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Money Worries / Cost of Living Crisis

Commonly known as: financial problems, debt, arrears, benefits, income, help with the cost of living crisis

Money Worries / Cost of Living Crisis

Explore money worries / cost of living crisis by scrolling through the page or simply select an option from the drop down if you wish to jump to the relevant section of the page:

How might money issues affect your mental health?

Money and mental health are often linked.  Worrying about money can affect your mental health and poor mental health can make managing your money difficult.

Worrying about money may lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, anger.

 

The impact of the rising cost of living

Rising rents/interest rates, energy, fuel bills and food prices are being felt by most of us.  Many people are struggling to meet their basic living needs.  If you are struggling to makes ends meet, you might be able to get help from the government or your local council to help you with essentials.  See below for information.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s website also has a webpage dedicated to information on advice on support available.  You can find the link here: Support With the Cost of Living – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (nhs.wales)  It includes  general and more local information and advice on support available.   As well as advice  on staying well, eating well and food crisis support available, it also has information on getting help with bills, debts and benefits.

If you are experiencing stress because of the increased cost of living, this can have an impact on your mental health and wellbeing. If financial worries are affecting your mental health, see our self-help resources and courses sections below.  It includes details of a free online course to help you manage the practical and emotional issues around money worries.

 

Information and advice

 

Check if you can save money on bills and/or are entitled to Government support

  • Find out if you are entitled to Government financial help by clicking here.
  • General savings – The Money Saving Expert website contains tips to help you reduce your essential bills.
  • Energy savings – You might be able to get help if you are struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your repayment meter.  Contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or to contact a Welsh speaking adviser call 0808 223 1144.
  • People on lowest income in Wales – Households with the lowest income in Wales may be entitled to financial support from the Welsh Government Discretionary Assistant Fund.
  • If you are pregnant or have a child under 4, with the Healthy Start Scheme you may be entitled to weekly support for fruit, vegetables, milk and vitamins. Or you could receive a prepaid card to support the cost of healthy essentials.  You can apply online here, or call the NHS Healthy Start Helpline on 0300 330 7010.

 

Check if you are claiming all your entitled benefits

Welsh Government have launched a new service, through Citizens Advice, called ‘Claim What’s Yours’ which helps people claim the benefits they are entitled to. It has a dedicated helpline: 0808 250 5700.

The Claim What’s Yours Service is also supported by a helpline for people who need more general advice, operated by Citizens Advice: Advicelink Cymru. This is a Welsh Government funded service designed to help people who are in most need of services. It is open Monday to Friday 9-5pm on 0800 702 2020. Or you can visit the website for information and/or have a web chat.

Or you can visit the ‘Money Saving Expert’ website which has a 10 minute benefit checker so you can check if you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.

If you have a disability and need to seek advice on benefits, the Disability Advice Project (DAP) provides welfare rights advice service to support people who are disabled, their families and carers. Contact them on: 01633 485865, email on info@dapwales.org.uk or visit www.dapwales.org.uk.

 

Check if you can get help with your housing costs

If you need help with your housing costs, whether you are a tenant in the social or private sector, or a homeowner, ask for advice and support at the earliest opportunity if you think you will have difficulty paying your rent and/or bills.

  • You can contact your landlord or mortgage provider direct to request a short term change to payment arrangements.
  • Get in touch with Gwent Housing Support to find details of your local housing support teams in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Monmouthshire and Torfaen.
  • The Housing Support Gateway will ask you some questions about your circumstances and signpost or refer you to the most appropriate advice, information or support. Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide additional help with your rent. To get a DHP, you must be entitled to Housing Benefit or receiving Universal Credit which includes an amount for housing costs and in a position where you are still unable to cover your housing costs.
  • If you rent a private property there is also a dedicated helpline for people experiencing debt with their rent. Phone: 0808 278 7920 or visit the Advicelink Cyrmu website.

 

If you want help with making a benefits claim

The Help to Claim service is provided by Citizens Advice who provide help with making benefit claims.

If you want local help and support with making a benefits claim and you live in:

  • Blaenau Gwent you can contact Citizens Advice on 0800 702 2020 or online or for more information and to make a benefits application you can contact Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council on 01495 311556 or visit www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk.
  • Torfaen you can contact Torfaen Citizens Advice on 0800 702 2020 or online or for more information and to make a benefits application you can go to Torfaen County Borough Council by clicking here, call 01495 766430 or email benefits@torfaen.gov.uk.
  • Caerphilly contact Citizens Advice on 0800 702 2020 or online or for more information and to make a benefits application you can contact Caerphilly County Borough Council on 01443 866534.
  • Monmouthshire contact Monmouthshire Citizens Advice on 0800 702 2020 or online by clicking here.  You can also contact Monmouthshire County Council on 01633 644644.
  • If you live in Newport contact Newport Citizens Advice on 03444 77 20 20 or see their website.

 

Help with the cost of living in your area 

Each Local Authority across Gwent has support available for those impacted by the cost of living crisis.  Have a look on your local council website below: 

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council 

Caerphilly County Borough Council 

Monmouthshire County Council 

Newport City Council 

Torfaen County Borough Council 

If you want to contact a helpline that supports people in debt

There are a range of agencies and resources that can help you manage and resolve money related worries. These organisations provide free help and advice on issues such as debt management, maximising your welfare benefits and other general money advice. This support can help you feel more in control and reduce immediate levels of stress. See our helplines and services section below.

If financial worries are affecting your mental health contact a specialist helpline.

 

If you are in debt and it has been caused by someone else’s actions (economic abuse) you can seek help

If you have had, or are still having, any aspects of your finances controlled in a way you are unhappy, then this could be abuse. These tools from Surviving Economic Abuse can help you identify abuse and advice on what to do: I need help – Surviving Economic Abuse.

 

If you need further help  

If you are worried about your general mental health and live in Wales, phone NHS Mental Health 111 and choose Option 2. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free to call from a mobile (even when the caller has no credit left) or from a landline. The service will provide immediate support over the phone to help cope with how you are feeling, and if needed, a referral to mental health services will be arranged. 

 If you live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) area, and are aged over 18, you can contact your GP surgery to make an appointment with a Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP) or a GP. PHPs are NHS mental health practitioners, that are available at most GP surgeries in ABUHB area.  They provide a free service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems. Appointments can be either face to face, or over the phone. 

 If you are under 18 or worried about someone aged under 18 and need advice/self-referral to local mental health and wellbeing services in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, contact SPACE-Wellbeing. 

 Or alternatively contact another approved helpline or service. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

 If you are an unpaid carer for someone experiencing money worries or impacted by the cost of living crisis, visit our Unpaid Carers page for more information and advice.

 

Last updated: 28.02.2024
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Self-help resources to help with money worries

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Organisations and support to help you manage your finances

See below for helplines relevant to money worries. To see our full list of helplines, visit our helplines page.

Money Helper Logo

Money Helper

Free and impartial money help backed by the government. MoneyHelper joins up money and pensions guidance to make it quicker and easier to find the right help for your case.

Visit the Money Helper website ➝
National Debtline Logo

National Debtline

National Debtline give free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.

They can help you know what you’ve really got, maximise your money and choose your debt solution.

Monday to Friday: 9am – 8pm, Saturday: 9:30am -1pm

Contact National Debtline ➝
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