As the cost of living crisis continues to hit the country, we have been looking at ways you can help your money last longer.

This year has seen a whole host of household price increases - from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices - costing your family hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.

We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost of living crisis is having on our readers like you.

How to reduce your energy bills as prices increase

As part of our campaign, here is a range of financial support available for people receiving Universal Credit.

Advance Payment

For those who are newly claiming Universal Credit, the Department of Work and Pensions can provide backdated or advance payment.

The support is there to help you get by until your first payment but it will have to be paid back to the government.

Hardship payment

Hardship payment is available for people struggling to pay for everyday essentials. It generally applies to people who have had their benefits stopped or reduced.

It will usually be around 60% of your usual Universal Credit payment and you will need to repay the money through your usual UC payments.

Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA)

If you are renting, you or your landlord can apply for APA if you are struggling to keep up with rent payments.

Funds can be paid straight to your landlord as part of the scheme.

Claimants can claim up to £812 to help with emergency costs like replacing a broken fridge.
Any money you claim will need to be paid back with the smallest claim being £100.

To qualify for the support, you will need to be a UC claimant or on other benefits and earned less than £2,600 in the last six months (£3,600 if you are a couple).

You will also have to have paid back any money you were previously given as part of a Budgeting Advance Payment.

Further details can be found on the government website.