Cost of living

The Government announced on 26 May 2022 a range of measures to assist with the rising cost of living and more information is available at:

Cost of living support factsheet: 26 May 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Also see our latest statement: Support for residents with rising costs of living (22 June 2022)

There are also several options available that might be of some assistance to residents as follows:

Maximising your income / benefits

Universal Credit (UC) ‐ the DWP want to encourage people who could be better off financially to consider moving to UC. They estimate that more than half of current claimants will be better off. For further information go to: Universal Credit: What Universal Credit is - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Pension Credit - this is one of the most under-claimed benefits by those of pension-age. If you are entitled to Pension Credit this can lead to additional help with Council Tax and free TV licences for over 75's. To check if you, or a family member might be entitled to Pension Credit, please go to:Pension Credit calculator - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support if you are pension-age and live in rented accommodation and are on a low income you may be able to claim help with your rent. If you pay Council Tax and are on a low income you may be able to claim Council Tax Support. To check potential entitlement and to make a claim go to: Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

General benefit advice - for all general benefits advice go to:

Benefit calculators - there are also various benefit calculators available which provide independent advice regarding benefits you may be entitled to:

Managing your money / expenditure

If you need help to manage your money and general budgeting advice, there is a useful tool available on the Citizens Advice website: Work out your budget - Citizens Advice

If you are experiencing difficulties with your household energy costs in the first instance, please discuss this with your provider.

The Citizens Advice website also contains some useful information regarding grants and benefits available to help pay energy bills, see: Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills - Citizens Advice

If you are having difficulties with your water payments Severn Trent's Big Difference scheme is available for those on a low income, see: Big Difference Scheme | Help with paying your bill | Help when you need it | My Account | Severn Trent Water (stwater.co.uk)

Other help available

If you are in private rented or Housing Association accommodation and your rent is not covered in full by Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit  the council has limited funding to support some shortfalls via our Discretionary Housing Payment scheme, please go to our Discretionary housing payment page to find out more.

If you require more specialised housing advice, our Housing team have a number of options available on our Losing your home page.

Debt Advice

If you need specialised advice on debt issues, something useful sites include:

StepChange Debt Charity - Free Expert Debt Advice

Home - Shelter England

The Money and Pensions Service | Building financial wellbeing

Debt and money - Citizens Advice