Benefits, financial support and cost of living

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There is a wealth of information available on the website about financial support.

The below information is a summary of the information available on that page, including links to where you can find out more.

Help with cost of living

To help with higher costs this year, there are some extra payments. You can visit this government web page for up to date information on the main help available. These include:

  • Cost of Living Payment - To help people on low incomes, payments will be made to households on means-tested benefits including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits.  

  • Disability Cost of Living Payment - For people claiming disability-related benefits including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. 

  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payment - For people eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment, this payment is made in addition to other cost of living payments with benefits. 

We have also added a summary of what help is available with energy bills and the cost of living on our website.

Energy costs help

The rise in energy prices has been a real concern for a lot of people. You can visit this government web page for up to date information on the main help available.

  • Energy Bill Discount - Automatic, non-repayable discount on your energy bills for all households in Great Britain from October. This applies in England, Scotland and Wales.

  • Winter Fuel Payments - The government runs a scheme to help older people pay their energy bills. The amount will be paid automatically into your account. You can find out more on the winter fuel payment page.

  • Cold Weather Payments - If you’re not the right age to receive a Winter Fuel Payment, you may be able to receive Cold Weather Payments instead. These are payments that are made whenever there is a seven-day period of very cold weather. You will only get these payments if you are receiving certain benefits. You don’t have to apply for Cold Weather Payments.

Grants to help with heating costs

In addition to government benefits, many energy companies have trusts or funds to help people who are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.

To find out more, you can:


It can be hard to know which benefits are available to you.

There are a number of online benefits calculators that can help you work out what you are entitled to. They include general benefits information. They can also help you find support if you've been financially affected by coronavirus (Covid-19).

Here are a couple online benefits calculators to try:

Once you know what you can apply for, you can find details about how to claim are on the website.

You can also get individual advice from organisations including Citizen’s Advice, Independent Age and Age UK.

Benefits for living expenses

There are a number of general benefits available:

There are also additional benefits if you have an illness or disability.

Benefits and information for carers

If you are caring for someone who has an illness or disability you may be eligible for carers allowance.

We also have more information about what to do if you are looking after someone else's finances. There is also more general information about looking after someone who has had a stroke.

Benefits for housing costs

If your income is low, you live alone, or you are claiming benefits you may be able to get a Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support).

Housing payments (formerly Housing Benefit) are part of Universal Credit. You can use them to help you pay your rent if you are on a low income. You can still claim Housing Benefit separately in certain circumstances, including being over State Pension age.

We also have a page dedicated to housing support after stroke.

Help with one-off expenses

In addition to ongoing benefits, there is help if you are facing one-off expenses.

Loans are available from the government to help pay for essential things like furniture, household equipment or hire purchase debts.

Some local councils offer welfare assistance schemes to help people on a low income. And there are some charities and organisations that offer one-off grants.

You can find out more about those here.

If you have a disability and need to make changes to your home so that you can continue to live there you may be able to get a grant from your local council to help you. These can be for things such as installing a stairlift or a downstairs bathroom, for example.

Help with health costs

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescriptions are free for everyone. In England they are free for certain people, including those over 60 and under 16.

If you are on a low income you could get help with health costs such as prescriptions, dental care, fares to appointments, eye tests and glasses.

If you’re not eligible for this, but pay for a lot of prescriptions, a Prescription Prepayment Certificate could still save you money.

Have specific questions or valuable feedback? Reach out to our team via the Service Desk.