Cost of Living Support
With significant rise in the cost of living we know that some households will be struggling financially, emotionally or because they need practical advice and help. Here is some key information on what support is available and how to access it. As new schemes, advice and support becomes available this page will be kept updated.
Citizens Advice offer free, impartial advice on debt, benefits, employment, and housing problems. They can help households make sure you're getting all the support they are entitled to. www.citizensadvice.org.uk Advice Line on freephone 0800 1448848
Help to Claim
If residents have lost their job or seen reduced hours, they might be eligible for Universal Credit. Many in-work households do not claim as they do not know what they are entitled to. Help to Claim is a service to help people in the early stages of a Universal Credit claim. Support is available on freephone 0800 1448444 Information on Universal Credit, advance payment and the migration from 'legacy benefits' is available at www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk
Pension Credit gives you extra money to help people of State Pension age and on a low income with living costs. Pension Credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges and is a 'passport benefit' which allows access to other support such as free TV license, Warm Homes Discount and NHS dental treatment. £10,000 or less in savings and investments does not affect Pension Credit entitlement. More details on eligibility, amounts and how to apply are available at www.gov.uk/pension-credit Pension Credit claim line: 0800 99 1234
Lincolnshire Credit Union
Credit Unions help people save money and can offer affordable loans. They are an alternative to loan sharks and pay-day lenders and can help people avoid problem debt. www.nottsandlincscu.co.uk 0330 004 0842
NHS prescriptions and health costs
Some people are eligible for free NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and help with other NHS costs including transport to appointments. www.gov.uk/help-nhs-costs
Switching provider or accessing discounted social tariffs can help households save money. Ofcom are raising awareness of social tariffs from broadband and phone packages and how people can access them. www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/social-tariffs
Anglian Water offer tariffs for low-income households that can offer up to 50% discount on water and sewage charges. Residents can call the Extra Care Team on 0800 232 1963 and see if they are able to switch tariff or find if there other ways Anglian Water can help with bills. www.anglianwater.co.uk/account-and-bill/tariffs-and-charges/lite/
Money Advice & Pensions Service
Government funded debt advice, budgeting tools and money advice is provided by the Money and Pensions Service. Money Helper offers free, impartial help with money online, over the phone on 0800 138 7777 or on WhatsApp on 07701 342 744 www.moneyhelper.org.uk
In Lincolnshire, Citizens Advice organisations deliver telephone and face-to-face debt support as part of national commission. This can be accessed locally through Advice Line on freephone 0800 1448848
Residents can also access free, confidential, regulated debt advice through Step Change Debt Charity at www.stepchange.org.uk or by calling 0800 138 1111
Household Support Fund
Lincolnshire has been allocated funding for a third round of the Household Support Fund to provide support to vulnerable households in most need of support to help with significantly rising living costs this winter. Please visit Lincolnshire County Counil's Household Support Fund page for updates on the countywide scheme.
Residents facing financial difficulties should visit www.costoflivingsupport.campaign.gov.uk for details of the other support available.
It can be difficult to manage all the different bills and payments in our lives. The consequences of not paying off some bills before others can be more serious. The MoneyHelper Bill prioritiser can help you sort your bills and payments in the right order and tell you what you need to do if you're struggling to pay before you miss a payment.
Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency:
Green Homes Grants
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy funded grants to help homeowners and landlord make energy efficiency improvements. Properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G and a household income of less than £30k per year to be eligible. Residents can contact the team on 01507 613573 www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/greenhomesgrant
Energy Saving Trust
Advice on how to save money on energy bills and access to help to pay energy bills. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/campaign/how-to-save-money-on-your-energy-bills
National Energy Action
National charity working to end fuel poverty who offer a new Warm and Safe Homes Advice available on webchat www.nea.org.uk/webchat and helpline 0800 304 7159.
Priority Services Register
Anyone who may need a little extra help during a power cut can register - this is suitable for elderly, very ill or disabled people and those who rely on power for medical equipment
For electricity supplies: https://www.nationalgrid.co.uk/customers-and-community/priority-services/benefits-of-being-on-our-register
For mains gas supplies: https://cadentgas.com/help-advice/supporting-our-customers/priority-services-register
Help with Food:
Free School Meals
Children in low-income households may be entitled to free school meals and schools can benefit from 'pupil premium' to support extra curricular activities. www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/school-pupil-support/apply-free-school-meals 01522 782030
Holiday Activities and Food Programme
Government funded programme to provide school-aged children eligible for Free School Meals with access to free healthy meals and activities in school holidays. www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/school-pupil-support/holiday-activities-food-programme
Lincolnshire Food Partnership (LFP)
Lincolnshire has a range of community support charities, churches and organisations that can help with emergency food. Eligibility and referral processes vary. A map of food banks and contacts is available at www.lincolnshirefoodpartnership.org/foodbanks
Healthy Start Scheme
Pre-paid card for pregnant women and parents of children under 4 to help buy milk, fruit and vegetables. www.healthystart.nhs.uk 0300 330 7010.
Help with Housing:
Council Tax Support
Households on low-income with under £16,000 savings or capital (unless in receipt of Pension Credit) may qualify for a discount from their council tax bill. To find out if they are entitled, the can use the Council Tax Support Calculator and apply online at www.boston.gov.uk/Supportpayingyourcounciltax or call 01205 314212 People struggling to pay should contact the Council as soon as possible to discuss payment options or see if they are eligible for discounts.
If someone is worried about how to pay housing costs they should contact their landlord or mortgage lender as soon as possible. Our housing advice teams can offer impartial advice to tenants and landlords and help people at risk of homelessness www.boston.gov.uk/article/20651/Housing
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payment can provide extra money to help residents in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of universal Credit with housing costs including
- Rent deposits
- Rent in advance
- Moving costs
- Rent arrears
- A shortfall between housing benefit and rent or housing costs included in Universal Credit and rent
Payments are short term and special circumstances will be considered. To apply, details and application forms are available at www.boston.gov.uk/article/20916/Discretionary-Housing-Payments or call 01205 314200
Practical and Emotional Support:
Mental Health Support
Lincolnshire has confidential, free phone helpline for emotional mental health support. Specialist workers provide support, advice and guidance 24 hours a day on 0800 001 4331.
Here For You offers mental health and emotional wellbeing advice line for young people, parents and carers. Available 24 hours a day on free phone 0800 234 6342.
Wellbeing Lincs is a countywide service supporting adults across Lincolnshire to achieve confident, fulfilled and independent lives. www.wellbeinglincs.org or call 01522 782140
It offers a helping hand through life's changes, including
- Ill health
- Changes to financial circumstances
- Changing medical need
- Lack of family support
- Loneliness and social isolation
- Change in general situation or circumstance
Connect to Support
Connect to Support Lincolnshire is an online information, advice library and community directory for adults in Lincolnshire. It offers signposting to groups, activities and support within local communities. www.lincolnshire.connecttosupport.org
Telephone support and live web chat to help people navigate support is available Monday to Friday 2pm to 7pm on 0300 3030 8789
Connect to Support is a directory of information and advice relating to adult care and community wellbeing
- Health & Wellbeing
- Housing & Independence at Home
- Getting Out & About (Travel & Mobility)
- Volunteering & Community
- Money & Legal Matters