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Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, what you can do to protect yourself, support your community and guidance to assist employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

Universal Credit: other financial assistance

If you are in financial difficulties there is help and advice available from local and national organisations. It is important to act now and stop the situation deteriorating.

Universal Credit advance payments and budgeting advance

Advance payments

If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance payment.

You may be able to get up to 50% of your estimated Universal Credit payment.

Budgeting Advance

A Budgeting Advance can help pay for things like household goods, clothing, rent in advance and repaying certain loans. 

Other benefits you can claim

  • Our benefits team can tell you what council tax support and housing benefit you may be entitled to and provide advice on other benefits.
  • Use a benefits calculator on GOV.UK to find out what other benefits you could get

Help for children

  • Child maintenance is financial support towards your child’s everyday living costs when you’ve separated from the other parent.
  • Family Fund is a charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people.

Local help and advice

  • Citizens Advice Forest of Dean provide advice on a wide range of issues including, money, benefit, housing or employment problems
  • Gloucestershire Welfare Support Scheme provide one off practical support to eligible adults and families to help provide furniture, household goods, white goods and electricity and gas top ups through the use of non cash awards, vouchers and recycled items.
  • The Forest Food Bank helping local people in crisis with emergency food supplies.
  • The Forest Baby Bank helping provide local families with children up to 2 years old with emergency baby supplies and equipment.
  • My Advice Gateway helps you find information on claiming benefits, accessing help and support with financial problems and looking for a job.
  • Money Advice Service provides free and impartial money advice with a range of online help tools such as budget planners.
  • Forwards Gloucestershire is an all age, all disability service supporting people with disabilities achieve their employment dreams.


  • Our housing team can provide a wide range of information and support on housing related issues including accessing housing grants and protecting your home if you are under threat of eviction.
  • Greensquare provide a range of housing related support for people over the age of 18 who are experiencing difficulties.

Housing association tenants

If you are a housing association tenant and are experiencing problems paying your rent and managing your finances contact them as most offer financial support. It is important to act quickly to avoid your home becoming at risk. 

Two Rivers Housing has an in house welfare, benefits and debt support team. Two Rivers tenants experiencing difficulties can contact them direct for assistance.

Energy bills

You can get a range of help with your energy bills including additional help for the most vulnerable on key benefits, accessing the cheapest tariffs and grants for insulation. For more information, visit:

Debt advice

If you are struggling with debt including rent or mortgage arrears, fuel debts, payday loans or credit and store card debts, it is important to seek help. Don’t ignore your bills or debt letters.

Skills and work experience

Developing your skills and work experience can open doors for you. Find out about training and employment opportunities: