The cost-of-living crisis has me really struggling to make ends meet. I feel like I am not getting anywhere and am living month-to-month. My electricity bills are through the roof, and I cannot see a way forward because of the amount of debt that I am in. Can you help?

The cost-of-living crisis has me really struggling to make ends meet. I feel like I am not getting anywhere and am living month-to-month. My electricity bills are through the roof, and I cannot see a way forward because of the amount of debt that I am in. Can you help?

The cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on everyone, with many of us feeling the pinch of increased costs.

It is important to remember that you are not alone in dealing with your current financial issues, and there are sources of support out there that can help.

Many of us are already making all the recommended changes to reduce the amount of energy we use to save money, but with the soaring costs of electricity and gas, this does not have as much of an impact as it used to.

Support with Energy Costs

There are various sources of funding available that may be able to help with energy costs, including hardship funds run by energy suppliers.

If you are struggling with your energy bills, the first step would be to reach out to your supplier to see if there is anything they can do to help.

energyadvice.scot provide free, practical advice and information on a range of energy-related matters to Scottish citizens.

Our specialist advisers can provide support with enquiries related to energy suppliers, including understanding bills, issues with meters, and support with energy bills.

They are available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm on 0808 196 8660, or by visiting www.energyadvice.scot.

Government Support

In October, the UK government will provide a £400 discount on energy bills for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain, including Scotland. This includes customers using prepayment meters to pay for their energy and does not need to be paid back.

There will also be additional support for those on certain benefits. Those who receive non-means tested disability benefits including DLA, Attendance Allowance, Child disability payment and PIP, will receive a one-off payment of £150 from September.

Those who receive means tested benefits, such as Universal Credit and some legacy benefits will be sent a one-off payment of £650. This will be provided straight to the bank account of the eligible person.

The Department of Work and Pensions will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in autumn, with payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits following shortly after.

Are you claiming all the benefits you are entitled to?

Approximately half a million people across Scotland are not claiming the financial support they are entitled to, and you do not have to be one of them.

Advice Direct Scotland’s Benefits calculator is the first to fully integrate devolved benefits, including the new Scottish Child Payment. It provides a free and impartial assessment of entitlement to a range of benefits such as Universal Credit, crisis grants and support payments that you may be eligible for.

You can access the Benefits calculator HERE.

Debt & Money Advice

Advice Direct Scotland also run moneyadvice.scot, a debt advice and information service supported by the Scottish Government, providing free support on a range of debt-related issues and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Their specialist advisers can work with you to assess your current situation, look at your income and outgoings, and consider what to do next.

You can contact them on 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm), or by visiting moneyadvice.scot.

You do not need to struggle alone – there are organisations that can help!

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