Need advice about benefits?
The Government is making lots of changes to the benefit system. By asking for benefit advice you can be better prepared for these changes.
You can book a one-to-one appointment with our Income & Benefits Advisor, who can provide advice on what benefits you are entitled to. You can also receive tips on debt, rent arrears and more. Help and advice will be given in completing application forms and the effect of the benefits claimed.
To book an appointment with our Income & Benefits Advisor, please call 01480 428521.
Luminus runs monthly benefit advice surgeries with our Income & Benefits Advisor. These sessions are open to all Luminus tenants, regardless of age, income or employment status. We run benefit advice surgeries at the following venues:
Ouse Walk, Huntingdon
Held on the third Wednesday of each month
10am - 1pm
The Priory Centre,
Priory Lane, St. Neots
Held on the second Thursday of each month
10am - 1pm
Living to a budget can be difficult, here are some tips that could save you money.
There are many websites that aim to help you get the best deals on insurance and utility bills. These websites include:
Try to be more energy-efficient. The average fuel bill amounts to over £1000 a year, making it more and more difficult to heat your home. For advice on saving energy costs call 0800 33 66 99 or go to
Pre-payment meters mean you ‘pay as you go’, and some people find they help with budgeting. However, you sometimes pay more per unit with prepayment meters, and it’s inconvenient when it runs out. You can make savings by paying by monthly Direct Debit.
If you have a mobile telephone contract, you need to pay the standard charge plus calls. There are a variety of packages with varying costs. You will also be tied into the contract, usually for a year minimum. If you have a ‘PAY AS YOU GO’ mobile telephone you have better control of the amount you spend as you can only spend what you have pre-paid for.
Phone / Internet / TV
If you are on benefits there is a service called BT Basic – the quarterly line rental is £14.85, which includes £4.50 worth of calls for that quarter. You will need to pay for any calls made that go over the included £4.50.
You can often save money by getting your phone, internet and television from the same provider. Make sure that you’re not paying for services that you don’t need (e.g. film packages etc).
If you are currently paying monthly for a TV service, such as Sky, Virgin Media, or BT Vision, you may be better off in the long term by purchasing a Freeview box for a one off payment.
FREE school meals
Parents on certain benefits or a low income can apply for free school meals for their children. Get more information and apply at:
Concessionary bus passes / Travel cards
If you use public transport regularly you can get more information from www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport
If you are 75 or over, you can apply for a free TV Licence. For more details visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one
Easy Steps to Get You Out of Debt:
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) specialises in debt counselling for individuals in financial difficulty with over 190 Debt Centres operating across the UK.
Every week, hundreds of people call CAP’s national helpline looking for a solution to their money problems. CAP is committed to providing them with a solution and helping with more than just their clients’ financial needs. CAP found that 78% of their clients said that debt put a strain on their relationships, 76% went without meals and 37% considered or attempted suicide as a way out of their financial problems. In such situations, CAP brings hope and a solution so that relationships can be restored, families can be fed and lives can be saved.
In 2011 alone, over 1,000 CAP clients became debt free.
CAP provides help through a simple and effective process (listed below), you can request a home visit from a local CAP debt coach should you need more help.
- CAP work out an effective budget with you that priortitses your essential bills, and negotiate affordable payments to your creditors.
- Set up a ‘CAP Account’, like a simple bank account, from which CAP will pay your creditors on your behalf
- If you are in severe debt, they will walk you through insolvency options e.g. petitioning for bankruptcy
- Continued support from CAP and use of a ‘CAP Account’ until you are debt free.
CAP Money Course:
CAP’s revolutionary money management course teaches budgeting skills and a simple cash-based system that really works. The course helps people to take control of their finances, improve their budgeting skills, save money and prevent debt.
Courses are held all over the UK and you can search on the CAP website for a course near you by entering your postcode. For more information about Christians Against Povertycall 0800 328 0006 or visit www.capuk.org
Stay clear of Loan Sharks!
Loan sharks loan money illegally to people who cannot get credit through the usual means e.g. if they have a bad credit rating. Their interest rates however are extremely high and they often use violence to recover debts.
They differ from licensed doorstep lenders, whose interest rates can also be high, in that they are illegal. At least two people have received life sentences for loan shark lending and other criminal activities associated with it.
Loan sharks might make out that they help people with money worries, but nearly always cause more misery for the people they prey on, and the borrower is not protected by any form of contract or terms and conditions.
If you need a loan, think about those provided by credit unions such as Rainbow Saver. If you are victim of loan shark activities call 0300 555 2222