Support for people with low incomes
A household is in persistent low income if it has less than 60% of the UK’s average income for 3 out of 4 years – this was £28,000 for a couple with no children in 2016-2017. This article aims to bring together all the services that are available in Newcastle to help you manage your money and avoid debt. You can also struggle if you have unexpected costs, such as, your boiler breaking down, car repairs, zero hours work, you lose your job. It is useful to have a savings account for unexpected costs and we cover some options in this article.
If your credit rating is low or your don’t have a credit history you will struggle to access bank accounts. Here’s a list of high street bank accounts that may be easier for you to use.
Welfare benefits You may be eligible for some benefits and our article takes you through what is available and who can give you support to access them.
Crisis or emergency support
if you can’t afford to buy food, heat your home, pay your mortgage or rent, the following are available to support you:
- emergency funds
- crisis support scheme
- food banks
- free and cheap meals
- worried about becoming homeless? help with housing
- refugees and asylum seekers who have no recourse to public funds/destitute asylum seekers
You may need help with housing costs. There are a number of routes to support:
- council tax support
- gas and electricity
- how to pay for adaptations to your home explains the Disabled Facilities Grant
- home adaptations, equipment and aids includes links to Care & Repair Newcastle, Minor adaptations service, Disability North and Your Equipment Newcastle
When you need to purchase a new item or white goods there are some cheaper ways to make these purchases:
- help with clothing includes where to get affordable school uniform and who can help when you have an interview.
- menstruation includes how to find period products for free across the City.
- looking for Work gives information about the organisations that can help you find work and child care support options.
- child benefit
- Gov.UK help with 15 hours of education for 3 to 4 year olds
- HM Revenue & Customs administer tax credits
Looking for work
You may want to change jobs or you may have been made redundant or become unemployed, There are several services that can support you and details are in our Looking for Work information. In particular, you may find the following helpful:
Newcastle Futures runs four programmes that help people to build their confidence and find work.. They work with partners such as Leonard Cheshire and JET which supports people from BAME communities and asylum seekers.
- Wise Steps supports people on low income or with a disability or who may be in crisis, including those who are homeless or in debt.
- Generation NE supports people from 18 to 29 years to write a job application, update their skills and develop interview technique.
- North of Tyne Working homes supports YHN tenants who want to join the job market. Contact Newcastle Futures.
- Tyne Online helps you find a job and think about your next career move
Other support available:
- Crisis helps homeless job seekers
- Workers Educational Association offers a range of courses including job seeking modules
- Redundancy support is available from a union such as Unison or USDAWS or through the ACAS service
- The Wise Group aims to lift people out of poverty through mentoring support, employment, skills, and energy advice.
There are a number of small pots of funding to help with travel to interviews from those listed above.
- Stagecoach offers reduced fares to job seekers
Managing Debt can be a problem at any time or age. There are many factors that can lead to debt problems, including retirement, illness, disability, divorce, bereavement and poverty. Pay priority debts and get support. The following are priority debts and should be dealt with immediately:
- mortgage arrears
- rent arrears
- council Tax arrears
- TV licence
- court fines
- arrears of maintenance payments
- income tax or VAT arrears
- hire purchase debts in some circumstances
- heating problems and paying for them
- independent voluntary arrangements (legally binding between you and the creditor)
Other support available
- Welfare Rights team offer targeted support and a wide range advice from critical illness to benefits. They have a helpful booklet on where to find help in Newcastle
- Stop loan sharks offers you the chance to report illegal money lending confidentially
- North East Law Centre support people on low incomes from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances.
- CityLife line offers support if you are unwell or self-isolating during the pandemic
Last updated: December 4, 2020