Cost of living | Support and benefits available
Do you know about extra support available if you are struggling with the cost of living?
Household Support Fund
You can apply to your local council for the Household Support Fund. This could help if you struggle to afford energy and water bills, food, and essential items.
Your council may also offer food vouchers to families during the school holidays.
To find out more, visit www.gov.uk/cost-living-help-local-council
Cost of living payments
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make the second Cost of Living payment of £300 to eligible people between 31 October and 19 November 2023.
Eligible pensioner households will also receive a further £300 later this year as an addition to the Winter Fuel Payment.
Eligible tax credit-only customers who do not qualify for a payment from DWP will receive £300 from HMRC between 10 and 19 November 2023.
Those who are eligible will receive the payments automatically. You do not need to contact DWP or do anything to receive the payment.
Warm Home Discount
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024.
You’ll usually get the discount automatically if you’re eligible.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity and you’re eligible. Contact your supplier to find out.
To find out more, visit Warm Home Discount Scheme: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Have you moved over to Universal Credit yet?
If you claim benefits or tax credits, you will soon move to Universal Credit (UC) under new government changes.
The six benefits being replaced by Universal Credit are:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
If you are 65 or under
If you are currently getting any of these benefits or tax credits, you do not need to do anything unless your circumstances change, or you get a letter called a Migration Notice telling you that you must claim UC.
If you receive Tax Credits only, you will be sent a Migration Notice to help you claim UC within a three-month deadline.
If you do not claim in this time, your legacy benefits will stop. When you go onto UC through Managed Migration you get extra ‘Transitional Protection’ to ensure your benefits don’t reduce.
If you claim UC before getting your Migration Notice e.g. due to a change of circumstances like moving home or finishing work, you will not get this same protection.
If you are about to turn 66
If you are already 66 and need to claim benefits, you will not be able to claim UC and should claim Pension Credit (PC) instead. You would need to claim Housing Benefit to help to cover any rent costs.
If you are 65 and receive a Migration Notice, you should consider when you will turn 66. If this happens before the three-month deadline, you may be better off delaying claiming UC and claim PC when you turn 66.
If you are over 65
If you are claiming tax credits and are aged 65 or over, DWP will write to ask you to apply for Universal Credit or Pension Credit, depending on your circumstances.
You won’t be moved automatically, so it’s important to act quickly and follow the instructions in the letter. Otherwise, your benefits will stop.
To continue receiving financial support, you must claim Universal Credit by the deadline in your Migration Notice letter, even if you have just renewed your tax credit claim.
- If you receive a Migration Notice, read it carefully.
- Make sure you seek advice if you are unsure how you’ll be affected.
- Take action before the three-month deadline date or some of your benefits or Tax Credits could stop after three months.
Do you know if you are eligible for a broadband social tariff?
Social tariffs are special discounted deals available to certain low-income customers.
They're generally cheaper than standard broadband tariffs, starting at just £12 a month and usually aren't subject to price rises or exit fees.
Check the Money Saving Expert website to see if your current provider already offers a social tariff.
- For more advice and support, visit our cost of living hub.
Sign up for updates on your home, community and other services
We treat your personal data with care, view our privacy notice here: https://contactus.progressgroup.org.uk/forms/statements/