Cost of Living Support - financial support

Cumbria County Council's Ways to Welfare helpline offers help and emergency support with basics and essentials for people struggling to cope with their current situation. They can also advise on which other financial support you may be entitled to. Call 0800 783 1966 or visit Ways to Welfare.

Government support:Find out what benefits and financial support you may be able to get.

Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund is available to people who are in financial crisis and are struggling to afford energy, food, water bills and other essentials - this will be available until 30 September 2022.

The criteria to access the fund are:

  • People of state pension age who are in financial crisis.
  • All other working age people who are in financial crisis, may be provided with a one-off payment to help with energy and/or water costs (this is issued per household, not on an individual basis).
  • Additional referrals to the fund can only be made through a food bank or approved agency and can only be made once every 4 weeks. These additional referrals will be assessed on an individual basis.

If you have received support from us within the last 4 weeks, further support cannot be provided at this time and an agency referral is required before further support can be considered.

If someone is struggling to cover their household expenses and would like to find out if they could access the Household Support Fund, they can:

1.Apply online

This is the quickest way to apply. Your application will be assessed and priortised by the Welfare Team. 

2. Call Cumbria County Council's Welfare Team on 0800 783 1966. Please note we are priotising calls from high-risk groups. Our queue times are currently in excess of 2 hours.

We would encourage you to apply online where possible.


If you are worried about money, you can contact Citizens Advice. They can give you free advice on debt, benefits, employment, and housing problems, and make sure you're getting all the support you're entitled to.

Go online at Citizens Advice or call your local office:

  • Allerdale 01900 604735.
  • Barrow 0808 278 7817.
  • Carlisle and Eden - (for debt and ongoing enquiries) 03300 563037.
    - (for new enquiries) 0808 278 7844.
  • Copeland and Whitehaven 01946 693321.
  • Millom 01229 772395.
  • South Lakes - (for debt and ongoing enquiries) 03444 111444.
    - (for new enquiries) 01539 446464.

Cumbria Law Centre can offer free legal advice on housing, debt, employment, and welfare benefits to those on low incomes.

If you've lost your job or had your hours reduced, then you might be able to claim benefits. Many people miss out because they don't know what they're entitled to.

The Citizens Advice Help to Claim service can talk you through the early stages of making a claim and make sure you're claiming the right benefits; call 0800 144 8444 to find out more.

Or you can find out more about Universal Credit (and make your claim) online.

Cumbria Opportunities has information about local jobs, training courses and apprenticeships.

Cumbria Jobs Fuse helps to connect people looking for work to local employers looking for staff. If you're looking for work, call 0800 100 900; if you're an employer looking for staff, call 0808 196 3596.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) offer a business advisory service - bringing together and simplifying access to national and local business support. They ensure that you can access business support, no matter the size, sector, or maturity of your business.

Contact their dedicated business advisors today on Freephone 0800 069 6444 or email info@thecumbrialep.co.uk

If you are having difficulties paying for housing, you should contact your landlord, housing association or mortgage company.

If you face losing your home, speak to your local district council who may be able to help.  Alternatively, visit the government website for additional advice

If you are struggling to pay your council tax, get in touch with your local district council; if you are on a low income, you may be eligible for a grant towards the cost. Your district council can also help if you are at risk of eviction or homelessness. You can find information on their website, or contact them on the numbers below:

Allerdale Borough Council 0303 123 1702.

Barrow Borough Council 01229 876543.

Carlisle City Council 01228 817200.

Copeland Borough Council 01946 598300.

Eden District Council 01768 817817.

South Lakeland District Council 01539 733333.

Credit Unions help people save money and can also provide loans at low interest rates. They are an alternative to payday lenders and 'loan sharks' and can help you avoid getting into problem debt.There are four Credit Unions in Cumbria:

You might be able to get free NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and help with other NHS costs - visit the gov.uk website to find out more

Could changing your provider save you money? Cheaper broadband and phone packages.