Where to turn for financial support during difficult times

Where to turn for financial support during difficult times

We're aware of how the cost of living crisis is impacting our everyday lives. We've put this handy guide together of organisations who can help with wider financial support like fuel vouchers and crisis funds.

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Written by Home Energy Scotland
Published April 2024

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, help is available. To access this, it’s vital to contact the right source of support for what you need. Read on for more information, including links to some organisations and funding that can help you manage your money, provide financial support and check if you’re eligible for benefits.

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Scottish Government’s Cost of Living Crisis website

Visit the Cost of Living Crisis website

The Scottish Government has set up a Cost of Living Crisis website that will signpost you to various ways to get help, for everything from energy bills, benefits and debts to support for families and people with disabilities.

Citizen’s Advice Money Map

Visit the Money Map website

Citizen’s Advice Scotland have created this useful Money Map website full of resources and information about what support is available to increase income, reduce bills and ease the costs of daily living.

Financial support

Cost Of Living Payments

The set of cost of living payments announced for 2023-24 have now come to an end. If you think you may have missed a Cost of Living Payment, you can report this.

Child Winter Heating Payment

This is a payment of £235.70, paid once a year to parents and carers of disabled children and young people under 19 who receive a qualifying benefit. If you’re not receiving this payment but think you may be eligible, contact Social Security Scotland.

Warm Home Discount

This £150 payment towards your energy costs is managed by participating energy suppliers. Some suppliers offer pre-registration, which helps to make sure you get any updates about them opening again. Others require you to apply for this discount and you can do this through your energy supplier directly.

Winter Heating Payment

If you’re currently eligible for Cold Weather Payment from DWP and your circumstances have not changed, you’ll be eligible for a Winter Heating Payment.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1957 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically.

Section 12 payments

If you are a vulnerable person aged 18 or over, you can get help to cover emergencies and debts. This assistance can come in the form of cash payments or vouchers. Contact your council for more information.

Prepayment meter support

Help is available if you use a prepayment meter. Support depends on your personal circumstances. Contact your energy supplier to get precise information.

Further support from energy suppliers

You can contact your energy supplier if you are worried about paying your bills. Your supplier must consider your own situation and agree on a payment plan based on your ability to pay.

Great British Insulation Scheme

A new ECO fund for warm home improvements launched in April 2023. This will be available to households in Scotland and aims to offer various kinds of insulation to make homes more energy efficient and bring down people’s energy bills by helping them to keep their homes warm.

The Great British Insulation Scheme (ECO+) may help if you are struggling to pay your bills and will be open to lower income households, with a focus on homes which are not very energy efficient. You can contact your supplier or local council to find out if they are participating.

Emergency advice and support

Advice Direct Scotland

Advice Direct Scotland provides funding and support.  They also offer help for anyone who needs to resolve an issue with their energy supplier. 

Emergency Power Cut Helpline

If your neighbourhood has had a power cut, your local network operator can give you advice.

Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a free service which provides extra help to those who need it the most. This could be during power cuts or when there’s an interruption to your electricity, gas or water supply.

Citizens Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland can help with queries about employment, housing, debt, benefits, and consumer issues like energy bills and many other topics.

Debt and welfare support

Citizens Advice Money Talk Team

Along with general advice, Citizens Advice Scotland also have a dedicated debt and money advice team.

Age Scotland

Age Scotland provides advice for older people on finances, welfare and benefits rights, health and wellbeing, home and care, travel and lifestyle, and work and learning.

Disability Information Scotland

Disability Information Scotland is a helpline and website that provides reliable and accessible information for people living with a disability.

National Debtline

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

Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund helps families and people who are on low incomes. They can provide information on different grants like a Crisis Grant, Self-Isolation Support Grant or Community Care Grant.

Help with benefits

You can check to see what benefits you could be entitled to by completing an online benefits checker.

Young Scot

Young Scot has a list of what benefits are available to younger people and how to claim them.

Turn2Us

Turn2Us helps people access welfare benefits and other financial help.

Fuel vouchers

If you’re struggling to top up your pre-payment meter, you can contact your local council or foodbank for a fuel voucher.

Useful links

You might be surprised by how much money you can save by making simple changes to cut your energy use at home.

You can also use our handy online tool to search for funding and support – give it a try and see what help you can get.

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