Breathing Space is a Government-backed scheme designed to give anyone with problem debt time to access proper debt advice. Under the scheme your creditors must stop contacting you for 60 days and you cannot be evicted from your home in that time.
The scheme is free and open to anyone who has at least one debt and isn’t able to pay the repayments, or won’t be able to pay in the near future.
People who are experiencing a Mental Health crisis can also access Breathing Space and can be in the scheme for longer than 60 days but they must be receiving continuous mental health crisis treatment and have an approved mental health professional who the debt adviser can contact.
What else do I need to know?
- There is no limit to the total amount of debt that you owe, as long as you have at least one debt. You must continue to pay all your regular household bills whilst you are in the scheme. There are different rules around this for people accessing the Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space.
- You must stay in regular contact with your debt adviser throughout the 60 days and be active in working towards a debt solution.
- If you are having payments deducted from your Universal Credit payments for debts, these will continue but not if you are still receiving ‘legacy benefits’ such as Jobseekers’ Allowance or Employment Support Allowance.
How do I get it?
You can’t apply for Breathing Space yourself; you must be assessed by a debt adviser and must remain in contact with the adviser once they have assessed that you are eligible for the scheme.
One Manchester’s One Money team are registered for Breathing Space and can help you to access the scheme and help you to look at debt solutions. Call 0330 355 1000 and ask for the One Money team or email firstname.lastname@example.org