Here to help
Page last updated: 1 June 2023
Millions of households across the UK are struggling to make their incomes stretch to cover the rising cost of living. That is why the government is providing over £15 billion in further support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need.
The Cabinet Office has recently launched the ‘Help for Households’ campaign which explains the 41 different government schemes available to help with the cost of living, including new one-off payments as well as existing benefits and schemes.
These schemes have now been brought onto one Cost of Living Support website.
The NHS have also put together a Winter Pressures and Cost of Living Resource Pack (PDF File, 1,873kb) full of useful information which may help throughout the winter.
More information about some of the support available is also available on this webpage.
Applications for the EBSS and AFP AF now closed
Applications for the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) launched on 27 February and the Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund (AFP AF) launched on 6 March have now closed.
The schemes were launched to allow residents who didn't receive their support payments automatically from their energy companies to apply for alternative funding.
The Royal British Legion Grants
In 2022 the Royal British Legion noted a 20% rise in requests for support and found that some of our Armed Forces community were of greater vulnerability to rising costs. And so, the Cost of Living Grants programme was designed provide assistance to people who need help in a quick and easy way.
Applicable recipients include serving and ex-serving personnel, the wider Armed Forces community of families, dependents and carers.
We encourage anyone who is struggling with increasing costs to apply, as flexibility is in place to consider support for those who do not meet the defined means testing. Any member of the Armed Forces community wanting to access the grants can find out more and apply directly at rbl.org.uk/costofliving or call 0808 802 8080.
Household Support Fund
To support people who need additional help, the Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this March 2023 to March 2024.
The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills.
For residents in Newark and Sherwood, the Household Support Fund is being administered by Nottinghamshire County Council and further information can be found on its website: Household Support Fund - Nottinghamshire County Council.
Residents who are most in need are being provided with vouchers towards food and energy bills, and for holiday food vouchers for those on free school meals.
There are also several options available that might be of some assistance to residents as follows:
Maximising your income / benefits
Universal Credit (UC) ‐ the DWP wants to encourage people who could be better off financially to consider moving to UC. They estimate that more than half of current claimants will be better off. For further information go to: Universal Credit: What Universal Credit is - GOV.UK
Pension Credit - this is one of the most under-claimed benefits by those of pension-age. If you are entitled to Pension Credit this can lead to additional help with Council Tax and free TV licences for over 75's. To check if you, or a family member might be entitled to Pension Credit, please go to:Pension Credit calculator - GOV.UK
More information can be found on the Nottinghamshire County Council website.
Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support - if you are pension-age and live in rented accommodation and are on a low income you may be able to claim help with your rent. If you pay Council Tax and are on a low income you may be able to claim Council Tax Support. To check potential entitlement and to make a claim go to: Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
Attendance Allowance - this helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. It’s paid at 2 different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability. You could get £61.85 or £92.40 a week to help with personal support if you’re both:
- physically or mentally disabled
- State Pension age or older
It does not cover mobility needs.
Food clubs - offering healthy food at affordable prices to benefit residents struggling with the cost of living. Search for local food clubs in the district.
General benefit advice - for all general benefits advice go to:
- Browse: Benefits - GOV.UK
- Check benefits and financial support you can get - GOV.UK
- Free and impartial help with money, backed by the government | MoneyHelper
- Benefits advice and information | Nottinghamshire County Council
- Citizens advice offer a face to face drop in service in Newark and Ollerton
Benefit calculators - there are also various benefit calculators available which provide independent advice regarding benefits you may be entitled to:
- Benefits Calculator - Entitledto - independent | accurate | reliable
- Fighting UK Poverty - Turn2us
- Benefit and budgeting calculator | Policy In Practice (betteroffcalculator.co.uk)
- Benefits calculator and benefits advice - What benefits am I entitled to? | Age UK
- Benefit calculators: what benefits can you get - Citizens Advice
Managing your money / expenditure
If you need help to manage your money and general budgeting advice, there is a useful tool available on the Citizens Advice website: Work out your budget - Citizens Advice
If you are experiencing difficulties with your household energy costs in the first instance, please discuss this with your provider.
The Citizens Advice website also contains some useful information regarding grants and benefits available to help pay energy bills, see: Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills - Citizens Advice
If you are having difficulties with your water payments Severn Trent's Big Difference scheme is available for those on a low income, see: Big Difference Scheme | Help with paying your bill | Help when you need it | My Account | Severn Trent Water (stwater.co.uk)
Not sure how much you should be paying each month on electricity? See: How much do my appliances cost to use - October 2022 (PDF File, 499kb)
Other help available
If you are in private rented or Housing Association accommodation and your rent is not covered in full by Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit the council has limited funding to support some shortfalls via our Discretionary Housing Payment scheme, please go to our Discretionary housing payment page to find out more.
If you require more specialised housing advice, our Housing team have a number of options available on our Losing your home page.
Help for Households - Government support website
The Government have set up their own Help for Households webpage to support those during the Cost of Living crisis. You'll find support with household costs, energy bills, childcare and more.
If you need specialised advice on debt issues, something useful sites include: