
- Food bank parcel (subject to eligibility)
- A regular phone call
- Vital errands or other specific needs such as, shopping, prescription collection and delivery
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops.
You can use your card to buy:
- Plain liquid cow’s milk
- Fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
- Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
- Infant formula milk based on cow’s milk
Giving Back Crawley is a homeless charity and provides free meals and support to those living in temporary accommodation, street homeless or sofa surfing.
Complete an application form to request assistance with food bills.
FreeShop Crawley provides food, toiletries and baby essentials without any associated costs.
The Salvation Army provides help for Crawley residents, including help with food supplies.
These are cafes where you can access either a free hot meal or donate whatever you can afford towards a meal and are usually run by local churches or community groups.
The Cornerstone cafe at St Andrew’s Church Furnace Green is open from 10am to 4pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during school term times.
The Cafe in the Park is open from 8.30am Monday to Saturday and 9.30am on Sunday.
Coffee mornings takes place from 10am to 12pm on Thursdays at the Community Cafe.
The cafe is open from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Mondays at Broadfield Community Centre.
Elim Church's Hot Meals service offers hot meals to families or indivduals who are struggling financially. Christians Against Poverty are also present and can provide budgeting and debt advice. You will need to be referred to access this service and we can help you with this.
Options for saving money on your food bills
Maggy’s Discounted Food is a discounted food wholesalers open to the public.
The OLIO app helps to connect neighbours to reduce food waste by sharing food in communities.
The Too Good To Go app provides access to discounted food from high street shops, cafes and restaurants.
Other household bills
Visit the government's website for help with the cost of transport.
Some providers offer bespoke broadband and telephone deals known as social tariffs. These are set at much lower prices and reserved for customers in receipt of financial support such as Universal Credit. For more information visit Ofcom's website.
Health and wellbeing support
It is known that money worries can have an impact on our health, particularly mental wellbeing. We encourage you to get support, with there being range of help available in Crawley.
Online apps can also be helpful but if you 're in urgent need of help you should seek support from your GP or via NHS direct on 111 or 999 if it is an emergency.
The Crawley Wellbeing service is provided jointly by Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council. Telephone and face-to-face support is available.
Age UK Crawley provides help ad support for older residents.
- Support for families and children
- Toy libraries
- Holiday activities
- Food programmes
If you’re struggling with your mental health and need support outside normal working hours, Staying Well, Crawley is here for you. Get help and advice from professionals in a safe, relaxed and friendly environment.
The Stay Alive app is a suicide prevention resource, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
Carers Support offers:
- Access to relaxation therapies
- Carer Wellbeing fund
- Support groups
- Carer Response Line
Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old, who look after a member of the family who is sick, disabled, has mental health problems or is misusing drugs or alcohol. Visit West Sussex County Council's website for more information.