Do you need help to budget?

If you are claiming Universal Credit and need help to manage your payments or you are struggling to make ends meet but don’t know what you’re entitled to, then we can help.

Our Financial Inclusion Officer, Laura, works with people who are claiming Universal Credit but are struggling to manage their money under this new benefit.

Universal Credit is very different to other benefits. You will receive one monthly payment and it’s up to you to manage your money over an entire month. You will also need to pay your rent directly to your Landlord to avoid falling into rent arrears.

What can we do to help?

Laura can help if you have just started to claim Universal Credit, or if you have been receiving this benefit for some time and are just struggling to manage your money.

As well as looking at your income and outgoings, Laura can:

  • let you know if you might be entitled to any other benefits or grants to top-up your income
  • let you know what flexible options are available under Universal Credit, such as switching to twice-monthly payments instead of monthly; or having your rent paid direct to your Landlord by the Department for Work & Pensions if that’s easier for you
  • provide advice and assistance if you've been sanctioned
  • prepare a budget plan with you and help you organise your bills
  • set up direct debits for your priority bills, such as rent or council tax
  • make sure you get help and advice if you are regularly using a Foodbank or relying on crisis grants
  • if you have debts, help you to get in touch with other agencies, for example the Citizens Advice Bureau in Haddington or Musselburgh

If you want to speak to someone about any of the above items, or have other money management problems and would like to talk to someone in confidence, just get in touch.

Surgeries in your local area

If you live in the Musselburgh area, Laura holds a surgery in the Brunton Hall every Wednesday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm. Just call in if you need help.