Help with the cost of living crisis: what support is available?

Wherever you are in life right now, it wouldn’t be surprising if the uk cost of living crisis is affecting you in some way or other. This is a tough time for a lot of people, but help is out there - if you’re feeling the pinch, we’re on hand with practical advice on accessing grants, food banks and more. 

Two young people are sitting on some steps at the edge of a house wearing hats and gloves. There are thought bubbles above them with lightbulbs and pound signs, representing worries about the cost of living crisis

1. I can’t afford my rent 

This is sadly the situation lots of people are in right now. Whether you’re in uni accommodation, are living in a houseshare or are living with a partner, the number one piece of advice we have is to tell your landlord straight away.  

Explain your situation, that the uk and 온라인슬롯 cost of living crisis has made things difficult for you and that you don’t think you’ll be able to pay your rent on time. Some landlords will be supportive and may allow you extra time to pay your rent. But not all landlords will be this accommodating and it won’t be a long-term solution, so you’ll need to find alternative ways to pay your rent. Next steps:

  • Check to see if you are eligible for Universal Credit. If you’re on a low income or are unable to work because of your health or a disability, you may well be able to claim Universal Credit. For more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply see here. 
  • Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment from your local council to help you pay your rent. You can do this so long as you’re receiving either Housing Benefit or the housing costs as part of Universal Credit. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, see here.
  • If you’re a student struggling to pay your rent, contact the student services department at your uni or college about hardship funds. Hardship funds are there to support students facing financial hardship, including those from low income families and those at risk of being homeless. Before contacting them, read up on hardship funds here

2. I can’t pay my bills

If you’re getting scary letters through the door about unpaid bills, don’t ignore them. It might feel easier to shove them in a corner and forget about them, but you’ll need to tackle this head on. Take a deep breath and open those letters so you can get a clear picture of where you’re at. Next steps:

  • Get a £400 energy discount from the government. The good news here is that everyone is eligible and you don’t need to do anything to get the money. The £400 will be split into six monthly payments (starting from October 2022) and will be given to you depending on how you pay for your energy. For more info on how you’ll receive the money, check this helpful article from Citizen’s Advice. 

If you are renting and your energy bills have gone up make sure you are receiving the £400 and not your landlord. More info on energy price support for renters and a template for writing to your landlord about the issue, can be found here on the government website.

  • Make sure you’re getting the £650 Cost of Living Payment if you’re eligible. This is a payment from the government to help those already receiving benefits to help with the cost of living crisis. It should have been paid to you automatically but if you think you should have received this payment and haven’t, you can report a missing payment here
  • Contact your energy supplier. If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, try contacting your energy supplier as they may be able to help by reducing your payment or giving you more time to pay. Some energy suppliers even offer grants to pay off debt so it’s worth getting in touch. 
  • If you’re struggling to get support from your energy supplier, try The British Gas Energy Trust as they offer grants whether you are with British Gas or not. 
  • Make sure you’re getting the council tax rebate. If you pay council tax and you’re in bands A to D (check your band here) you are eligible for a £150 rebate. Most people will have received this money already without having to do anything. If you don’t pay council tax but you are either a student, are under 18 or have a ‘severe mental impairment’, you may also be eligible for the rebate. If you haven’t received it and you think you’re eligible, contact your local council. More info can be found here

3. I’m struggling to feed myself and buy other essentials 

If you’re in a situation where you’re struggling to afford food, you could be feeling pretty desperate. It’s not a comfortable or fair position to be in but fortunately there is support out there to ensure you don’t go hungry. 

  • Find a foodbank near you. Foodbanks don’t just provide free food, they also provide essentials like toiletries, cleaning products and period products. To access your local food bank you’ll need to request a referral from a community organisation such as your school or university, the Job Centre or your GP. To find out more about foodbanks and how to get a referral, see here
  • Contact your council about receiving Welfare Assistance. The support on offer and the eligibility criteria differs from council to council, so it’s best to contact your local council to find out accurate info about what help is available. In general, Welfare Assistance helps provide emergency financial support including vouchers for food and clothes. Find out how to contact your local council here.  

4. I’m worried this crisis will never end

The uk cost of living crisis crisis will end eventually. But when it will end is hard to predict and the uncertainty of that can be nerve wracking. In the meantime, make sure you are taking advantage of the support mentioned in this article, look after your mental wellbeing and take a look at some of the articles listed below, all aimed at helping you save and manage your money:

Next Steps

By Olivia Capadose

Updated on 08-Dec-2022

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