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Cost of Living

Cost of Living

Many people are struggling to find enough money to pay their bills and buy essential basic items such as food.  We have put together some information to try and guide people to useful sources of help and information.

If you already claim benefits, we will help you to check you are getting the right benefits and if you don’t claim them, you can check whether you are eligible – even if you work, own your own home or have savings.

Below you will find some useful information but should you wish to discuss anything, please contact us on 0115 930 0199.

If you do owe money and you are struggling to pay:

  • Speak to the organisations you owe money to – they may let you pay smaller amounts or take a break from payments.
  • Never ignore bills or letters about money you owe.
  • Find out how to start dealing with your debts.

Check which benefits you may be entitled to or check your current entitlement.  You might be able to claim benefits or increase your current benefits if you are:

  • Of working age and on a low income
  • Sick or disabled
  • Of State Pension age and on a low income
  • A carer
  • Responsible for children

Lots of people miss out on benefits they are entitled to – so it’s worth checking what you can get.

Our advisors can help you to navigate websites and/or complete applications.  Please contact us on 0115 930 0199 to discuss this.

For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

If you are over State Pension age and get winter fuel payments, or are on certain benefits, e.g. Universal Credit, PIP, Pension Credit or Attendance Allowance, the government will send you a ‘cost of living payment’.

Visit https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/ to find out more.

People on certain disability benefits or benefits based on their income could also be entitled to cost of living payments.

Energy Bills

The government are giving every household £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme. You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back.

You should have had the £400 in 6 instalments starting from October 2022.

If you heat your home using alternative fuel, such as biomass or heating oil, the government will give you a £200 payment to help with your energy bills. This is called the Alternative Fuel Payment.

For more information, visit: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/help-with-your-bills/

Household Support Fund

Every council has their own scheme to provide support to people, whether they are on benefits or not.  Contact your local council to check what support they offer and whether you are eligible.  Support can include:

  • Help towards water and energy bills
  • Food
  • Essential items

Visit https://www.gov.uk/cost-living-help-local-council for more information.

Warm Hubs/Food Banks

Many libraries, churches, charities and voluntary and community centres across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire provide food banks, food clubs, warm spaces, community meals and many other activities.  Your local council will have details of which services are provided together with opening times and how to access their support.  Councils and other organisations will also have alerts and mailing lists you can sign up to giving you free information and advice about cost of living matters.

Find your local council here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

Are you Pregnant or do you have a child?

You could be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a baby. You usually qualify if you get certain benefits and are having your first baby – you have to claim before your baby is 6 months old.

For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant

You may be able to get help to buy certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables under the NHS Healthy Start scheme if you fit certain criteria.

For more information, visit https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/

If you have school age children and are on a low income or certain benefits, you could be entitled to free school meals, free transport to school, help with purchasing uniforms or school clothes and help with school trips.

Speak to your local council and your school to find out what support they offer, for free school meals information, visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals

There is also support with childcare costs, visit https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare for more information or https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

Health Costs

You may be able to get support to pay for certain NHS charge such as prescriptions, dental charges, glasses and sight tests.

For more information, visit https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/

Travel Costs

If you are unemployed and looking for work, a veteran, in education or on a work placement, you could be entitled to free or discounted travel.  Your local council will be able to provide information on any schemes available.  Anyone over State Pension age can get free bus travel on application https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-elderly-person-bus-pass

Find your local council here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

And, you’re eligible for a disabled person’s bus pass if you live in England and are ‘eligible disabled’. Visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-disabled-bus-pass to apply.

If you’re struggling…..

Your Mental Health is just as important as your physical health and money problems can affect how you feel.  If you think your money problems are affecting your mental health, you should talk to your GP.  However, if you want to talk to someone right now, there are various organisations you can contact.

Samaritans    116 123, call free, anytime.

MIND              0300 123 3393, Mon – Fri, 9am – 6pm, calls charged at local rates.

In an emergency, if yours or someone else’s life is at risk, call 999
Further information

There is a whole host of information available on the internet, please check any sources you use are accurate, reliable and up-to-date.

Some useful, reliable websites with further information are:

Step Change https://www.stepchange.org/

Moneyhelper https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en

Money and Pensions Service https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/

Our advisors can help you by: discussing your needs, navigating websites and/or completing applications to address your financial worries.
Please contact us on 0115 930 0199 to discuss this.
Direct Help and Advice