Money management and staying in control of finances is important at any time but even more so in the current recessionary climate. Financial security is widely recognised as having a direct effect on health levels, both positively when we are relatively well-off and negatively when we are not.
Individuals dealing with chronic and mental health conditions for some time may find that they are unable to manage their own finances. This stress can negatively impact on an individual’s condition and can commence a vicious cycle. Likewise, a sudden period of poor health or bereavement can make it hard for individuals to manage money or debt. This situation has the potential to spiral out of control.
Research conducted by Christians Against Poverty in 2011 has shown that 61% of individuals who developed health problems waited over a year before they sought help with their debts. 46% thought there was no help available to them. There is clearly a need for raising awareness of help that is available.
This section of the website is designed to inform health and social care staff, carers and individuals about the range of services available to help support individuals who may be facing financial difficulty during a period of ill health.
Staff working in the Southern Trust area should find this guide useful for sign-posting their service users to organisations and services which may be able to provide them with help maximising income and managing finances during a period of ill health. In turn establishing financial well-being may have the dual effect of reducing stress and improving health.
The organisations, information and services in this guide can be accessed by various means - in person, via telephone, on websites or by email. A downloadable version of the guide is available by clicking Financial Wellbeing Guide. Copies are available from Portadown Citizens Advice Bureau at Portadown Health and Care Centre, Tavanagh Avenue, Portadown. The Financial Wellbeing Guide was produced by Craigavon District Citizens Advice Bureau in collaboration with the Southern Health & Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency, and funded by the Public Health Agency.
Social Welfare Benefits
www.adviceni.net / T: 028 9064 5919 / E: email@example.com
An umbrella organisation for groups which offer free & confidential advice on a range of issues including welfare benefits, housing, money and debt. Local office details are available on the website.
Access to Benefits (A2B)
Aims to improve benefit uptake for people of retirement age. Individuals can access a ‘Benefit Calculator’ online to calculate entitlement to benefits.
Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB)
CAB offices offer advice & information to the public on a range of benefits, welfare rights, employment & housing rights, legal issues, as well as money and debt problems. For information on opening hours & outreach venues please contact the relevant offices for details.
Armagh District CAB
9 McCrums Court, Armagh, BT61 7RS / T: 028 3752 4041 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach Clinics: Tandragee, Richhill, Keady and Markethill.
Banbridge District CAB
77 Bridge Street, Banbridge, BT32 3JL / T: 028 4062 2201 / E: email@example.com
Outreach Clinics: Rathfriland, Dromore & Gilford.
Craigavon District CAB
The Town Hall, 6 Union Street, Lurgan, BT66 8DY & Portadown Health & Care Centre, Tavanagh Avenue, Portadown, BT62 3BE / T: 03001 233 233 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach Clinics: Aghagallon, Aghalee, Magheralin, Meadows Day Centre, Manor Day Centre, Monbrief House, Drumellan House, Craigavon Hospital Bluestone Unit, Craigavon Hospital Mandeville Unit.
Newry & Mourne District CAB
Ballybot House, 28 Cornmarket, Newry, BT35 8BG / T: 028 3026 2934 / E: email@example.com
Outreach Clinics: Bessbrook, Crossmaglen, Daisy Hill Hospital, Mullaghbawn, Warrenpoint & Kilkeel.
Dungannon & South Tyrone District CAB
5-6 Feeney's Lane, Dungannon, BT70 1TX / T: 028 8772 5299 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach Clinics: Aughnacloy, Augher, Clogher, Beacon Centre, Dungannon & Coalisland Womens Aid and Cancer Choices Kylemore Cottages.
Employers for Childcare
www.employersforchildcare.org / T: 0800 028 6538 / E: email@example.com
Childcare Benefits Advisory Service offering information and advice on social security benefits, tax credits, help with childcare costs, entitlement to free school meals & other means tested benefits.
Jobs and Benefits Offices
The Jobs and Benefits Service facilitates those looking for work, claiming benefits or both.
Armagh T: 028 3752 9777
Banbridge T: 028 4062 0800
Dungannon T: 028 8775 4754
Lurgan T: 028 3831 5600
Newry & Mourne T: 028 3026 5522
Portadown T: 028 3839 7244
Lurgan Independent Advice & Information Service (LIAISE)
Mount Zion House, Lurgan, BT66 6DB / T: 028 3832 5764 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local independent advice office providing advice on welfare benefits, debt and tribunal representation.
Macmillan/CAB Benefit Uptake Project
T: 03001 233 233 / E: email@example.com
Benefits advice for individuals within the Southern Trust Area who have been diagnosed with cancer.
www.nidirect.gov.uk / T: 0800 220 674 / 0800 882 200
The official government website providing information and advice on social welfare, legal issues & consumer rights. Website and anonymous advice via website.
Pensions Advisory Service
www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk / T: 0845 601 2923 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
A not-for-profit organisation which provides information and guidance on pension issues, including complaints & disputes.
South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP)
www.stepni.org / 11 Feeneys Lane, Dungannon / T: 028 8775 0211
The Law & Migrants Centre gives free professional legal advice and information on matters of immigration, employment, social security, housing and education which are relevant to migrant workers.
Website information on benefits & online assessment in order to maximise income.
Health and wellbeing problems are inextricably linked with high levels of debt. The following provide free debt management services:
Beat the Recession
The website provides information and advice on money & debt issues and there is also the option to chat with a trained money adviser online.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
www.capuk.org / T: 0800 328 0006 (Appointment Booking) / Fax: 01274 760745 / E: email@example.com
CAP is a debt counselling charity offering debt counselling and support with budgeting and managing debt. Services available locally.
Consumer Credit Counselling Service
www.cccs.co.uk / T: 0800 138 1111 / E: via the website
Offers free, anonymous debt and financial [lanning advice, by telephone or using online tools.
Dealing with Debt (Citizens Advice)
www.dealingwithdebt.org.uk / T: 0844 8552104 (Appointment Hotline)
Free, confidential & independent debt advice delivered by Citizens Advice Bureaux across NI. Online self-help money advice & downloadable leaflets.
Debt Action NI (Advice NI)
www.debtaction-ni.net / T: 028 9064 5919
Free, confidential and face-to-face service for discussing debt advice. Advice NI offices are located across Northern Ireland & are listed on the website. Details of those within the Southern Trust area follow.
Money Advice Service
Online financial health check. Gives users an action plan to work towards. This service was set up by the government to give free impartial advice on making the most of your money.
Money Savings Expert
Useful money savings tips.
This is an interactive website for money management with tips to manage your money better without financial jargon.
Small Business Debt
www.payplan.com / T: 0800 280 2816
Free debt management plans, information and advice.
Long-Term Health Conditions
Some specialist organisations offer advice on benefits, grants and financial management to people suffering from long-term health conditions:
T: 028 9066 4100 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: 028 9078 2940 / E: email@example.com
www.cancerchoices.org.uk / T: 028 8772 9850
CHARIS (Integrated Cancer Care Ltd)
www.chariscancercare.org / T: 028 8676 9217
Chest, Heart & Stroke Association
T: 08457 697 299 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Macmillan Cancer Support
www.macmillan.org.uk / T: 0808 808 0000 (Freephone) / E: via the website
Multiple Sclerosis Trust
T: 0800 032 3839 / E: email@example.com
www.nhs.uk (Also see ‘Your help, Your way’ which provides financial advice for people with long-term medical conditions).
Financial wellbeing is vital for maintaining the comfort and stability of a person’s home. The following organisations specialise in housing matters:
Housing Advice NI Service
This is a public advice website developed by Housing Rights Service and offers online DIY advice, tools to help with budgeting and dealing with creditors and access to web chat.
Housing Rights Service
www.housingrights.org.uk / 4th floor Middleton Buildings, 10-12 High Street, Belfast BT1 2BA / T: 028 9024 5640 / T: 300 323 0310 (Mortgage Debt Helpline)
Offers specialist services and advice on housing related issues, rent arrears, homeowners mortgage support, repossessions.
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
www.nihe.gov.uk / Single Contact Number : 03448 920 900
Armagh Office - 48 Dobbin Street. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Banbridge Office - 56 Bridge Street. E: email@example.com
Craigavon Offices - 122 Hill Street, Lurgan. E: LurganBrownlow@nihe.gov.uk
41 Thomas Street, Portadown. E: Portadown@nihe.gov.uk
Dungannon Office - Ballygawley Road. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newry Office - 35-45 Boat Street. E: email@example.com
Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) provides social rented housing and has statutory obligations in respect of homeless individuals including the provision of emergency accommodation. Local offices can offer advice on housing benefit to assist with housing rental costs.
Family support organisations provide help, advice and support to families. Some also offer information on grants and financial management:
Contact a Family
www.cafamily.org.uk / T: 0808 808 3555
For families with disabled children, this organisation produces a wide range of publications on finances and benefits and free downloadable resources.
Family Support NI
www.familysupportni.gov.uk / T: 0845 600 6483 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
This website provides details of many support services available to families from both the statutory, community and voluntary sectors.
South Armagh Women & Family Health Initiative
T: 028 3088 9073 / E: email@example.com
This organisation works in partnership with statutory and voluntary bodies to raise awareness and address the health and support needs of women and families in the rural community.
South Down Family Health Initiative
www.southdownhealthinitiative.com / 4 Great George’s Street, Warrenpoint, Newry, BT34 3NF / T: 028 417 74248 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The initiative helps to provide a closer link between families and government services. The aim is to provide coaching & information so that local people can look after both their health as well as financial wellbeing.
Community transport providers can assist with travel to and from health care appointments. Users should contact their local provider for details and to obtain an accurate charge for their journey:
Community Transport Providers
Armagh Rural Transport (ART)
T: 028 3751 8151
T: 0845 9800 800
Down, Armagh Rural Transport (DART)
T: 028 3831 7810
Dungannon & District Community Transport
T: 028 8772 9714
Newry & Mourne Community Transport
T: 028 3026 5635
Community & BME Networks
ABC Community Network (Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon)
T: 02838392777 / E: email@example.com
Confederation of Community Groups (Newry & Mourne)
T: 028 302 61022 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Craigavon Intercultural Programme
T: 028 3839 3372 / E: email@example.com
Newry & Mourne Ethnic Support Centre
T: 028 3025 2544 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.ruralsupport.org.uk / T: 028 8676 0040 / T: 0845 6067 607 (Helpline)
Range of confidential support for farmers & farm / rural families.
TADA Rural Support Network (Tyrone, Armagh, Down & Antrim)
T: 028 3839 8888 / E: email@example.com
Fuel & Energy
Arrears of gas or electricity are priority debts because fuel suppliers can cut off the power supply if bills are not paid. If difficulties in paying bills do arise, individuals should contact their providers straight away and come to an agreement about how to pay off the arrears. In addition the following may be of help:
Energy Saving Trust
www.energysavingtrust.org.uk / T: 0800 512012 (free phone)
Provides free and impartial advice on how to save energy and information on grants.
Oil Price Checker
This is a price comparison website that allows you to choose the cheapest provider of oil in Northern Ireland at any given time.
Grants & Schemes
There are a range of grants and schemes available, which can help alleviate some financial pressures:
Community Energy Support Programme
To improve energy efficiency standards and reduce energy bills, residents in low income areas may be eligible for heating renovations to their homes such as boiler replacement, new insulation or a complete fuel switch. Contact local Councils for further information:
Armagh City & District Council - T: 028 3752 9600 / E: Info@armagh.gov.uk
Banbridge District Council - T: 028 4066 0600 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Craigavon Borough Council - T: 028 38312400 / E: email@example.com
Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council - T: 028 8772 0300 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newry & Mourne District Council - T: 028 3031 3037 / E: email@example.com
Boiler Replacement Scheme
The scheme will allow up to 1,300 vulnerable households to receive up to £1,500 towards the replacement of older inefficient boilers. Criteria apply.
Family Fund Grants
Provides grants and information to help the carers of a severely disabled child. Applications can be made online at www.familyfund.org.uk - alternatively you can contact the family fund on 08449 744 099 and have an application pack sent to your home.
Oil Scheme - Stamps for Oil
Individuals can purchase fuel stamps for retail outlets signed up to the scheme and once they have saved up enough stamps, they can then redeem their credit from participating oil suppliers. The scheme operates through some conferences of St Vincent de Paul and some local councils. Please contact your local council or St Vincent de Paul for further information.
Social Fund Grants & Loans
The Social Fund is administered by Jobs & Benefits Service and provides a range of regulated and discretionary grants and loans. These include sure start maternity grants, funeral payments, cold weather payments, winter fuel payments, community care grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans. Some, like cold weather payments and winter fuel payments, are paid automatically others must be applied for. Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office, listed above.
Warm Homes Scheme
www.warm-homes.com / T: 0800 988 0559
Help for people who receive certain benefits to make their homes warmer and more energy efficient.
Winter Fuel Payments
www.direct.gov.uk/en/pensionsandretirementplanning/benefits/benefitsinretirement/dg_10018657 / Helpline: 0845 9151515
These organisations provide additional help, support or advice:
www.ageni.org / T: 0808 808 7575
This charity does not provide personal financial advice but it can give general financial advice to anyone over the age of 55 years.
Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
www.consumercouncil.org.uk / T: 028 9067 2488 (Gas, Electricity, Water etc.) / T: 0300 123 6262 (High Street/Shopping) / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raises awareness on consumer rights, advice on scams, consumer law and consumer credit agreements.
11 Georges Street, Dungannon, BT70 1BP / T: 028 8775 2372 / E: email@example.com
Portadown Office - 10 Edward Street. T: 028 3833 7684
Lurgan Office - Union Street. T: 028 3832 3222
Newry Office - 14A Trevor Hill. T: 028 3026 3537
The Salvation Army is a church registered charity providing practical help and assistance to people in need.
St Vincent De Paul
Armagh Office - 19-21 Ogle Street. T: 028 3751 0922
Banbridge Office - 24 Rathfriland Street. T: 028 4066 2047
Craigavon Office - Moyraverty Centre. T: 028 3834 4881
Dungannon Office - Union Place. T: 028 8772 7323
Lurgan Office - Ozanam Centre, William Street. T: 028 3832 2102
Newry Office - 40A Bridge Street. T: 028 3026 8185
Portadown Office - Mayfair Centre. T: 028 3839 3898
St Vincent de Paul works to alleviate poverty offering friendship, support, advice and practical help through financial and material assistance.
Support & Help in times of Distress
The following organisations may be able to assist at times of crisis when help and support is most needed or signpost to the nearest appropriate support organisation:
Lifeline 0808 808 8000
(24/7 Suicide prevention)
Alcoholics Anonymous 0845 7697555
CRUSE (bereavement care) 0844 4779400
For other languages visit: www.befrienders.org
Care in Crisis 028 3832 9900
Carers NI 028 9043 9843
Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 9171414
Gamblers Anonymous 028 7135 1329
Samaritans 0845 7909090