Cost of Living
Help with the Cost of Living
The current cost of living crisis has resulted in many of us struggling financially. Below you will find some general resources to help you find out what support is available. The information on this page has been pulled together to give an overview of the range of support available to households in the UK as the cost of living continues to rise, however, the exact support available will depend on your individual circumstances.
HELP TO SUPPORT YOUR INCOME
- If you are a carer looking after a young person over the age of 18 (for example, in a Staying Put arrangement) it may be worth reviewing the financial arrangements you have in place in light of the cost of living crisis and the additional support payments being provided.
HELP WITH YOUR ENERGY BILLS
- If you are worried about paying your energy bills or think you might get into debt to your supplier, you should contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. Under Ofgem rules, energy suppliers must work with you to agree a payment play that you can afford. You can ask for payment breaks, more time to pay or access to hardship funds, among other options.
- If you own a property in England you can get recommendations for home improvements that could make your property cheaper to heat and keep warm. Find ways to save energy in your home.
- If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a Winter Fuel Payment. If you get the State Pension or another social security benefit, you’ll get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically; otherwise, you may need to make a claim.
- An extra £25 per week in Cold Weather Payments is available to people who receive certain benefits during the winter months (November – March) when the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days. Check if you’re eligible.
- Some people getting Pension Credit or in low-income households may be eligible for a Warm Home Discount of £150. Check with your energy supplier to see if you are eligible.
- For the next five years, there will be 0% VAT on energy saving materials such as thermal insulation or solar panels. Installing energy saving materials will help improve energy efficiency in your home and keep heating bills down.
HELP WITH CHILDCARE COSTS
- You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16 (under 20 if they stay in education or training). It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for. Claim Child Benefit.
- You may be eligible for other benefits or other financial help. Use the UK Government’s online tool to check whether you are entitled to any benefits or other financial support.
- If you’re eligible for Universal Credit, you may be able to claim back 85% of your childcare costs. Find out more about claiming back childcare costs.
- Check if your child(ren) can get free school meals. You may also be able to get help with transport to school or grants to buy school uniforms. .
- If your children can get free school meals, you can get access to free activities and food for your children in the school holidays. Contact Liverpool City Council to find out more.
- You may be able to claim funded childcare/ nursery places:
2 year old provision: Families in England who have 2 year old children and who are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of funded childcare/ nursery places each week. Click here to find out more about eligibility.
From April 2024, funded 2 year old nursery places are being expanded for working families of younger children so they can access 15 hours per week, increasing to 30 hours per week by September 2025. To find out more, click here
Currently, eligible working families in England with 3- and 4-year-old children can receive 30 hours of funded childcare a week. Childcare Choices can help you find out more.
- You may be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare. This means you can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare (see above) if you’re eligible for both. Childcare Choices can help you find out more.
Please contact Mrs McDonald (Head of EYFS) or Mrs Daley (Attendance and Admission Officer) for more information about school places at Anfield Road Primary School.
HELP WITH HOUSEHOLD COSTS
- If you’re struggling to pay for food, you may be able to get a food bank referral to the food bank.
- If you have a child under 4 and you are in receipt of certain benefits, you may be eligible for a Health Start Card to hep you buy certain types of milk, fruit and vegetables.
- If you are struggling to pay your water bill, contact your water company and explain your situation. There may be some payment schemes or hardship funds available to help you.
- Check if you are eligible for a Budgeting Loan, which can be used for household items, rent in advance and travelling costs. Budgeting Loans are usually available to people who have been getting one or more income-related benefit for the past 6 months.
- If you are renting, you may be able to get help to pay all or part of your rent. Use the UK Government benefits calculator to find out if you are eligible.
- Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are a pensioner, or you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary accommodation. Check if you are eligible for Housing Benefit. If you are already claiming Housing Benefit, you may also be eligible for support for additional housing costs. Contact your local council to find out more.
- There are also Discretionary Housing Payments which provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs. You can apply for these payments if you receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and need more financial support. This funding is available in England, Wales and Scotland.
- If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments onyour mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for repairs to your home. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest.
- National Energy Action: WASH (Warm and Safe Homes) Advice Service a free tel/webchat support service providing advice to householders in England and Wales on their energy bills and keeping warm and safe in their home. We can also help with benefits advice and income maximisation.
- Scope - Disability Energy Support free energy and water advice to disabled people
National Energy Advice's information on Cost of living support
HELP WITH TRANSPORT COSTS
- Unemployed people claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit can apply for half-price travel using the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card.
- You may be able to get free travel on buses. You can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the State Pension age in England You may also be able to get discounted or free bus travel if you have certain disabilities in England.
- Liverpool City Council: Healthy Homes - Apply for help via the Household Support Fund. Two offers available: Winter Warmer Packs which contain thermal clothing and blankets and Boiler Repair or Replacements.
DISCOUNTS AND OFFERS
- As part of the UK Government’s Help for Households campaign, businesses can sign up to provide discounts on their products and services, to help with the cost of living. You can find a list of available discounts on the GOV.uk website.
- Foster carers, along with social care staff, are eligible to apply for a Blue Light Card (£4.99 for two years). The card provides access to more than 15,000 discounts from large national retailers to local businesses across categories such as holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones, and many more.
HELP TO MANAGE DEBT PROBLEMS AND BUDGETING
- If you owe money and you’re struggling to pay it back, there are things you can do to help you get out of debt. Citizens Advice has lots of information about the different options.
- National Debtline gives free, independent and confidential advice on personal debt over the phone and online. It is run by the Money Advice Trust which is a national charity helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence.
- StepChange is a debt charity offering free, flexible debt advice that is based on a comprehensive assessment of your situation. They provide practical help and support for however long it’s needed.
OTHER ORGANISATIONS THAT MAY BE ABLE TO HELP
- The UK Government’s Money Helper offers free, impartial information and guidance on all aspects of money including benefits, savings, pensions, everyday money and money troubles.
- Turn2Us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. It offers a benefits calculator and grants search function, and a helpline.
- Citizens Advice offers free, confidential and independent advice to help people find a way forward. It is available to people in England.
- Free mobile data (LCVS article) Community organisations can sign up to the National Databank and apply for SIMs to give to the people they support. To sign up to the National Databank, a community organisation needs to join the Online Centres Network first.
- Mind & Money Programme aims to help households within the LCR in need of financial and personal resilience, welfare, debt management and confidence building through practical support and advice. Tel 0151 706 8113 Email: Community@thewo.org.uk. Twitter and Facebook.
If you are not sure that you are getting all the welfare benefits that you may be entitled to, click here to visit Liverpool City Council benefit advice page.
You can use an independent benefits calculator on GOV.UK to find out if you are entitled to any benefits or see how starting work would affect your benefits.
Alternatively, you can also complete a benefit check to see if you are entitled to any additional benefits and:
- Check if your existing benefits are being paid at the correct rate
- Help you claim for new or increased benefits – including backdating claims
- Help you challenge decisions to stop benefits – including help with overpayments
- Help you fill in forms
- Represent you at appeal tribunals