Cost of living support
Feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis? Let’s help relieve some of that pressure. In this guide, find helpful advice and support designed to help your money go further.
And if you still have questions, we’re just a phone call away.
Get help staying on top of things with the Government’s cost of living support package.
Get a one-off payment of £650 if you receive any of these benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
If you’re eligible, there’s no need to apply. It’ll be paid to you automatically by the Department for Work and Pensions.
If you were born before September 26, 1956, you may be eligible for £250 – £600 to help pay your heating bills. You won’t need to apply for this, it’ll be issued automatically. You’ll just need to have been aged 66 or above between September 19 and 25, 2022, and meet some other requirements.
Struggling with debt problems? The Government’s ‘Breathing Space Scheme’ offers helpful advice and debt solutions with no immediate payment worries or extra charges.
You’ll just need to apply first. To see if you’re eligible, read through our partner StepChange Debt Charity’s guide to the application process.
Get support with the cost of childcare through various government initiatives, including:
- Up to £500 every three months for childcare costs per child
- 30 hours free childcare per week for eligible working families in England with three and four-year-old children
- 15 hours free childcare per week for all families with children aged three and four
- Child benefit for children under 16, or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training. But be aware of the high income child benefit charge if you or your partner earn over £50,000
- 85% back in childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit
Free school meals for eligible pupils in England during term time
£16.6 billion in benefits and Tax Credits go unclaimed each year
- Turn2us, debt support charity
Energy supplier support
Struggling with rising energy costs? Your supplier may be able to help lighten the financial load. Check with them directly, or read through a few of the main support schemes below.
Get support from The British Gas Energy Trust with a grant to help manage gas or electricity debt. Grants are available for eligible British Gas and non-British Gas customers, you’ll just need to show how you’ll manage future energy costs.
They also offer grants up to £1,000 for boiler replacements and energy efficiency measures, regardless of your supplier.
Read about eligibility and applications on the British Gas website, and remember – anyone can apply for help, even non-British Gas customers.
Get help managing ongoing energy costs with EDF’s helpful advice. From saving up to £60 with a smart meter, to repayment plans and grants for vulnerable customers through the EDF Customer Support Fund.
Get help if you’re struggling to heat your home through National Energy Action, with advice and support for you, your family, and via frontline workers and partner organisations.
Find ways to make your home energy efficient with the Energy Saving Trust. From roof insulation to optimum thermostat efficiency, discover how best to cut your energy use and costs.
Get support from us and other dedicated charities to help ease the burden of the cost of living crisis, with information, advice and proactive steps you can take.
Find out if you’re eligible for any of our grants, and how to apply. In some cases, we offer a one-off grant of up to £500 to help with increased fuel bill costs.
Get in touch to talk things through and check if you’re eligible, or read our guide on grants for more information.
Get free financial advice from Turn2us including:
- A benefits calculator to check eligibility for government support
- Budget management guidance
- How to find grants you may be eligible for
- Helpful advice on household bills, food and healthcare costs
- A dedicated helpline
Access free advice, debt solutions, budget planning and respite periods through our expert partner, StepChange Debt Charity.
Get support tackling debt with free, practical self-help, plus tools and money management advice from The Money Advice Trust.
Receive one-to-one, personalised support with housing issues through Shelter.
They’re available to help via webchat, their emergency helpline, and a team of solicitors also support with legal advice.Get information and advice on various housing challenges from Citizens Advice, including mortgage payments and renting, eviction and being unhoused.
Access support from a local food bank, food distribution charity or food aid provider via The Independent Food Aid Network’s interactive map.
Anyone who needs short-term support can apply. Whether you’re unhoused, unemployed, or employed but your pay just isn’t enough to meet your needs.
Steps to stay ahead
Find ways to make every penny count with these helpful tips.
Become a more efficient shopper by following these steps each time you shop for food:
- Plan ahead with a list and try to stick to it
- Avoid shopping when you’re hungry
- Bulk out any meat dishes with more vegetables or pulses
- Stock up on more affordable frozen fruit and vegetables
- Keep an eye out for vouchers and sale items
- Choose store brands instead of big names. They usually taste the same!
- Try fruit or yoghurts as a cheaper alternative to prepackaged snacks
Help your food fill hungry mouths for as long as possible by remembering a few simple things:
Find cheaper broadband and phone packages if you’re eligible for benefits like Universal Credit or Pension Credit:
- They only cost between £10 – £20 a month
- They offer fast, unlimited service
- Set up is quick and cheap
- Pricing stays fixed
- Switching suppliers may cost nothing, and if you leave it’ll be free
Speak to your supplier about a social tariff, or apply online to switch to a new provider.
Discover the WaterSure scheme to find out if you can get support paying your bills. To apply, you’ll just need to:
- Be on benefits
- Use a lot of water either for medical reasons or in a home with school-age children
- Be on a water meter, or be waiting to have one installed
The cost of living can affect your physical and mental health. If you need to talk, we’re here to help.
If you need immediate support, PAM Wellbeing’s emotional support line counsellors are also available 24/7. The PAM Assist wellbeing app also provides digital support at your fingertips, with practical advice and a webchat service.
Other helpful guides and resources
A guide to our grants
Benefits and grants
Managing your money
Taking control of debt
Legal advice (Law Express)
Phone / Livechat
Relationship support (Relate)
Phone / Livechat