Cost of Living Advice and Support

Financial advice and support is available from lots of organisations.

Related Documents

Help for Households - Cost of living support you could be eligible for

The Civil Service has launched the Help for Households campaign to draw together support packages that help ease the cost of living impact. There are 41 schemes available to support citizens, all of which can be found on the new Help for Households website

You may be eligible for a range of measures the government is offering to help with the cost of living. Find out what support is available by accessing the website.

Community Hubs

The Community Hubs, run by Blaenau Gwent Council operate in 7 locations across the borough.

They can help with all elements of community life including council tax schemes and reductions, benefits information and advice, applying for a blue badge and many more opportunities to help you save money where you can.

Find your nearest Hub and its opening times here.

 

Here are some schemes you may be able to access, and organisations that can offer advice and support:

Discretionary cost of living payment

A payment of £150 will be made to eligible households in Council Tax Band E to H, where on the 15 February 2022, the person liable to pay council tax lives in the property as their sole or main residence and were not in receipt of support through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Eligible households in Council Tax Bands E to H (& those who were eligible under the main scheme but did not register for, or receive payment, before 30 September 2022) - where we hold current direct debit details on council tax accounts, we will look to make payment directly into bank accounts. Where we do not hold current direct debit details we will send a letter inviting you to apply for the above payment.

If you do not receive a letter of invitation you cannot register for this payment.

A payment of £100 will be made to households who have their sole or main residence in Blaenau Gwent and were in receipt of a Free School Meal payment in August 2022. The payment will be made directly into the bank account in which you received the Free School Meal payment.

Council Tax Discounts and Reductions

Council Tax is one of the biggest monthly bills for all households.

There are lots of schemes available to help ease this particular pressure, single occupancy reduction, mentally or physically disabled support, carers and low income households.

More information can also be found on the Council Website.

 

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you are receiving Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, but are still finding it hard to pay your rent, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Contact: benefits@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk for further advice.

 

Free School Meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you receive any of the

following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and
  • Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the
  • Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (with an annual
  • income less than £16,190)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net household income of less than £7,400 (£616.67 monthly)

You can get more information and apply for the scheme by emailing:

benefits@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

 

School Uniform Grant

Learners currently eligible for free school meals can apply for the grant of £225 per learner, and £300 for those learners entering year 7.

The scheme is open from 1st July 2022 and end on 30th June 2023

Find out more and apply today by emailing: benefits@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

 

£650 one-off cost of living payment for those on means tested benefits 

Eligible Households that receive a means tested benefit will receive £650 paid in 2 installments. First installment in July 2022 and the second in November 2022.

This payment will be paid automatically in to the account you receive your benefit payments.

 

£300 One off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

If you are aged 66 or above between 19th and 25th September 2022 you will automatically receive £300 between November/December 2022.

 

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

You may be eligible if you have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of a qualifying benefit for 25th May 2022. Most people who are eligible will receive their payment automatically from 20th September 2022.

 

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born one or before 25th September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.

If you have received a Winter Fuel payment before, you will not need to claim again.

Most payments are made automatically in November or December.

 

£200 Wales Winter Fuel Support Scheme

Households responsible for paying their home energy bills and in receipt of an eligible benefit between 1st September 2022 to 31st January 2023 will receive £200 in the Autumn/Winter 2022/2023.

 

£140 Warm Home Discount

You are eligible if you are in receipt of the Guarantee credit element of Pension Credit or you are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme.

If your application is successful, your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31st March 2023.

 

Energy Bills Support Scheme

Eligible households will get £400 of support with their energy bills through an expansion of the energy bills support scheme.

 

Discretionary Assistance Fund

Provides two types of grant that you do not need to pay back.

The Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) is a grant to help pay for essential costs such as, food, gas, electricity, clothing or emergency travel if you:

  • are experiencing extreme financial hardship.
  • Have lost your job
  • Have applied for benefits and are waiting for your first payment

The Individual Assistance Payment and The Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) is to help you or someone you care for live independently in their home or a property they are moving in to.

The grant is to be used to pay for:

  • A fridge, cooker, or washing machine and other white goods.
  • Home furniture such as beds, sofas and chairs.

 

Welsh Water Help with bills

If you’re having trouble affording to pay for your bill, Welsh Water have a number of ways they may be able to help you and make bills affordable.

 

Former Coal Miners £200 Grant

Former coal miners are eligible for a £200 grant to help with rising energy prices.

The grant comes via the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO).

To find out more about the grant, contact the Welsh CISWO office by phone on 01443 485233 or by emailing wales@ciswo.org.uk

 

Blaenau Gwent Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis

The Trussell Trust runs the largest network of food banks in the UK, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis.

They work with local agencies, in order to provide the most appropriate help for the circumstances of your situation.

 

Citizens Advice

Dealing with money issues can sometimes be off-putting, but if you don't understand how things like credit or mortgages work, you could end up losing out financially or getting yourself deep in debt.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can give you the information you need to make the right choices.

 

Age Cymru Advice

Offers free, confidential and impartial support service. They can help older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals with information and advice on matters affecting older people.

To find out more, call 0300 303 398 between 9:00am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday  or email advice@agecymru.org.uk

 

Care and Repair

Provides information, advice and practical services that help older people in Wales stay safe, warm and well at home. They fit disability aids and adaptations, supply home maintenance services, help maximise income and access grants, and make homes safe to return to from hospital.

To find out more, call 0300 111 3333 (Croesawir galwadau yn Gymraeg / Calls are welcomed in Welsh). Even if you think that you do not ordinarily qualify for financial support you could now be eligible for some help with day to day living costs.

 

Money Helper

MoneyHelper is open to everyone and can help people clear their debts, reduce spending and make the most of their income.

They provide money guidance that's impartial and free to use and if they don’t know the answer, they’ll point you in the right direction of someone who does.

 

Credit Unions, Local community savings and loans

Credit unions offer an alternative to traditional banks and building societies for saving and borrowing. They can sometimes beat the rates on the high street.

A credit union is a community savings and loans provider.

To find out more about credit unions,

www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/credit-union

 

Smart Money Cymru

Community Banks like Smart Money Cymru are not-for-profit financial organisations that are often set up by members who have what is a called a common bond to offer savings and loans.

Smart Money Cymru provide affordable loans and financial resilience with a range of saving accounts, working with stakeholders across Wales, providing financial education and supporting and donating to good causes.

 

Money Saving Expert

MoneySavingExpert.com, the website founded by Martin Lewis, has a wide range of help and advice.

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