If you having difficulty managing your money Allerdale Citizens Advice might be able to help. You can contact them by telephone on 01900 604735. For help with your Council Tax and Housing Costs click on the links below for more information:
- Council Tax Reduction to help pay your Council Tax
- Extra help with housing costs (known as Discretionary Housing Payments) to help pay your rent
- See if you can cut your energy costs by switching suppliers - join The Big Allerdale Switch
Other useful tips and numbers - energy, water and rent bills
- Some energy companies offer a Warm Homes Discount scheme. Contact your energy company to find out if you are eligible.
- You may want to consider installing a water or credit meter. If you are having problems paying your utility bills, contact your supplier straight away and they may be able to offer options payment.
- Energy Efficiency Advice from Ofgem
- Speak to your landlord, or if you're making debt repayments, speak to your creditors, to explain your situation and ask them to accept a later payment once your Universal Credit payment comes through.
- If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax bill, contact us and we may be able to help you
If you’re facing losing your home, ring us on 0303 123 1702 and we may be able to help.
Help with food and clothing costs
- Emergency food from the Food Bank : 01900 604735 or 01900 872547
- Free school meals and clothing vouchers from Cumbria County Council (tel 01228 221133 )
- Healthy Start food vouchers if you are pregnant or have children under the age of four
Help if you claim Universal Credit
Information can be found on the Universal Credit website information or call the helpline on 0800 328 5644 . Advice is available on:
- Financial help from Universal Credit
- A short-term advance of Universal Credit
- An interest-free loan
- Longer-term alternative payment arrangements
- Energy and water bills
- Fuel Direct deductions from Universal Credit
What is the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space)?
From 4 May 2021, the government’s Breathing Space scheme went live. The scheme gives an individual with problem debt legal protection from their creditors during the Breathing Space period.
There are two types of breathing space; standard or mental health crisis breathing space.
A standard breathing space lasts 60 days from the approved application and a mental health crisis breathing space lasts as long as the treatment period plus 30 days.
How does an individual apply for Breathing Space?
Individuals can only access breathing space by seeking the advice of a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recognised Debt Advice Provider (DAP).
For more information on where to go for debt advice in your local area please go online.
Anyone who cannot or is unlikely to repay their debts can apply to a debt adviser for standard breathing space.
All applications must be considered by the debt advice provider although the DAP may decide that breathing space is not appropriate for the debtor.
Mental health crisis applications can also be made on behalf of the individual by an appropriate representative such as a mental health professional.
If an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) certifies that a person is receiving mental health crisis treatment, the AMHP’s evidence can be used by a debt adviser to start a mental health crisis breathing space.
Debt advice is available from:
- Allerdale Citizens Advice. Telephone: 01900 604 735
- The Money Advice Service . Telephone: 0800 138 7777
- West Cumbria Community Money Advice. Telephone: 01900 626 77 or 077169 176204
- PayPlan . Telephone 0800 280 2816
- Debt Advice Foundation . Telephone: 0800 622 6151
- National Debtline . Telephone: 0808 808 4000
- Affinity (the West Cumbria Credit Union) can also provide loans at a lower-rate of interest than doorstep-lenders and pay-day loan providers.Telephone: 01946 817508
Please don't suffer and ignore any bills you are struggling to pay. Speak to one of our customer service advisors or the Citizens Advice Bureau for help and advice.