Additional advice

Here you’ll find links and tips to help with all aspects of the cost-of-living crisis.

Help with household bills

Thank you to the CF Trust for this information

  • Household Support Fund – The Government has provided extra money to local councils to help those struggling with costs and fill gaps in support.
  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are provided by your local authority (or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive website) and can provide extra money for help with your rent.
  • Support for mortgage interest (SMI) is a loan from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and can help with mortgage costs, if you are on a means-tested benefit.
  • If you are struggling with the cost of Council Tax, check if your local authority has a discretionary Council Tax scheme and whether you are entitled to any discounts.
  • Council Tax Reduction, sometimes called Council Tax Support – You could be eligible if you’re on low income or claim benefits. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
  • Local welfare assistance schemes – Many councils have a scheme offering financial assistance to low-income families in need. This may take the form of a grant, a loan or assistance in kind. This can be food, fuel vouchers, furniture, and white goods –in a few places this can be a cash payment.
  • In England, some councils have a Local Welfare Assistance Scheme to help people with emergency support, providing vouchers or a pre-paid card to pay for food, fuel or furniture. The type of help available and who qualifies varies from council to council. Check with your local council to see what support is offered locally.
  • Food banks – Most foodbanks need a referral from a charity or a professional. You can check online to see if there are any independent foodbanks that you can go to without a referral.

DID YOU KNOW?…The NHS Business Services Authority has a Facebook page dedicated to answering questions about help with health costs. You can access it here, where the team say they will respond to your queries Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Cost of living ‘Survival Kit’

The wonderful team have put together this guide with over 90 ways to save money during the crisis.

DID YOU KNOW?…Attendance allowance helps with extra costs for the disabled and ISN’T means-tested! It’s an often overlooked but really important benefit. Attendance allowance can pay between £60 and £89.60 a week, depending on the severity of your disability.