Cost of living

On this page we outline some of the ways in which you can access additional support and offer advice on managing your bills in light of the current cost of living crisis. If you are still unclear about the support you might be able to access, local advice agencies and the Advice NI helplines are here to help make things clearer.

Freephone advice helpline

0800 915 4604

Email us for advice

For non-advice-related queries, email:

  • Arrears

    If you have fallen behind on your bills and you owe money to suppliers or creditors it is important not to ignore the problem. The best course of action is to communicate with the organisations concerned to try and work out a payment plan. Our Debt advisers can help you to do this, and will also help you to prioritise your debts so that you can focus your resources on the most important expenses.

  • Cost of Living Payments

    At the end of May 2022 the government announced a range of support with the cost of living. This has since been extended through to 2024. Support is being provided automatically to those who are eligible, which means you should not need to apply for it. Payments are being made to those on means-tested benefits, disability benefits and pensioners.

  • Crisis Support

    If you are unable to meet your basic needs, such as putting food on the table or keeping the heat or lights on, or you need to deal with an unforeseen event, like losing your job or an essential appliance breaking down, you may be able to access emergency support from the government or certain charitable organisations.

  • Energy Bills Support

    In addition to targeted support for those most vulnerable, there is also universal support for households and businesses being made available. This support is being delivered by the government through energy suppliers, so will not require action from consumers. However, you may be advised to contact your electricity and gas suppliers to ensure your contact information is up to date.

  • Energy Efficiency

    One way to reduce your bills is to improve your energy efficiency, which aims to reduce your overall usage. Whilst this can involve making lifestyle changes, there is also financial support available in certain circumstances.

  • Income Maximisation

    With prices at record highs it is absolutely imperative that everyone is receiving the benefits to which they are entitled. Not everyone is aware that they could be eligible to receive support through the social security system.