What is a Financial Health Check?
It's an informal chat to see what you might be entitled to, and advice to help you make the most of your money. The advisers will check for you whether you’re getting as much income as you possibly could and find ways that you could pay out less each month. The Financial Health Check can be accessed over the phone or in person at your local Citizens Advice Bureau
How will an adviser help me save money?
This depends on your personal circumstances, but the main ways an adviser can help is by finding you: • Cheaper deals on things like gas and electricity • Benefits you might not know you’re entitled to • Grants or exemptions you may be entitled to
Who can get a free health check?
The service is open to everyone. We are especially keen to ensure the following groups are able to access the service: • Lone parent families • Families which include a disabled adult or child • Larger families • Minority ethnic families • Families with a child under one year old • Families where the mother is under 25 years of age • Older people and those approaching pension age
How do I get a financial health check?
Call our freephone Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm (8am - 6pm from 1 April) on 0800 085 7145 to speak to an experienced adviser over the phone or to book an apointment in person at your local CAB office. Alternatively contact your local CAB office directly or pop in. Visit https://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux to find you local Citizens Advice Bureau
Can I get a Financial Health Check at home?
If you aren't able to get to your local bureau, the service is available over the phone by calling our free national helpline on 0800 085 7145. Some bureaux are able to make home visits in exceptional circumstances. When you call, just explain your needs and our adviser will help find the best option for you.
Is it a confidential service?
The financial healthcheck is a confidential, impartial service. In order to help you, you will need to provide as much information with your adviser as possible so they can explore all your options. This information isn't shared with anyone outside of the adviser team. With your permission, we gather the anonymised data to gather evidence and better understand how to support people with their finances, but this doesnt involve anyone knowing anything about you. We only provide advice to you. What you decide to do with that information, or who you tell, is up to you.
Can you help me if I don't speak English?
Yes! Each bureau will be able to support you to access their services. This may not be the same in each bureau, so contact them directly to find out how they can best support your needs.
Can I get a check behalf of someone else?
The financial health check should be carried out by the person it relates to. If you are doing it on behalf of your family, as long as you have the correct information relating to other family members, then this is ok. If you are arranging the financial health check on behalf of someone who cant attend in person, it may be worth doing the financial health check over the phone or enquire whether your local bureau can organise a home visit.
How much money will I save?
It is impossible to say. This completely depends on your circumstances and whether you are already claiming any of the financial support you are entitled to.
Will I need to have a credit check?
No – this service is not about checking your credit score, it’s about finding out if you are claiming everything you are entitled to, and if you can save money on things like energy bills.
How long does it take?
It usually takes about 30-45 minutes but this depends on the issues you want to discuss, so it’s hard to give a definitive time. The advisers can arrange to follow up at another time if you need to.
What do I need to know?
It would be useful if you knew what your household income was, including any benefits you are already receiving. You should also know what you are spending in terms of utilities (gas, electricity, mobile phones, broadband etc).
Can you help me claim for benefits/grant/entitlements?
Your adviser will help identify anything you may be entitled to and, where appropriate, help you to make a claim.
Will benefits be taken away from me?
Your adviser will assess which benefit(s) you’re entitled to based upon the information you provide. Your adviser cannot take any benefits away from you but will let you know if it appears that you are in receipt of something which does not correspond with the information you provide about your household circumstances.
What times are the lines open?
At the moment they are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, but they will be open 8am - 6pm from April.