cost of living support

If you're struggling to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis, our free and confidential services can help ease your money worries.


No matter our profession or how carefully we’ve planned, the rise in living costs affects everyone. If you don’t have enough money to live on, or you owe money and are struggling to pay, our free and confidential services can help ease your money worries.

financial support

Financial support gives you breathing space so you can get your finances in order. Grants and donations are short term or one-off payments to help cover bills and unexpected costs. They’re not a loan. You don’t have to pay the money back.

Financial support is means-tested and we take into account your income, expenditure and capital. Talk to us before you assume you won’t be able to get financial support. Our criteria might be broader than you realise and there are many different ways that we can help. Skip down to read our mythbusting guide.

Financial support could help pay for:

  • reduced ICAEW membership fees
  • essential living expenses, including mortgage or rental payments
  • car repairs or maintenance
  • essential home repairs
  • replacement kitchen appliances
  • mobility aids
  • funeral costs
  • care home top-up fees
  • adapting your home to make easy for you to get around

if you’re worried about the rising prices, talk to us.

We’re ready to support you whether you’re facing everyday concerns or exceptional situations. It’s why we’re here.




financial support process

We’ll need more information about your financial situation to consider your request for financial support. It’s a simple process and you’ll have a dedicated support officer to help you at each stage.



If you already get means-tested UK benefits such as Pension Credit or Universal Credit, you’re automatically eligible for financial support like our back-to-school grant and energy costs payment. These are also available through our means-tested application process if you don’t receive a means-tested benefit. 


energy costs payment

Keeping your home at a reasonable temperature is important for your health and wellbeing, but as energy costs are rising, you may find this cost unmanageable. Our energy costs payment is a fixed sum of £450 to help you pay for gas, oil and electric bills. This is on top of any other payment from the government. If you’re living outside the UK, it can also be used towards air conditioning, batteries and generators.

back-to-school.jpg 1

back to school payment

Getting your children ready for a new school year can be expensive. Our back to school discretionary donation is a fixed sum to help cover these costs. The money can be used to buy school uniform, shoes, PE kits and other school essentials. Applications for 2023 donations are open from May-October and your financial situation will be assessed before granting of the payment.

we’ll also help you take steps to secure your longer-term financial future

For example: 

  • career coaching to get a new job or increase your income
  • explore benefits and grants that are available to you and help you to apply for them
  • negotiate an affordable payment plan to help you clear debts
  • supporting your move to a new home to lower your living costs

debt advice

Debt problems can happen to anyone. If you spot the warning signs, it’s best to act quickly before the situation spins out of control. If you’re based in the UK, our friendly specialist debt advisors take time to understand your situation without judgement. You’ll work together to explore your options and develop a plan to get your finances back in order. We can help you understand your bills and what you owe, negotiate realistic payment plans with creditors on your behalf and will help you prioritise which debts to pay first. Your debt advisor will keep you up to date at every step with advice and information. You can also access our debt toolkit to help you get a handle on your finances. Contact us if you’re living outside the UK to understand the support available that fits your personal circumstances. 
We don’t provide financial assistance towards the repayments of debts.



"I was facing a shortfall of about £500 a month. Whatever I did about the debts, it would just creep back up again. I spoke to a caba advisor who made me feel so much better. He said ‘Don’t worry. We can help you.'"


caba client

benefits and alternative support

Many people miss out on financial help through benefits, government schemes, grants and other kinds of financial support because they don’t know what’s available to them. It’s a complicated area that changes every year. Our UK benefits calculator supplied by Turn2us will highlight where you could be missing out. You may find it helpful to read our simple guide to the main UK benefits. However, you don’t need to do everything by yourself because our experts can help you make sense of it all. They’ll explore the options available to you, including other sources of support, complete any application processes with you and could help you challenge an existing benefit decision. We can also work with you to find out if there’s any local financial support if you’re living outside the UK.


emotional support

One problem can lead to another. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and money worries are taking a toll on your mental wellbeing or affecting your family, then our individual or relationship counselling services can help. Counselling is not just talking. It’s a systematic process. A qualified counsellor listens and helps you to find how to move through the problems you’re facing, develop new strengths and improve your wellbeing.

Counselling can help you: 

  • deal with difficult life events like bereavement or relationship problems
  • process and resolve emotions like guilt, grief, anger, or sadness
  • cope with a crisis
  • work through conflict
  • improve low self-esteem


how is the global crisis impacting chartered accountants?

In our latest research, we’re investigating how the cost of living crisis has affected the accounting community. We found that more than two-in-five (42%) working accountants and students are already struggling financially. Of those, two-thirds are feeling (66%) anxious, three-in-five (59%) stressed and a third (34%) depressed.

Read the report and recommendations from our experts:


advice from our experts

To support our ICAEW community through this worrying time, we brought together a panel of experts to offer tips and guidance to anyone looking for help with their financial worries, mental health, debt management and careers concerns.

Our panel includes:

Cristian Holmes, caba CEO

Mark Pearce, caba Head of Service Development and Delivery

Paul Day, caba Senior Support Officer and specialist debt advisor

Kirsty Lilley, award-winning mental health trainer, coach and mindfulness facilitator

Tooba Siddiqui, qualified accountant, sharing her first-hand experience of working in the profession


caba panel discussion

financial support mythbusting

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students. 

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means-tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means-tested. 

If I ask caba for help will ICAEW be told?

Absolutely not. Whilst we support the ICAEW community we are entirely independent so you can talk to us in complete confidence.

Do I have to donate to caba to access its support?

Our services are free and you don’t have to donate to be eligible for our support. Donations are entirely voluntary.

Will information I give to caba remain confidential?

We provide confidential and impartial advice and support. Everything you tell us stays with us in strict confidence. We won't disclose any of your details to a third party organisation without informing you first and we never share client information with ICAEW. For full details on how we process your data please refer to our privacy statement.

Will caba support me if I'm outside the UK?

Yes, if you’re eligible for our support, we’ll support you wherever you live however we can. Contact us to find out what support is available where you live.

Does caba help with debt repayments?

We can’t fund debt repayments. However, we do provide debt advice and we can help you explore options to help manage your debt. We can also help negotiate with creditors over repayments and support you in some basic legal proceedings if needed. You may still wish to have legal representation.

Do I have to pay for support?

No, all our support is free.

How long does it take to receive financial support?

It depends on the individual situation, but we can work very quickly if it’s an emergency.

download our financial support flowchart


What do I need to do to access support?

Just get in touch - call us on +44 (0)1788 556366, email us or fill in the enquiry form.

Will my employer know if I have asked caba for help?

No, we won’t share any information with your employer.

How do I donate to caba?

You can donate online here, or by post. If you wish, you can also leave a legacy in your will. Please contact your solicitor if you want to leave a bequest in your will.