After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days. It is paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
Cost of Living Payment
You may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits.
You could get up to 3 different types of payment depending on your circumstances on a particular date or during a particular period:
a Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying low income benefit or tax credits
a Disability Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying disability benefit
a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, if you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023
These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you get.
If you cannot see the payment in your bank, building society or credit union account, you can report it via the GOV.UK website.
Grants to help you pay energy debts
If you are in debt to your energy supplier, speak to them to see if they offer grants or can offer you a payment plan to help pay it off. To find out which suppliers offer grants, please visit the Citizens Advice website.
Should your supplier go out of business, rest assured that there will be no interruption to your energy supply. Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, will automatically switch your account to a new supplier.
Wait for your new supplier to contact you as they will explain what will happen with your account. If you don’t hear from your supplier within 2 weeks, contact them.
Switching energy suppliers
With the current uncertainty in the energy market, it may be better to stay on your existing energy deal.
You can check with your supplier if you are on their cheapest deal, but switching suppliers is unlikely to get you a better deal at the moment.
Keep your home warmer by shutting doors, turning down the thermostat in rooms you don’t often use, closing curtains or blinds at night and using draught excluders. To discover more ways to save money by saving energy in the home, read our tips here.
Other ways to get help
If you're on a low income or claiming benefits, you might be entitled to other help like Council Tax Support, help with health costs and free school meals.
Council Tax support
Apply to your local council for Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support). You’ll get a discount on your bill if you’re eligible.
Get help to buy food and milk
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
If your application is successful, you’ll receive a pre-paid Healthy Start card which you can use in some shops to buy healthy essentials.
NHS Help with Health Costs
Although most NHS treatment is free, there are still some costs you might need to pay, for example, to get your prescriptions or to travel to your hospital appointment.
The website features a range of videos, tools and calculators, all of which are free. For example, it includes a money manager tool for those on Universal Credit and credit card and loan calculators.
Please remember it is important that you still pay your rent on time. If you're struggling to manage your finances and pay your rent, please call us on 0300 123 9966 or email us as soon as you can so we can work with you to find a solution.