DfC Supports and Advice Services (2022)

With the current cost of living increases impacting many individuals and households at this time, the Department for Communities has a range of financial supports and advice available which may help.

Make the Call

A quick call, can make a lasting difference. The Make the Call service helps people access all the benefits, supports and services they are entitled to.

Call 0800 232 1271, or request a call back via text by texting ADVICE to 079 8440 5248.

Find out more about Make the Call on nidirect.

Last year, Make the Call helped 9,000 people get an additional £42 million in benefits and supports with an average additional £90 per week.

Cost of Living Support Payments

Cost of living payments include one-off payments to those on income related benefits, disabled claimants and pensioners. These payments are intended to provide support to those eligible with the current cost of living increases.

Find out more aboutCost of Living support on nidirect.

Benefits

Universal Credit (UC)

This is a payment for people over the age of 18 but under State Pension age who are on a low income or out of work. It includes support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, and financial support for people with disabilities, carers and people too ill to work.

Find out more and apply online for Universal Credit on nidirect.gov.uk.

‘New Style’ Employment and Support Allowance

New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is for people who have an illness or a disability that restricts their ability to work.

Find out more and apply online for New Style Employment and Support Allowance on nidirect.

Carer’s Allowance

Those aged 16 or over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is ill or has a disability, may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

Find out more and apply for Carer’s Allowance on nidirect.

‘New Style’ Jobseekers Allowance

New Style JSA is for people who have lost their employment, who have paid National Insurance Contributions and who are actively seeking work.

Find out more and apply for New Style Jobseeker's Allowance on nidirect.uk

Pension Credit

Pension Credit provides extra money and access to a wide range of other benefits to help with housing costs, dental and optical treatment

and heating bills to help with your living costs. It is for those over State Pension age and on a low income

Phone 0808 100 6165

Find out more and apply for Pension Credit on nidirect.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit. You may it get if you are State Pension age or over and need help with personal care because you have a physical or mental disability.

Find out more about Attendance Allowance and download an application form on nidirect.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP is for people who have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability that is expected to last for 12 months or longer. PIP can help towards expenses as a result of theextra living costs arising from having a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability.

Find out more about PIP on nidirect.

Contact the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Centre to begin a claim.

Phone: 0800 012 1573
Textphone: 0800 587 0937

A Video Relay sign language service and information in Easy Read is available.

Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is usually paid if you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you have been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

Find out more about Maternity Allowance and download an application form on nidirect.

Finance Support Service

The Finance Support Service provides advice and support for those experiencing a financial crisis for whatever reason.

Find out more aboutFinance Support nidirect.

Phone: 0800 587 2750
Textphone: 0800 587 2751

The services and supports available are:

Universal Credit Contingency fund

This is a short-term living expenses grant to help those who may need some financial support after making a new claim to Universal Credit.

Find out more about UC Contingency Fund and apply online on nidirect.

Short-Term Benefit Advance

This advance can help those that may need money after making a new claim to a benefit other than Universal Credit.

Find out more about Short-Term Benefit Advances and apply online on nidirect.

Discretionary Support

This support can help for short-term living expenses or household items.

Find out more about Discretionary Support and apply online on nidirect.

Social Fund Budgeting Loan

Help for essential household items such as furniture, clothing or footwear.

Find out more about Budgeting Loans and download an application form on nidirect.

Phone: 0800 0224 250

Social Fund Sure Start Maternity Grant

Help towards the cost of maternity and baby items.

Find out more about Maternity Grants and download an application form on nidirect.

Phone: 0800 0224 250

Housing

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help pay the rent and rates on your home if you are on a low income.

Find out more about Social Housing Rent and other charges on nidirect.

Universal Credit

You may entitled to help with your housing costs if you claim Universal Credit.

Find out more about the UC Housing Cost Element on housingadviceni.org

Support for Mortgage Interest

Homeowners that get certain income-related benefit may be able to get help towards mortgage interest payments.

Find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest on nidirect.

Mortgage Interest Run On

Mortgage Interest Run On is an extra four weeks of money to help towards paying your housing costs if certain other benefits are stopping because you’re returning to work, earning or working more hours.

Find out more about Mortgage Interest Run On on nidirect.

Heating

Winter Fuel Payment

A winter fuel payment can help you pay your heating bills. If you are eligible you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.

Find out more about Winter Fuel Payments on nidirect.

Households eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment in winter 2022/23 will also qualify for an additional£300 pensioner Cost of Living Support Payment.

Find out more about Cost of Living Support Payments on nidirect.

Cold Weather Payments

Those receiving certain benefits, could qualify for extra money for each week there is very cold weather in their area - You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically.

Find our more about Cold Weather Payments on nidirect.

Affordable Warmth

The Affordable Warmth Scheme addresses the effects of fuel poverty and energy inefficiency and is aimed at low income households

Find out more about The Affordable Warmth Scheme (nihe.gov.uk)

Boiler Replacement

The Boiler Replacement Scheme helps home owners with the cost of replacing boilers.

Find out more: The Housing Executive - Boiler Replacement Scheme (nihe.gov.uk)

Phone: 03448 920 900
Textphone: 18001 03448 920 900

Support for Costs Associated with a Bereavement

Bereavement Support Payment

Gives financial help to deal with the more immediate costs caused by the death of a spouse or civil partner. It is paid where the date of death was on or after 6 April 2017.

Find out more about Bereavement Support Payments, or download an application form on nidirect.

Phone: 0800 085 2463

Funeral Expenses Payment

If you’re on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Expenses Payment from the Social Fund. You might have to repay some or all of it from the deceased person’s estate.

Find out more about Funeral Expenses Payments or download an application form on nidirect.

Phone: 0800 085 2463

The Child Funeral Fund

The Child Funeral Fund provides a one-off lump sum payment to cover the expense of a funeral after the death of a child under the age of 18, or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy.

Find out more about the Child Funeral Fund or download an application form on nidirect.

Phone: 0800 085 2463

Other Support Available

Money & Debt Advice

For independent advice on how to manage your money or help with debt you can visit the Advice NI website.

You can also call them on 0800 915 4604 or email an enquiry to advice@adviceni.net

Help with health costs

Most Health Service treatment is free, although there can be charges for some things. Those on some qualifying benefits, can get help with the cost of some treatment, services and items.

Find out more about Help with Health Costs on nidirect.

The information contained within this page is also available to download in pdf format -DfC Supports and Advice Services

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