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.

Financial support

Energy Bills Support Scheme - Alternative Funding (EBSS-AF)

Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically

This is aimed at those not benefiting from the Government Energy Support scheme (£400 reduction on electricity bills). These residents live in households with no domestic electricity meter or do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier.

The Government have announced that they will be opening an application process for this. Councils are then being asked to make the £400 support payments to applicants through their bank accounts once appropriate checks have been made.

We are waiting for more information on this, with the online applications for the £400 EBSS alternative funding expected to open in January on the Government's Help for Households webpage. There will be a dedicated Government helpline for those without online access.

Further information about the scheme is available on Vital help with energy bills on the way for millions more homes across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It is expected that the guidance will confirm the following people as potentially eligible:

  • care home residents
  • residents of park homes
  • tenants in certain private and social rented homes
  • homes supplied via private wires
  • residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites
  • farmers living in domestic farmhouses
  • off-grid households

Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)

The additional £200 for those who do not heat their homes with gas and instead use oil, solid fuel, biomass or bottled gas named the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) will be available in February. The Government have confirmed that most households eligible for AFP support will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no further action needed. Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the EBSS Alternative Funding scheme.

The Government has advised that potentially eligible households should not contact the Council until we receive further instructions on how the EBSS-AF and AFP scheme payments will be administered.

Warm home discount scheme

You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October 2022 and March 2023.

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.

Find out more on warm home discount scheme.

£400 Energy Bills Support Scheme 2022 to 2023

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.

£900 Cost of Living Payment 2023 to 2024

More than eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants will receive a payment of £900 will go direct into their bank accounts. 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

The payments will be paid in three separate payments over the course of the financial year. Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time, but are spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year. They will be broadly as follows:

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024

If individuals are eligible, they will be paid automatically and there is no need to apply. 


This payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

For more information visit: Cost of living payment - GOV.UK.

Further guidance will be published when more details have been announced, including the qualifying dates.

£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment 2023 to 2024

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.

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.

For more information visit: Cost of living payment - GOV.UK.

Further guidance will be published when more details have been announced, including the qualifying dates.

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment 2023 to 2024

Around six million people across the UK who receive the following disability benefits will receive a one-off payment of £150 this year:

  • 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. 

For the many disability benefit recipients who receive means tested benefits, this £150 will come on top of the £900 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.

For more information visit: Cost of living payment - GOV.UK.

Further guidance will be published when more details have been announced, including the qualifying dates.

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 Monday, February 27, 2023