Cost of living

Help for cost of living

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.

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.

As well as doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year, the full £400 payment will now be made as a grant, which will not be recovered through higher bills in future years.

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.

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.

  • £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:

  1. Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period of 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022
  2. 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.

£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 receive a one-off payment of £150 from September:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • 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 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.

Read more on the Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK.

Household Support Fund

Thanks to the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) people in Nottinghamshire will continue to receive a share of vital money worth £5.6 million to those in immediate need of help, because of the rising costs of food and energy. Around one-third of this money has been set aside for pensioners.

For residents in Bassetlaw, 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.

£150 Council Tax Energy Bills Rebate and discretionary funding

Visit our Council Tax Energy Rebate webpage for information.

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

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 our Benefits webpage.

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 two 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:

It does not cover mobility needs. Find out more about attendance allowance.

Further information

Money Helper is a free service provided by the Money and Pensions Service.

Stepchange - the debt charity, have put together a step-by-step guide to help anyone who's feeling weighed down by money worries.

  • Spot the signs of debt stress
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Get debt advice if you need it.

Last Updated on Friday, August 26, 2022