Here to help
Page last updated: 1 March 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.
£400 Energy Bills Support Scheme
Households will get £400 of support with their energy bills through an expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
Energy suppliers will deliver this support to households with a domestic electricity meter over six months from October. Direct Debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account, while customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.
The vouchers issued have an expiry date of 90 days so you need to redeem them before the date they run out or you won't get your money.
Do you need to apply for the £400 Government Energy bills support scheme?
If you don’t have a direct relationship with your energy supplier and you haven’t received the £400 energy discount automatically, you could now be eligible to apply for support. Over 900,000 more households, across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will receive government support to help with their energy bills.
You may be eligible for this support if your main home is:
- a residential park home
- on a boat on a permanent residential mooring
- on a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site
- part of a heat network without an electricity meter
- in social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
- off the mains electricity or gas grid
- in a care home or assisted living facility and you pay for some or all of your care
- in a separate domestic home within a non-domestic property (such as a farmhouse or a flat above a shop)
You can check if you’re eligible to apply by visiting the government website.
You will need to supply an email address and phone number (if you have one) as well as your bank account details. Please note you will not be asked for your PIN or CVV number as part of this process and you should only give your details through the official website or if you call 0808 175 3287.
If you need help to apply
If you cannot apply online or need help with your application, contact the Government’s helpline team.
Telephone: 0808 175 3287, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Find out about call charges
Care Homes, please download and share our leaflet with your residents
Please download and share our leaflet with any residents or their relatives who may be eligible for the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme Payment.
EBSS Leaflet for care homes (PDF File, 539kb)
This support will apply directly for households in England, Scotland, and Wales.
This support is in addition to the £150 Council Tax rebate for households.
Read more about the Energy Bills Support Scheme - GOV.UK.
Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically
£650 Cost of Living Payment
More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650 this year, made in two instalments. This includes all households receiving the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
DWP will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on tax credits only will follow shortly after each to avoid duplicate payments.
For recipients of DWP benefits: To get the first Cost of Living Payment, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either:
- Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period of 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022
- income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or State Pension Credit for any day in the period of 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022
For recipients of tax credits: To get the first payment, you must have received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits on any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022.
HMRC and DWP will provide further guidance, and the government will set out the qualifying dates for the second instalment, in due course.
This payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.
More information can be found: Cost of living payment - GOV.UK
Frequently Asked Questions on Cost of Living Payment (PDF File, 479kb)
£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
Pensioners are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs, and many low-income pensioner households do not claim the means tested benefits they are entitled to.
So pensioner households will receive an extra £300 this year to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter.
This additional one-off payment will go to the over 8 million pensioner households across the UK who receive the Winter Fuel Payment and will be paid on top of any other one-off support a pensioner household is entitled to, for example where they are on pension credit or receive disability benefits. Eligible households currently receive between £200 - £300, so the payment will represent at least double the support for this winter.
The Winter Fuel Payment (including the extra Pensioner Cost of Living Payment) is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits.
All pensioner households will get the one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment as a top-up to their annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/December. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit.
People will be eligible for this payment if they are over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19 – 25 September 2022. There are certain circumstances where an individual above State Pension age does not qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment - see Winter Fuel Payment - GOV.UK
The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.
Read more on the Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK.
£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
Around six million people across the UK who receive the following disability benefits will automatically receive a one-off payment of £150 from 20 September:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
People with disabilities may face a wide range of additional costs, such as specialist equipment, specialist food, and increased transport costs, and this payment will help with these costs as they are likely to have increased. Claimants must have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of, one of these qualifying benefits for as of 25th May 2022 to get the payment.
For the many disability benefit recipients who receive means tested benefits, this £150 will come on top of the £650 they will receive separately.
These payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
The government will make these payments directly to eligible people across the UK and most will be received by the beginning of October 2022.
Read more on the Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK.
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 October to March 2023.
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.
Find out more about attendance allowance
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:
Debt and money - Citizens Advice
StepChange Debt Charity - Free Expert Debt Advice
The Money and Pensions Service | Building financial wellbeing