Due to multiple factors both in the UK and abroad, the price of everyday goods, energy and fuel is rising significantly, rapidly increasing the cost of living. To help ease some people’s concerns, the government are offering multiple schemes and financial help for households. Everyone is entitled to some of these schemes and if you claim certain benefits or tax credits, you may be eligible for extra payments and help with your cost of living. Below is a list of the different payments and schemes you may be entitled to.
Cost of living payment
Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £650 this year, paid automatically in two instalments. The first payment of £326 was made in the summer. The second payment of £324 will be made by DWP to eligible customers between 8th and 23rd of November, and by HMRC between 23rd and 30th of November (to customers receiving tax credits only and no other eligible DWP benefits). This is in addition to the £400 discount on energy bills.
Disability Cost of living payment
From 20th September 6 million people who are paid certain disability benefits will receive an automatic one-off £150 payment. The payment will help disabled people with the rising Cost of Living, acknowledging the higher disability-related costs they often face, such as care and mobility needs. This is in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits. If you want to check to see if you are eligible for the disability cost of living payment then head on over to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment?_ga=2.32503614.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Pensioner cost of living payment
In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment. If you want to check to see if you are eligible for the winter fuel payment then head on over to https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment?_ga=2.98439583.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Council tax rebate
If you live in Council Tax bands A to D in England, you’ll get £150 back from your Council Tax bill (4 out of 5 households in England). For most people the rebate is automatic, however if you don’t pay your Council Tax by direct debit then get in touch with your Council.
Household support fund
£1.5 billion has been made available to support the most vulnerable to cover their essential daily costs, like energy bills. Recipients include pensioners and families with children. Local authorities can also issue food vouchers to families during the school holidays.
You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for 6 months. This can be used for household items, rent in advance, and travelling costs. If you want to see if you are eligible for the budgeting loan then head on over to https://www.gov.uk/budgeting-help-benefits?_ga=2.38615587.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Cheaper phone and broadband
You may be eligible to move onto a social tariff if you’re struggling to afford your broadband or phone services. If you want to see if you are eligible to switch over to a social tariff then head on over to https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/social-tariffs
Help paying water Bill
Many water companies run hardship schemes or fund independent charitable trusts which can help you pay your bills. For further information, head on over to https://www.ccwater.org.uk/households/help-with-my-bills/
TV licence fee freeze
The TV licence fee has been frozen at £159 until 2024. This means households will not see any change to the licence fee until 1 April 2024. For more information, head on over to https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/for-your-home/aged-74-and-over-aud3
Get help with all or part of your rent
You may get help with all or part of your rent. There’s no set amount of housing costs support and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council or housing association. If you want to see if you are eligible for benefits to help pay rent then head on over to https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators?_ga=2.65353518.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Universal Credit if you’re unemployed or on low income
If you and/or your partner are responsible for paying rent for the home you live in, or if you have a mortgage, Universal Credit may provide help towards the cost. If you want to see if you are eligible for Universal Credit head on over to https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit?_ga=2.236991616.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are state pension age or you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary accommodation. If you want to see if you are eligible for housing benefit head on over to https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit?_ga=2.31405631.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Support for additional housing costs
You may be able to get support for additional housing costs if you’re already claiming Housing Benefit. To find out what support you can get it is worth contacting your local council.
Council tax support scheme
Councils run support schemes to help people on low incomes with their Council Tax bill. To find out what support you can get it is worth contacting your local council.
Discretionary Housing Payment
If you are on certain benefits, you may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments which provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs. If you want to see if you are eligible for a discretionary housing payment then head on over to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments?_ga=2.66018862.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Get help with interest payments on mortgages or loans
If you’re a homeowner on qualifying benefits, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home. If you want to see if you are eligible for support for mortgage interest then head on over to https://www.gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest?_ga=2.95809948.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
95% mortgages for homes up to £600,000
You may be eligible to borrow up to 95% of the cost of a property worth up to £600,000 thanks to the mortgage guarantee scheme. Contact mortgage providers to see if you’re eligible.
HELP WITH ENERGY BILLS
Energy price guarantee
From 1st October, a new ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas for UK households. This is automatic and applies to all households. Beware of scams – there is no need to apply, and you will never be asked for bank details. This is in addition to the £400 energy bills discount for all households.
Energy bills support scheme
£400 off energy bills for households in Great Britain from this October. This automatic, non-repayable discount will be applied in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023 to help households through winter. There is no need to apply for the scheme and you will not be asked for your bank details.
Winter fuel payments
In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment. If you want to see if you are eligible for winter fuel payment head on over to https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment?_ga=2.32969278.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Cold weather payments
£25 extra a week if you’re getting certain benefits is available during the winter when the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days. To see if you are eligible head on over to https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment?_ga=2.67957393.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Warm home discount
This autumn nearly three million low-income households are eligible for a £150 rebate on their winter electricity bills. To see if you are eligible contact your energy supplier.
0% VAT on energy saving materials
It will be cheaper for you to install energy saving materials such as thermal insulation or solar panels with 0% VAT for the next five years, helping to improve energy efficiency in your home and keep heating bills down.
Help to heat
You may be eligible for grants to improve the energy efficiency of your home, which could help to reduce your energy bills. Government is investing in energy efficiency schemes which are being delivered by local authorities. For help finding energy grants in your home head over to https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/find-energy-grants-for-you-home-help-to-heat?_ga=2.39655843.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
HELP WITH CHILDCARE COSTS
Tax free childcare
You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare. For more information on how to claim tax free childcare visit https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare?_ga=2.69163409.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
30 hours free childcare
Eligible working families in England with 3- and 4-year-old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week. For more information visit https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
15 hours free childcare
Families in England who have 2-year-old children and are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of free childcare a week. All families with children aged 3 and 4 can also access 15 hours of free childcare a week. Again, For more information visit https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is: under 16 or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training. Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for. To claim child benefit visit https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit?_ga=2.74405522.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Claim back childcare costs
You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, with up to £646 back each month for one child or £1,108 for 2 or more children. For more information about claiming back childcare costs visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-childcare-costs?_ga=2.236736641.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Apply for free school meals
Free school meals are available to pupils in England during term time if parents get certain benefits. For more information about if your child can get free school meals visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals?_ga=2.3487152.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
National breakfast club
All participating schools will receive a 75% government subsidy for breakfast club provision, with 25% from other funding streams. For more information about the national breakfast programme visit https://www.family-action.org.uk/what-we-do/children-families/breakfast/
Household support fund
£1.5 billion has been made available to support the most vulnerable to cover their essential daily costs, like energy bills. Recipients include pensioners and families with children. Local authorities can also issue food vouchers to families during the school holidays. To find out if you are eligible for the support fund contact your local council.
Claim healthy start vouchers
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk. To see if you are eligible for healthy start vouchers visit https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/how-to-apply/
Get help with maternity costs
You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. To see if you are eligible for the sure start maternity grant visit https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant?_ga=2.95820316.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Increasing the level at which you pay National Insurance
From July, employees who earn £36,600 or under (around 70% of workers) will pay less National Insurance. A typical employee will save over £330 a year. This means you can earn £12,570 a year completely tax-free.
Increasing your pay
The National Living and National Minimum Wage rates rose in April. Check your pay to make sure you are getting the pay rate you’re entitled to by visiting https://checkyourpay.campaign.gov.uk/?utm_campaign=nlwnmw&utm_medium=earned_web&utm_source=xwh_&utm_content=COL
Check if you’re eligible for universal credit
If you’re on low income, out of work or cannot work you may be eligible for Universal Credit. The government has made changes to allow working families to keep more of their money. To see if you are eligible for universal credit visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility?_ga=2.36124320.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Claim marriage allowance
Marriage Allowance allows you to transfer 10% (£1,260) of your personal tax allowance to your husband, wife, or civil partner if you earn less than the personal tax allowance, which is usually £12,570.
Extra money available for carers
You could get £69.70 a week if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. To see if you are eligible for the carers allowance visit https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance?_ga=2.27204029.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Pension credit for those in low income
You could get extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income: even if you have savings or own your own home. To see if you are eligible for pension credit visit https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit?_ga=2.74904082.1892607947.1667898982-1795047714.1667568418
Get help with savings if you’re on a low income (Help to Save)
Help to Save is a savings account. If you’re entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit, you can get a bonus of 50p for every £1 you save over 4 years.
Child trust funds
A Child Trust Fund is a long-term tax-free savings account for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. For those who hold an account but do not know the Child Trust Fund provider, or if you’re unsure whether you have one or not, we can help you find out.
Get help if you cannot pay your tax bill
Contact HMRC as soon as possible if you cannot pay your tax bill. We’re here to help, and you may be able to pay what you owe in instalments, depending on your circumstances and what you can afford.
HELP WITH TRANSPORT COSTS
Cutting fuel duty
Fuel duty for petrol and diesel has been cut by 5 pence per litre across the whole of the UK until March 2023. It saves £100 for the average car driver, £200 for the average van driver and £1,500 for the average haulier.
Save 1/3rd on rail journeys
You can get up to a third off train fares with a railcard in Great Britain, saving up to £142 a year on average.
50% off travel if you’re on universal credit
You may be eligible for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card if you’re on Universal Credit.
In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the State Pension age. If you’re disabled, then you may be eligible for a disabled person’s pass if you live in England.
For further information please visit https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk
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