Help with essential costs

If you can’t work at the moment, have lost your job, or are working fewer hours

  • You may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from us.
  • If you’re struggling to pay your rent or your bills, you might be able to get some help – even if you’re still working or on a low income.
  • We can also help you look for work or training and help with the costs of getting started in a new job.

If you’re sick or need time off work because of COVID-19

If you’re being tested for COVID-19, it’s important you stay home until your results come back. If you can’t work from home, your employer may be able to apply for the Short-Term Absence Payment to help them pay you. If you’ve been told to self-isolate because you or someone you’ve been in contact with has COVID-19, and you can’t work from home, your employer may be able to apply for the Leave Support Scheme to help them keep paying you. Talk to your employer about the help that’s available so you can keep getting paid. If you’re self-employed and can’t work from home, you can also apply for these payments.

If you need help with essential costs

Depending on your situation, there are lots of other ways we may be able to help you and your family. You don’t need to be on a benefit to get help, it’s also available to people on a low income. We could help with:

  • food
  • accommodation costs (rent, mortgage, board)
  • power, gas, and water bills or heating
  • medical and dental costs

Find out more

Even if you don’t think you qualify, call us to talk about your situation. You can also visit and click on Check what you might get.

Call Service Express on:  0800 33 30 30
Call us on Work and Income:  0800 559 009

If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, you can contact Work and Income by:
text message: 029 286 7170
fax: 0800 621 621

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