Money Advice Referral Tool (MART)

The Money Advice Referral Tool (MART) has been developed to boost household income and financial resilience by getting more money into people’s pockets, and helping them access the support they are entitled to.

It gives links and information about the different money advice and related support services available, together with details of how to contact them.

MART was created via the Trafford Poverty Action Group, and has been developed in partnership with the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group (GMPA).

What’s your situation?

I suddenly have no money

  • Lost job
  • Benefits stopped (sanctioned/failed a medical)
  • Emergency/disaster (fire, flood, lost money)
  • Relationship breakdown
  • No recourse to public funds (NRPF)


I’m waiting on a payment / decision

  • New claim made for benefit
  • Benefit is delayed
  • Waiting for benefit decision to be reassessed


My money does not stretch far enough

  • Deciding between food and fuel
  • Low income or zero-hours contract
  • Not sure if eligible to claim for benefit
  • Change of circumstances (eg. bereavement, illness, new baby, reduction in benefit)
  • Unsure how to manage my money/overspending


I have debt

  • Rent, council tax, gas or electricity arrears
  • Payday/high-cost loans or owing friends and family
  • Benefit repayments


I have other problems that are affecting how I manage my money

Other issues such as mental health, homelessness, addiction or gambling are hindering my finances.

See the Other Support section.

What are some of your options?

Benefit advance or hardship payment

If you have applied for benefits and are waiting for your first payment you may be able to get an advance. This will have to be paid back. If you have no money because of a sanction, you may be able to claim a hardship payment from the Jobcentre. Hardship payments of Universal Credit need to be paid back, but hardship payments of JSA or ESA do not. You should get advice before accessing either of these.

Challenging a decision

You can challenge a benefit decision if your benefit has been stopped, sanctioned or reduced and you believe the decision is wrong. Most decisions need to be challenged within one month, or within 13 months if there are special reasons for delay.


Advice and support to manage the money you have more effectively.

Benefit check

A benefit check can ensure you are receiving your maximum entitlement and you can receive help to claim benefits. If you’re pregnant or have child under four years old you can also ask the advisor about healthy start vouchers.

NHS Healthy Start

Debt advice

Advice and support including financial assessments, solutions, debt recovery options available to creditors, income maximisation, budgeting advice and financial statements.

Who can help?

Energy advice and water bills

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills (or having to choose between food or fuel) you may be able to get support to reduce your bills, apply for a warm home discount, or access other grants. You may also be able to get support in making your home more energy efficient which will reduce your bills.

If you are a social housing tenant, your housing provider may be able to support you with energy costs. Contact your social housing provider for further information.

If you are struggling to pay your water bills, United Utilities can provide support based on your circumstance. They may be able to reduce your water bills or offer flexible ways to pay.

Discretionary Housing Payment

Payments may be awarded when the Council considers that you need further assistance to meet your housing costs.

You must already be in receipt of any amount of either Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

Migrant Destitution Fund

Crisis grants of up to £80 per month are available for destitute migrants who are subject to migration controls and have no recourse to public funds.

Who can help?

Who can help?

Citizens Advice Trafford

Free, independent, confidential advice on welfare benefits, money advice, housing, homelessness, immigration, community care, employment and family issues. We offer specialist services in benefits, money advice, housing, community care and immigration.

Trafford Welfare Rights

Our welfare rights team of specialist welfare rights advisors provides a comprehensive advice service on the whole range of benefits provided by the Department for Work and Pensions and the local authority. Also support and/or representation at appeal hearings.

Energyworks at Groundwork

Energyworks provide advice, support and information to eligible households around energy efficiency in the home, applications for grants and additional support available as well as the installation of small measures such as LED lightbulbs.

GM Immigration Aid Unit

Helps asylum seekers and refugees get the basic support they need to live with dignity. Including advice on housing, employment, welfare and navigating the asylum process. Also handles applications to the Migrant Destitution Fund.

African & Caribbean Care Group

Provides free confidential advice and support on wide range of issues including: benefit advice and application support, housing , energy/utility bills and access, dealing with debts and problems paying bills, problems with your mental health.

LMCP Care Link

Access to free confidential advice and support that assists people involved in decisions which affect and impact on their lives including: benefits advice and applications, energy bills and immigration issues.

Other support

Age 50+ support

Age UK Trafford

Advice to over 50s to access benefits, housing options, community care and a range of other issues.


If you do need to borrow money, Credit Unions are local not-for-profit firms which can provide low-cost loans subject to affordability.

Domestic abuse

Trafford Domestic Abuse Service

Support to individuals and families who are suffering or who have suffered domestic abuse.

Drugs and alcohol

Achieve Recovery Service

Provides substance misuse treatment and recovery services to people affected by alcohol or drug misuse.


NHS Northern Gambling Service

Provides specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction and help to people close to those with gambling addiction.

Housing / homelessness

HOST (Housing Options Service Trafford)

Offers impartial and confidential advice and assistance on housing related issues.

Mental health


When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year


Qwell provides range of online, anonymous support for adults including via live chats and messaging.

Blue Sci

Blue Sci provide mental health and wellbeing support at our four wellbeing centres.

Café open seven days a week 7pm until 2am; 5pm start at weekends.


Your GP can provide support for your mental health and wellbeing including making a referral to Trafford Talking Therapies which is a free and confidential service. You can also self refer to Trafford Talking Therapies.

Tenants of social housing

Registered social landlords provide many of the advice services described throughout this tool. Tenant of these housing providers may want to check first with their provider what support it can offer them.

Housing associations in Trafford