In addition to the April £150 council tax rebate, there is a new, one-off £650 payment to more than eight million low-income households on Universal Credit, child & working tax credits, Pension Credit, income support, income-based jobseekers allowance, income-related employment & support allowance. This will be paid directly to households in two lump sums, with one paid from July and another in the autumn. The payment will be tax free and won't affect how the benefit cap is calculated. Claimants will need to be in receipt of one of these benefits, or have began a successful claim, as of Wednesday 25 May.
In addition separate one-off payments of £300 will go to pensioners and £150 for those receiving disability benefits. For households on means tested benefits, DWP will make the payment in two lump sums directly into claimants bank accounts – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on tax credits only will follow shortly afterwards. The £150 disability cost of living payment will be paid by September. If you are worried about rising costs, we have put some information together below that maybe helpful.
Struggling to pay your gas or electricity?
If you are struggling to pay your gas and electricity bills there is plenty of help available.
If you are over 60, disabled or chronically ill you should contact your supplier to make sure you are on their 'Priority Service Register.' This entitles you to a range of free services including quarterly meter reads if you have difficulty reading the meter.
Other ways that you can get help are:
- Contact the Home Heat Helpline, a free, expert service for vulnerable people by completing a form on their website here. They can speak to your fuel supplier for you and find out if you can obtain any extra financial help.
- Contact your energy supplier for advice and to see if they have special tariffs for low income customers.
- Contact the Energy Saving Trust advice centre for energy saving advice by clicking here
- If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically (you do not need to claim) if you’re eligible and either:
- get the State Pension
- get another social security benefit
- Check if you can save money by switching to a new supplier. Contact a free 'fuel comparison service' for advice. You need old bills to make a comparison and you can do it by phone or fill out an online form.
- Check your state pension here. See your pension forecast, find out when you will start receiving it and how to potentially increase it.
- Are you entitled to pension credits? Check the Government website for more information here
We have also put together a list of charities and helplines that are designed to support money matters click here for more information:
You can also speak to our welfare and benefit team who are here to help. Please click here for more information.
Why are energy prices rising?
Energy prices are rising due to various factors including an increase in wholesale global energy prices. Ofgem, the Government regulator for electricity and gas, has announced an energy price cap rise of 54%, this is a significant increase that is likely to cause extreme concern for most households in the UK. Global gas prices have increased by a record amount in the last six months and wholesale prices have quadrupled in the last year.