Worried about money?

Worrying about money? Follow these steps to find out who can help

Download a PDF copy of this information here

Step 1 - What's the problem?

I suddenly have no money

  • Lost job / reduced hours
  • Lost money / unexpected expense
  • Disaster (e.g. flood or fire)
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Money stopped (e.g. failed a medical)
  • Sanctioned*

See Option 1>   Option 2>   Option 5>   Option 6>

My money doesn't stretch far enough

  • Deciding between food / fuel / mobile credit
  • Low income or zero hours contract
  • Statutory Sick Pay too low to cover costs
  • Not sure if eligible for support
  • Change of circumstance (e.g. new baby / bereavement / illness / left partner)

See Option 2>

I have debt

  • Rent or Council Tax arrears
  • Gas or electricity
  • Credit or store cards
  • Personal loans and overdrafts
  • Owe friends and family
  • Benefit repayments

See Option 3>

I am waiting on a benefit payment / decision

  • Made a new claim for benefit
  • Benefit payment is delayed
  • Waiting for a benefit decision

See Option 1>   Option 4>

Step 2 - What are some options?

Option 1 - Scottish Welfare Fund

People on low incomes may be able to get a crisis grant from the Council. This is a payment to help you cope during an emergency or disaster, or due to unexpected expenses. Crisis grants do not have to be paid back (not a loan).

Find out how to get help >

Option 2 - Maximise your income

Anyone who is on a struggling financially can get a benefit check and speak to an advisor for free and confidential advice. A benefit check can ensure that you are receiving all the money you’re entitled to, especially if your circumstances have changed recently. Speaking to an advisor could also help with managing gas and electricity bills and make sure you’re not missing out on things like school clothing grants or free school meals.

Find out how to get help >

Option 3 - Debt advice

Debt can happen to anyone. Free advice and support can help you find ways to manage your debts and reduce how much you pay each month.

Find out how to get help >

Option 4 - Benefit advance

If you have made a new claim for benefit and are in financial hardship while you wait for your first payment, you may be able to get an advance to afford things like rent or food. It’s important to get advice before taking out an advance. Benefit advances must be paid back, and the money will be taken from your future benefit payments (a loan).

Find out how to get help >

Option 5 - Hardship payment

If you have been sanctioned, you may be able to request a hardship payment from the Jobcentre. Hardship payments are not always paid immediately, and they’re not available to everyone. Hardship payments of Universal Credit need to be paid back (a loan), but hardship payments of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance do not (not a loan).

Find out how to get help >

Option 6 - Challenge a decision

You can challenge a benefit decision if your benefit has been stopped / sanctioned / reduced / refused or you have been overpaid. Most benefit decisions need to be challenged within one month.

Find out how to get help >

Step 3 - Where can I get help?

Flexible Food Fund

A grant for those with no savings and who are on a low income
Apply online
01700 502784

Scottish Welfare Fund - make an application

Make a crisis grant application.
01546 605512
9am-5pm (Mon-Fri)


Each of these services offer free and confidential advice

Argyll and Bute Council

Free and confidential welfare rights and money advice
01546 604176

Argyll and Bute Citizens Advice Bureau

Advice on benefits, debt, money, housing and more
01546 605550
9am-5pm (Mon-Fri)

Bute Advice Centre

Welfare, money and energy advice to anyone in Argyll and Bute through the Flexible Food Fund Project
01700 502784
9am-5pm (Mon-Thur) 9am-1pm

Read the Bute Advice Centre's advice pack


Energy Advice Service including free home visits to help reduce fuel costs.

01631 565183


Speak to an adviser, ask your work coach or contact one of the numbers below

Advance/Hardship Payment

  • IS/ESA/JSA (0800 169 0310)
  • Universal Credit (0800 328 5644)

Advance Payment

  • Carer’s Allowance (0800 731 0297)
  • Pension Credit (0800 731 0469)

Other support

Money Helper

Money and pensions guidance
01800 138 7777 / 07701 342744 (Whats App)

Social Security Scotland

You may be eligible for support from Social Security Scotland
0800 182 2222

Housing Associations

The following Housing Associations have advisors available to help their tenants:

Argyll Community Housing Association
0800 028 2755

Dunbritton Housing Association Limited
01389 761 486

Fyne Homes
03456 077 177

West Highland Housing Association
0300 323 1170