As the cost of living crisis slashes the budgets of millions of households, here are all the ways to get help right now if you’re battling the bills.
Energy, food, fuel and transportation costs are all rising as the rate of inflation rockets, and millions of people are falling behind on their bills.
It Comes As Inflation Hits 9% earlier this monthand could rise to 10%, the Bank of England has warned.
With families struggling to raise their cash to cover costs, six million now owed to their energy supplierWhile some have to skip meals to pay bills.
If you’re struggling to meet your needs, there are ways you can get help.
From household assistance funds to energy bill grants, we walk you through all the extra help you can get to pay.
welfare assistance scheme
Many local councils have welfare assistance schemes to help struggling families.
Available assistance varies, but you can get free cash, food vouchers, and help for bills like rent and energy.
For example, East Riding of Yorkshire is offering families up to £1,000 in free cash to pay bills.
However, the help you can get under this scheme is a postcode lottery – some local councils don’t even have a plan, leaving thousands of renters unable to seek help.
With the number of councils, there was a spike in grants given on the Covid crisis 210 percent increase in grants in some placesFound in a Sun probe.
domestic assistance fund
Another plan you can get through your local council is Domestic Assistance Fund.
The total amount invested in this pot of cash since the launch of the scheme is £1.5 billion in october last year,
The councils get a sliver of money to feed hard-to-find families in their catchment area.
reading council For example, giving energy vouchers worth £98 to pensioners, and £49 to help families cover similar costs.
Meanwhile, eligible residents of Norfolk can receive £120 in meal vouchers to cover meals for children, including Council’s latest hand-out,
it is the best check in with your local It’s right to find out what can be done for Grab as well as how you can apply.
Check Your Benefits Eligibility
You can find an easy-to-use online benefit calculator to find out what you’re entitled to.
entitleto free The calculator Finds out if you qualify for various benefits, tax credits and universal credits.
If you do not wish to register, subscriber groups MoneySavingExpert.com and charity step change Both have benefits tools powered by Entitelto’s data that let you save your results without having to log in.
Make sure you have important financial information, such as bank and savings details, and pension and current benefits information.
If you live with a partner or family, get their basic financial information together as this may affect your claim.
Once you have used the tool you can access the contact information government To get the ball rolling and apply for what you owe.
energy bill grant
Energy suppliers offer cash grants to those most affected by the increase in bills.
For example British gas is giving Up to £750 through your Hardship Fund – And you don’t even need to be a customer.
But the amount may vary according to your supplier and your circumstances.
It’s not only Universal Credit claimants who can get help, but you may qualify if you’re on benefits and have a low income.
Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or look here:
Apply for Council Tax Assistance
You may be eligible for Council Tax Support (sometimes called Council Tax Reduction) if you are on a low income or few benefits.
You may see your bill reduced depending on your individual circumstances – but you may see a 100% reduction in council tax.
It will depend on:
- where do you live
- Your circumstances (such as income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
- Your household income – this includes savings, pension and your partner’s income
- if your children live with you
- If other adults live with you
You may also be able to get your council tax bill back dated, but again, this depends on your individual circumstances and where you live.
Since each council provides different support, you will need Contact your local authority for more information.
The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is not available to residents of Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland families should check out the scheme rather than.
water bill support
There are many schemes you can apply for to reduce your water bills.
Low income families can apply for WarerSure scheme Save hundreds of pounds on their bill every year,
You may be eligible if you claim Universal Credit or a number of other benefits—and you can limit your bill.
The Water Consumers Council estimates that you will save an average of £270.
But depending on who your supplier is, you can save a lot – Yorkshire Water said its customers could save £534 a year.
To qualify you have to hit certain criteria you can Check here.
As well as offering the WaterSure plan to struggling families, suppliers also offer their own support plans.
Many water companies provide assistance to customers who cannot pay their bills.
Exactly what help you can get and who is eligible will depend on who your supplier is.
But Yorkshire Water, for example, says customers can save an average of £212 with its Water Support plan.
Check with your supplier to find out how much you can get.
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