Money Advice & Support
On the 26th May 2022 the UK Government announced measures aimed at reducing the impact of the cost of living crisis. We are pleased to see measures being taken as these are much needed to help the many people who through no fault of their own are finding it harder to get by. We have provided a summary below.
Energy bills support scheme
All UK households will receive a grant of £400 (up from the previous figure of £200 which was to be repaid) to support with energy bills. Energy suppliers will credit the sum to accounts of direct debit customers, and pre-payment meter customers will have the amount applied to their meter or will receive a voucher. The support will be available from October when the next energy increase comes into effect.
One-off payment of £650 for households in receipt of benefits
Households in receipt of means-tested benefits (including Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Pension Credit) will receive a one-off payment of £650 directly. The payment will be made in two instalments, the first in July and the second in autumn (we do not yet know when in the autumn). Importantly, people must already be in receipt of (or have already begun an eventually successful claim for) one of these benefits as of 25th May 2022.
This payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
One-off £200-£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
Pensioner households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment will receive a one-off payment of £200-£300 to help with rising fuel costs. The payment will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit, is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. The payment will be made on top of other payments that the recipient is entitled to.
One-off £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
People who receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance and War Pension Mobility Supplement will receive the support as a one off payment in September. Importantly, people must already be in receipt of (or have already begun an eventually successful claim for) one of these benefits as of 25th May 2022.
For those in receipt of disability benefits as well as means-tested benefits, the £150 will be additional to the £650 mentioned above. These payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
Over the past few days banks including Nationwide have announced that they will be looking into giving customers one of support payments to help them through the fuel crisis. Banks who are participating will be in touch with customers that this may affect although it is unclear if this will be a loan or a one off grant.
Working from home support
If you work from home for either part or all of your working week you can claim up to £6 per week in tax relief.
Scottish Welfare Fund
Each local authority has access to funds to help people who are struggling to meet their housing costs. Although this is means tested, I am aware that your local council will also judge your application on each individual circumstance, the list of help you can get is below and more information can be found using the following link:
You must be 16 or older and on a low income, or getting certain benefits, to apply for a grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.
There are different grants you can apply for depending on your circumstances. You do not need to pay these grants back.
You can apply for a:
- Crisis Grant– to help with an unexpected emergency like a fire or flood, losing your money or your job
- Community Care Grant– to help you or someone you care for to start to live, or to carry on living, a settled life in the community
- Self-Isolation Support Grant- if Test and Protect tell you to self-isolate because of Covid and will lose income as a result.
Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)
If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on:
- your mortgage
- loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home
More information can be found using the link below:
Help for households
A new campaign has been launched to help people with any support they made need, this includes Childcare Costs, housing support and transport costs.
More information can be found using the link below and they also have various discount codes that can be used.
The company shop has been running for over 5 decades and is a social enterprise encouraging people to stop waste and use shopping items that are still fresh and useable.
As we work for a charity we are eligible to apply to become a member. If you follow the link below you can find out more information.
Blue light discount
Blue Light Card provides those in the NHS, emergency services, social care sector and armed forces with discounts online and in-store. Blue Light Card also works with small and large companies across the UK to get involved in supporting the Blue Light community through offering our members discounts through Blue Light Card.
Scottish Child Payment
If you have a child under the age of 6 you could be entitled to the Scottish child payment of £25 per week. (This has risen as of today 6/9/22) apparently this will be available to all children under the age of 16 by November. You will find details below:
Enery Cost Calculator
Ever wondered whether it’s cheaper to run a gas or electric oven? Or how about an electric blanket for 3 hours versus turning the heating on for 30 minutes? Well now you can find out.
Food Train help:
A brief reminder to always claim any travel expenses for any trips that you may take however small, travel expenses are given at 45p per mile driven.
Members of staff who regularly work from home are also eligible to claim £26 for expenses.
Liz Truss announcement:
Lis Truss has this morning (08.09.22) announced that there will be an energy price guarantee to curb inflation. From the 1st October 2023 households will pay no more than £2500 will per year for the next 2 years. This will save the average household £100 per year. Any further updates re help will be updated in due course.
When more information becomes available as to how these payments will be treated for the purposes of entering into a statutory debt solution, we will share this.
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