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Increase Your Income

Community Action Cost of Living Increase Your Income

There are several ways that you might be able to increase your income, including claiming benefits you may be entitled to, moving into employment or changing your job.

Updated: 14/12/2023


Claiming the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to is one way to increase your income.

There are different forms of support available depending on your individual and family circumstances. For example, whether you are in work or out of work, are of working age or of pension age, have a disability, or if you have children or other caring responsibilities. 

It is important that people receive the support they are entitled to, so it’s worth checking you are claiming what you can.

Benefits Calculator

A benefits calculator can be a good way of checking you are claiming everything you should be.

The following are free to use, and completely anonymous:

  • entitledto - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, council tax reduction, carer’s allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.
  • Turn2us - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, council tax reduction, carer’s allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.
  • Policy in Practice - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, council tax reduction, carer’s allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to make sure you know:

  • Your total income from any earnings you have
  • What your rent is
  • Your council tax band
  • The cost of your childcare.


Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund 4 (HSF4) is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Government to local authorities to support families with children and individuals most in need. The HS4 Fund scheme runs from April 2023 to March 2024.

How does the scheme work?
Financial support will be provided in the following ways for eligible Derby households:

  • Free school meals: Households with children receiving free school meals will be supported during the term breaks. This will continue to be distributed as voucher codes, through schools as part of the HSF4 scheme.
  • Food vouchers: The spring/summer online voucher application form issued £500,000 of food vouchers to over 4700 families in need. The autumn/winter online food voucher application form will open for applications in December 2023 through to the end of March 2024, or until all the allocated £500,000 funding is awarded to eligible households. ​​​​​​
  • Welcome hubs: The fund also provides financial support for up to 40 local services and organisations across the city to further develop a community led cost of living support network that includes a warm welcome, hot meal, help towards energy cost as well as help accessing other cost of living support. More details will follow shortly.
  • Energy support: The fund provide access to financial support for help with energy costs in the form of energy vouchers. This support will be available from the end of October through the Warm Welcome Hubs across the city. A list of Warm Welcome Hubs is available on the Community Action Derby website.

For more information visit:


Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or if you cannot work.

For more information visit:

Derby Advice Welfare Team

The Welfare Rights team provide free, confidential and independent advice on welfare benefits for all Derby residents, including:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Universal Credit.

Support can also be provided for any residents who appeal decisions and need representation at tribunals.

Email: or call 01332 643394.


St James Centre

The St James Centre can offer a free 30 minutes advice session to help you claim benefits, sort out debts or find a job.

Pop in to St James Centre, Malcolm Street, Normanton, Derby DE23 8LU, call 01332 604080 or email


Direct Health and Advice (DHA)

DHA is an independent charity working across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. If you are a Derby resident over the age of 19, you can contact DHA for a Free Money Health Check.

What you get:

  • A benefit check to identify any missing entitlement
  • Debt advice / guidance
  • Advice on priority bills
  • Information on schemes that may reduce your household bills
  • Tips on budgeting effectively.

Free SIM cards when you complete a short course.

Every Tuesday between 10am and 4pm at DHA, Phoenix Street, Derby DE1 2ER.

To book an appointment call 07752575247, email or visit


Jobs and Skills

Moving into employment, changing your job, taking part in training and developing your skills could help you increase your income.

  • Derby Jobs Weekly is a newsletter designed for people who are looking for employment. It presents a snapshot of key employment opportunities available to apply for, in and around the Derby area.
  • The Derby Employment Hub has been set up to provide one-to-one personal coaching support and advice, to help unemployed people get into work.
  • Volunteering can be a great way to develop your skills and experience. If you are interested in volunteering, the Volunteer Centre at Community Action can help. Call 01332 342272 or email
  • The Derby Adult Learning Service offers learning opportunities for adults including employability and vocational skills courses.
  • Community Action has a Jobs page on the website, which contains current vacancies at Community Action, as well as jobs in other local voluntary and community organisations.
  • Derby City Council also has a Job Vacancies page on their website, containing roles available at the Council.
  • The Revive Centre Charity has a Job Club available to residents of Derwent and  Chaddesden, which offers help on the journey towards work with job searching, CV creation, online courses, job applications, interview skills, work experience  and researching apprenticeships.