Help with the cost of living
In this section:
Help paying bills
Help paying council tax
If you have savings of less than £6,000 (or £16,000 if you're a pensioner) you might be entitled to council tax support. To work out how much you might get you can use our online benefit calculator.
If you do qualify for help you can make a council tax support claim online.
If you're already getting council tax support but you still need help you might be able to get an exceptional hardship award. There are restrictions on how much you can get and payments are only a short-term measure. Find out more about exceptional hardship awards.
If you have savings over £6,000 or you don't get council tax support but you can't pay your bill, you can ask to spread your payments over 12 months instead of the normal 10. Contact us to change your council tax instalments.
If you owe council tax you can set up an arrangement to pay what you owe - for example, £20 a month. Make a payment plan for council tax.
Help paying energy bills
Every household in the UK will get £400 towards energy bills this winter. You don't need to apply, the money will be paid automatically in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023. You won't need to pay the money back.
This year, anyone that normally gets the winter fuel payment for pensioners will get an extra one off-payment of £300. This will be paid automatically.
The warm homes scheme - which opens in November - can give you up to £140 off your energy bill each year.
If you get certain benefits - like pension credit or income support - and the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days you can get £25 extra a week.
If you receive a means tested or disability benefit - like income support or disability living allowance - you might be able to get a grant to help with your heating costs.
GOV.UK also have advice on things you can do that will make your home cheaper to heat.
If you need help paying water bills you should speak to your water supplier first. You might be able to get a discounted rate if you live alone or you might be eligible for the WaterSure scheme that caps how much you pay.
Help paying mobile phone bills
Ofcom have advice on how you can get cheaper phone bills.
Kent County Council have an emergency welfare scheme for people that urgently need help with bills and other household costs.