Where can I get help and advice about benefits?
Citizens Advice can give you free, confidential, impartial and independent benefits advice.
As well as benefits advice, they can help you resolve problems with debt, housing and many more issues
- home visits
- advice helpline
- email (in some cases).
Contact Citizens Advice
How to get access to a food bank
If you’re facing an emergency and have no money to pay for food, you might be able to use a food bank.
You usually can’t go directly to a foodbank. Most of them will ask you to get a referral voucher from an organisation in your community before you can use them.
Places where you can get a foodbank voucher include:
- Citizens Advice
- your local council
- GP or health visitor
- Support worker
- Social worker
- Children’s Centre
If you think you need to use a food bank, follow these steps:
- You can search online for food banks in your area. You’ll be able to find out where they are and which local community organisations the foodbank works with who can organise a voucher for you.
- Or, a referral organisation can help you find the nearest food bank and give you a voucher. For help with this, go to the Citizens Advice website.
- When you arrive at the referral organisation, you’ll be asked for some basic information to find out your needs and check if you can get a voucher.
- If you qualify, the referral organisation will give you a voucher to take to the foodbank to exchange for food.
- If you need to use a food bank again, you’ll need to get another referral.
Before visiting a community referral organisations, or a Citizens Advice branch – make sure you check they’re open first, before travelling there.
If you’ve got your voucher but you’re not able to travel, your nearest food bank might be able to deliver. Contact them to find out.
Some foodbanks put a limit on the number of times you can use them. If you find yourself relying on them too often, they’ll be able to help you find other support.
Finding a food bank
Finding a referral organisation
Law Centres provide free legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people. They may be able to help you with expert advice if you have a complex benefit problem or you want to appeal against a decision made on your benefit entitlement.
As well as benefits and welfare rights advice, Law Centres offer legal advice on issues including employment and housing.
- telephone (in some areas).
Anyone who can’t afford to pay for legal support.
Contact your local Law Centre
Macmillan benefits advisers for people affected by cancer
A Macmillan benefits adviser can help you work out what financial help you’re entitled to.
They offer specialist advice to help ease money worries.
Including information on:
- tax credits.
- home visits
Anyone affected by cancer.
Find a Macmillan benefits adviser
Find one near you on the Macmillan Cancer Support website
Age UK benefits advice for older people
Some local branches of Age UK offer a free, confidential benefits advice service.
Practical assistance to make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to.
- home visits
- help with completing claim forms.
Anyone who’s over State Pension age and living in the area covered by the local branch.
Contact Age UK
Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline
Gingerbread provides advice and practical support for single parents, including advice on benefits and tax credits.
Other free help and advice
If you’re worried about keeping up with debt repayments, there’s lots of free, confidential help and advice available.
Find out more on our Where to go to get free debt advice page.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.
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