General Help

GOVERNMENT COST OF LIVING SUPPORT – to help with the cost of living, HM Government announced support packages. To see what support there is and when it will be coming, please head to their website

HELP FOR HOUSEHOLDS – this HM Government website, includes information on support that you could get access to. This includes childcare costs, transport costs and finding work. Find out what offers and discounts are available from businesses to help with the cost of living.

HOUSING SUPPORT – If you are starting to struggle with paying your rent or mortgage, get in touch with Central Bedfordshire Council’s housing team who can advise you.  Don’t wait until you are at risk of becoming homeless; the sooner they can help you, the better.
If you are a Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) tenant and you need advice on paying your rent, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/rent-support or call 0300 300 8042.  If you’re a Housing Association or registered provider tenant, contact your landlord directly to discuss the options available to you.
CBC can provide a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with your housing costs if you get Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit and live in Central Bedfordshire.  You can apply online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/dhp or call 0300 300 8306.
If you are at risk of being homeless, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/homeless or call 0300 300 4370 during office hours.  If you’re in need of emergency accommodation outside of office hours, call 0300 300 8098.
CBC’s online tool can provide advice on a number of topics, including finding a home, different housing options, housing repairs and eviction.
Visit https://centralbedfordshire.adviceaid.uk/start.

ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME – As of 29th July 2022, HM Government have announced how the Energy Bills Support Scheme will work. The scheme aims to help ease the affect of rising energy prices with all households receiving a £400 discount on their bills. The BBC have also put together this helpful guide to explain when and how the payments will be made.
If you claim certain benefits or tax credits, you may be eligible for an extra Cost of Living Payment from the Government.  If you’re eligible, you will receive a payment of £650 this year, paid automatically in two instalments.  The first payment was made in the Summer and second is due in the Winter, visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment.
A Winter Fuel Payment of £100-300 is available for pensioners plus a one-off extra £300 which will be paid as an automatic top up to the Winter Fuel payment. Visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment.
Other payments are also available such as Cold Weather Payments and Warm Home Discount.  Check online at www.gov.uk for eligibility.
If you are concerned about your energy costs, it is important you speak to your provider to check you are on the best deal and see if they can help you.  Ofgem provide further advise on their website: www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-advice-households

WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME – You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Visit https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme to find out more.

BENEFITS CALCULATOR – you can check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to by using this benefits calculator by www.entitledto.co.uk

PENSION CREDIT – Nationally we know there are millions of people who are entitled to but are not claiming Pension Credit. Anyone over 66 years of age can check their eligibility and apply,  visit www.gov.uk/pension-credit or call 0800 99 1234.

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL – Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) has put together a page with support with the cost of living.  CBC helps to fund Advice organisations like Advice Central and Citizens Advice as well as local food banks to help you. If you are struggling, you can contact CBC or one of their partner agencies for advice and support.
CBC has an emergency funding scheme which can provide funding following an emergency or crisis to meet the immediate day-to-day expenses relating to food and utilities.  Supermarket vouchers and top-ups for pre-paid energy meters are provided to meet these needs.  You do not need to be in receipt of any benefit or entitlement.  You can apply online for our Local Welfare Provision at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.lwp.
From December 2022, families with children that are know to CBC’s Children Centres or are referred to their Children’s Centres by health, housing or education partners can access their Crisis Fund.  There is a CBC Children’s Centre in Sandy.

COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT – You may be able to get help with your Council Tax.  Residents on low incomes, which can include disabled residents and carers, are entitled to support.  Visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council-tax-support or call 0300 300 8306.

CITIZENS ADVICE – for getting immediate help with bills or shopping, please contact Citizens Advice. There is also other information on how to access other help such as how to apply for the HealthyStart Scheme, School costs and Travel costs.

TURN2US – this independent charity aim to fight UK poverty. Their website offers help, advice and support on a range of topics from back to school support to facing redundancy.

MONEY SAVING EXPERT – the team at Money Saving Expert have some great, independent and up-to-date advice on ways to save money from getting cheaper energy to free food.

MONEY SAVING CENTRAL – a great resource with all the latest deals and freebees, including days out.

BUDGETING FOR WINTER’S ENERGY BILLS – the team from Bloomberg UK have created a helpful graphic to show the cost of running different household appliances according to the energy cap scheduled for October 2022.

PETROL/DIESEL – there are lots of different websites and apps to find the cheapest fuel in your area – Money Saving Expert recommends Petrol Prices | Find the Cheapest Fuel Near You, just register and follow the steps.

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