The government has announced further measures to help with the ongoing cost of living crisis, and in particular rising fuel bills
All households will get £400 cut from the fuel bill in October, this is replacing the £200 ‘loan payment’ proposed earlier and it will not have to be repaid. It will be credited to your electricity bill (if you are on a prepayment meter this is likely to be paid in top-up vouchers).
In addition, people over State Pension age (on 26th September 2022) will be paid an extra £300 on top of the existing Winter Fuel Allowance. This should be paid directly into your bank account in November or December
Households in receipt of means tested benefits will receive £650, to be paid in two instalments, one in July and one in the autumn. This will apply to you if you get: Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit.
A £150 disability cost of living payment will be made in September to those receiving non-means tested disability benefits—Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance, War Pension Mobility Supplement.
You do not need to claim any of these—they should be paid automatically to you. You will receive all of the payments you qualify for and they do not affect any other benefits and are not taxable. They are all intended as one off measures for this year only.
This is in addition to the £150 paid via Council Tax that many people will have already received. All households in band A-D qualify for this even if you do not pay any council tax because you get full council tax support or are exempt for another reason. If you pay your Council Tax by direct debit this should have already been paid into your bank account. People who don’t pay by direct debit needed to claim this payment online at www.leeds.gov.uk/council-tax/£150-council-tax-rebate. Caring Together have helped many members to claim this but if you still haven’t claimed please get in touch with us if you need assistance to do so.
The household support fund has also been increased, and extended to March 2023. This is money paid to local councils to help them support those most in need, with rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. You may be able to get help from this if you do not qualify for the other measures. You can contact Leeds Welfare Support on 0113 376 0330.
If you are struggling, please ask for help. Caring Together can help our members to look at the options and to access the support that is available so please contact us. Even if you are not a member, we can try and put you in touch with the organisations that can offer help.