Food, clothing, fuel and electricity all cost more than they did a year ago, which is hard on the wallet – especially if you’re on a strict budget or have kids to support. So, what to do?
If you’re a healthcare assistant and need financial help, keep reading to learn about grants, benefits and other support options available for people who work in care.
First, we’ll look at how to create a budget, and then we’ll explore some of the help you might be eligible for.
It’s important to think about where you spend your money so that you can make each pound go a little further.
Creating or revising your budget could help you find ways to save money, start building a nest egg or reduce debt. To make things easier, try using the Money Helper budget planner. You’ll be able to:
- Record all your spending in one place.
- See a breakdown of spending by category.
- View tips to help you maximise your cash.
You can save your budget planner online and make changes whenever you like.
Help for care assistants
Grants are a type of financial support you generally don’t have to pay back. You can use a grant to make ends meet, pay off debt, save for a rainy day – anything you like.
There are thousands of charitable trust grants available, most of which have no strings attached. Why not pop over to these two sites and apply for a few?
If you’re in financial need, you can use Turn2us to apply for a range of valuable grants. Many of them aren’t means tested, so you can apply even if you have No Recourse to Public Funds (in other words, if you’re not entitled to benefits).
To see what you’re eligible for, visit the Turn2us website, enter your postcode and a bit of personal information, and press submit.
If you have a disability or you’re the parent or caregiver of a person with disabilities, visit Disability Grants to find and apply for national and local grants. You can search by condition, age group (adult or child), grant type and more.
To hear about new grants and schemes, sign up for the Disability Grants newsletter on the homepage.
Benefits exist to make life easier for people on a low income, people with disabilities, pensioners and other individuals. If you’re entitled to benefits, make sure you claim them.
You might be entitled to benefits like:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance for children
You can use the benefits calculators on entitledto.co.uk to find out what you’re eligible for. If you need help applying for benefits or want to speak to someone about the application process, get in touch with a Help to Claim adviser at Citizens Advice.
Council Tax Reduction
If you’re on a limited income and struggle to pay Council Tax, you might be entitled to Council Tax Reduction. Sometimes called Council Tax Support, this can help reduce or eliminate your Council Tax obligation.
Schemes vary from area to area, but generally:
- If you receive the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, you can get help with your bill, whether you have income and savings or not.
- If you’re on a low income, you could reduce your bill.
Click here to find out more about Council Tax Reduction programmes in your area.
Worried about energy prices? You’re not alone. Organisations like Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) can help you save money.
LEAP is a wide-ranging service for people who are in (or at risk of) fuel poverty in the United Kingdom. Eligibility guidelines are very broad: social housing tenants, private renters and homeowners can all apply.
If you receive benefits like Universal Credit or Housing Benefit – or if your household income is below £31,000 per year – you might be entitled to schemes like:
- LEAP Energy Advice Service: a free appointment with an energy advisor.
- LEAP Boiler: help with boiler repair or replacement costs.
- LEAP Appliance: financial help to replace inefficient fridges, freezers, cookers and other appliances.
You can apply directly online or via a LEAP partner. Find out more at the LEAP site.
How to apply for a hardship grant
If you’re in a financial bind or you have an unforeseen expense to deal with while employed as a care assistant, you might qualify for a hardship grant.
The Care Workers’ Charity Crisis Grant
You can use a grant from The Care Workers’ Charity (CWC) to pay for daily living costs or unexpected expenses. Awards usually begin at £500 and go up to £2000 if you need to cover funeral expenses for a loved one.
To find out more and apply to the CWC Crisis Grant Programme, click here.
Remember to reach out
If you’re a care professional struggling to make ends meet, you could be entitled to various grants, benefits and other helpful services. Your local council, Citizens Advice, organisations like LEAP and a Florence hardship grant can help make life a little easier, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
Florence can help you find flexible shifts near you, take essential training courses and improve your work-life balance. Find out more and sign up today.
You might also be interested in: