Every week people face challenges, loss of employment, reduced hours, having children and breakups. These are just examples but they all can lead to changes in our finances. If you are facing a change in your circumstances or are just struggling with paying your bills then you’re not alone and help is at hand.
Whatever life throws at you there are organisations that can assess whether you might be entitled to some financial assistance. Everybody needs a financial health check particularly during difficult times.
If you are unsure if you should claim or are having difficulties with Universal Credit call the East Ayrshire UC Support Team on 01563 503280 or email UniversalCredit@east-ayrshire.gov.uk. The UC Support team can help you make a claim for Universal Credit, access the internet, improve your digital skills, access a bank account, offer options to manage your rent, claim an advance payment and improve your budgeting skills.
- East Ayrshire Money is a service which can help by putting you in touch with the right local organisation that can best provide the advice, information and support that you need. Call 0800 389 7750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know what organisation you need to contact, visit the EA Money East Ayrshire organisations.
- Citizens Advice is Scotland’s largest independent advice network and is free, confidential, impartial and available to anyone. To contact East Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau call 01563 553479 (Kilmarnock) or 01290 429500 (Cumnock).
- Social Security Scotland can help apply for targeted benefits to help alleviate poverty such as Best Start, Crisis, Young Carer and Funeral Support. Contact them on 0800 182 2222 for advice.
- Money Advice Scotland provides signposting to free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. Call 0800 731 4722 during office hours.
- Step Change provide free, expert debt advice, no matter how large or small your debt problem is. Call 0800 138 1111 Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 8am–4pm.
- If you are having issues with your energy supplier or energy bills, contact Citrus Switch for assistance. Call the energy advice team on 0800 221 8089 or email ensuring you have a copy of your latest gas and electricity bills.
- Gambling Anonymous Scotland provide support on controlling gambling, dealing with debt as well as providing support to family and friends who may be affected. Call 0370 050 8881 24 hours a day.
- Home Energy Scotland offer free and impartial advice on energy saving, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, greener travel, water waste and more. Call free of charge on 0808 808 2282.
If you are 16 to 24 years old and have been unemployed for six months, you can apply for a Job Start Payment. This is a one off £250 payment to help with the costs of starting a new job. Young people can apply for the Job Start Payment up to three months after they commence employment by contacting Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or visit the job start payment page on the Scottish Government's website.
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