Finance and debt

Citizen advice: Support is available Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm on 0808 278 7868. Citizen Advice West Suffolk can offer support and help on benefits, debt, employment, housing, rising energy costs and consumer concerns: Citizens Advice West Suffolk

Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS): Can assist families and individuals who are experiencing financial hardship. To make a one-off application you can apply via the online form using your smartphone, tablet or computer. In order to be eligible to apply for the scheme you must:

  • demonstrate you are in financial hardship
  • live in Suffolk
  • be over 16 years old (living independently)
  • not be subject to immigration control or have no recourse to public funds
  • have a combined household income of £27,500 or less
  • have less than £1,500 available in any current and/or savings accounts across the household
  • have not made an application in the previous six months.

For more information and to make an application please visit the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme webpage: Suffolk County Council - Cost of living support

Household Support Fund (HSF): A Government funded scheme and is currently available until the end of March 2024. The fund can assist with rent, service charges and furniture costs. For further advice and support please phone 01284 763233.

It cannot, however, be used to help with people’s mortgage payments. If you are experiencing difficulties paying your mortgage, please contact your mortgage provider for further help and advice or the council’s Housing Options Team - visit our Housing pages.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP): Help for people who are in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. It can be used as a top up for rent shortfall, deposits, rent in advance, to assist people affected by a benefit cap, or as a spare room subsidy. DHP cannot be used to help pay a mortgage, Council Tax, or gas and electricity costs.

For more on how to apply visit Calculate and apply for Housing benefit

Surviving Winter Scheme: Support is available through the Suffolk Community Foundation Surviving Winter Scheme to support those who are in fuel poverty. If you meet the eligibility criteria you will receive a contribution towards your gas, electricity or oil heating costs.

The process to access support is simple and quick, with eligibility based on the household or individual's circumstances, including:

  • income and savings
  • debt or arrears on an energy bill
  • disabilities and long-term health conditions.

The programme is administered centrally for Suffolk by Citizens Advice Ipswich. For further information please call the Surviving Winter Helpline on 01473 298634, or apply online through Citizens Advice - Surviving Winter

West Suffolk - worried about money? - The Worrying about money? - West Suffolk leaflet was co-produced as a straightforward resource for people facing money worries or financial crisis, and support workers, to quickly see which local agencies are best placed to help with advice and help to access cash first options. The leaflet is a step-by-step guide:

  • Step1 starts with the money problem situation someone might be facing
  • Step 2 explains the options available that could help
  • Step 3 includes contact information for local organisations that can directly support people with these options.

Further support in West Suffolk:

  • Reach Haverhill: Support is available Monday to Friday 2pm to 5pm on 01440 268 003. Reach can offer a range of support including money advice, emergency food, household starter packs and general welfare advice: Reach Haverhill
  • Realise Futures: Offers support and guidance for those with a learning disability or autism on housing, benefits, debt, bills and letters. Walk in advice and guidance available through West Suffolk for more details visit the website: Realise Futures - Learning, coaching and advice
  • Anglia Care Trust: Support on money and employment advice is available to any one by contacting 01473 622888 or visiting their website Anglia Care Trust
  • Suffolk County Council also have information and advice:Suffolk County Council - Cost of living support

National support: