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How to get support in Nottingham to tackle the rising cost of living

today6 July 2022 4

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The cost of living crisis continues and people across Nottingham and the county are feeling the pinch. Food, energy, fuel… prices only seem to be going one way at the moment, and that is up.

However, there is help available for those most at risk from rising prices. If you’re struggling to cover the basics and worrying about finances, government assistance is available.

Some £37 billion of support has been made available this year, and it is targeted at those who are most in need. However, knowing exactly what is available can be a problem. Local councils, including Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council, have some useful information and inks on their websites and the latest round of Household Support Funding is about to be rolled out – with those most in need being identified without any need for individuals to apply for assistance. However, there is also other help available too. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the financial support that is available in Nottingham.

READ MORE: Nottingham set for heatwave with temperatures of up to 28C

£400 Energy Bills

All households in Nottinghamshire and the city will receive a £400 discount on the cost of their energy bills. This money will not need to be paid back and comes as part of the government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme. Initially, the then Chancellor said this would be a £200 loan that would have to be paid back. The amount has now doubled to £400, which you won’t have to pay back. You won’t need to apply for this as the discount will automatically be made by your energy supplier.

£150 Council Tax Rebate

If you live in a house in council tax bands A-D then you’ll receive a £150 Council Tax Rebate.

£650 Cost of Living payment

This is available to those on 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.

The payment will be split into two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits only will follow shortly after each to ensure there are no duplicate payments.

£150 Warm Homes Discount

According to the government website, around 2.2 million low-income households receive a £140 rebate on their energy bills. From 2022, proposed changes will see this rebate increase to £150.

Up to £300 Winter Fuel Payment

The winter fuel payment will continue. It provides payments of £200 for households with someone of State Pension Age, or £300 for households with someone aged 80 or over.

£25 Cold Weather Payments

If the temperature plummets to zero this winter then £25 extra a week will go to “poorer households”.

£300 Pensioner Cost of Living payment

All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. The payment will go to the over 8 million pensioner households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment and will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December.

£200 Pension Credit

If you are of state pension age (so currently 66 or older) and have total weekly income under roughly £200 you may be due extra money to help with your living costs. Pension Credit, which is separate from state pension, can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges. To check you you are eligible visit www.gov.uk/pensioncredit

Free or discounted TV Licence

You can get a free TV licence if you’re 75 or older and you either get Pension Credit (detailed above) or live with your partner who gets Pension Credit.

Housing benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit. You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either of the following apply – you have reached State Pension age or you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing.

Support for Mortgage Interest

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home. This is a loan so you’ll need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your property (unless you’re moving the loan to another property). You usually need to be getting, or treated as getting, a qualifying benefit, although there is no guarantee that you’ll get SMI.

£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 a one off payment of £150 in September. These payments will be exempt from tax.

School Uniform Allowance

Nottingham City Council offers a School Clothing Allowance for pupils in year 1, 4, 7, 9 and 11 as well as children entering reception. To claim you will need to live in Nottingham City, attend a Nottingham City school, and the parent or carer must receive at least one benefit from the following list: Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, the guarantee element of Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit including the Working Tax Credit element and your annual income does not exceed £16,190 as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Universal Credit – income thresholds apply. How much you’ll receive depends upon the school year of your child but ranges from £15.00 to £40.00.

Summer holiday clubs

Children and young people eligible for free school meals will be able to access holiday clubs over the summer. Those attending will receive a free lunch, alongside a programme of activities focused on healthy eating, fitness and mental health.

Nottinghamshire county and city residents can book places and find out more by visiting www.asklion.co.uk/funandfood There are a limited number of places available for children who aren’t eligible for free school meals and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Tax Free Childcare

You can get help paying for childcare through the government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme. The government will pay 20 percent of childcare costs by topping up the money paid into a Tax-Free Childcare account. This means for every £8 paid into the online account, families will automatically receive an additional £2 in government top-up.

Families can receive up to £2,000 a year per child – or £4,000 if their child is disabled – to put towards the cost of childcare. It is available for children aged up to 11 or 17 if the child has a disability. The money can help towards the cost of holiday clubs, before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, and other approved childcare schemes. For details on the scheme visit childcarechoices.gov.uk

Household Support Fund

Household Support Fund (HSF) is designed help those most in need as the cost of living crisis continues. That cash is now being fed through to local councils and councils are tasked with spending that money in the best way to help residents in that particular area – subject to specific criteria set out by the government.

Nottingham city residents

£3.5 million has been allocated to support the city’s most vulnerable – particularly those households including children, pensioners and other vulnerable households including care leavers, refugees and households in financial crisis. While we are waiting for exact details of how the latest pot of cash will be spent, we do know that pupils entitled to free school meals will be allocated £50 supermarket vouchers before the summer holidays begin. Details of what we know so far about what Nottingham city residents are in line for can be found by following this link.

Nottingham county residents

Nottinghamshire County Council is managing the fund but working with all Nottinghamshire county authorities (Nottingham City Council has a separate fund and will determine how it is spent depending upon the needs of city residents). The money must be spent supporting households in the most need – again focusing on households with children, pensioners and vulnerable households, and sticking to government criteria.

Details are still being finalised on exactly how the £5.6 million allocated to the county will be spent but we do know that free school meal vouchers will be handed out to those eligible. Here’s what else we know about the Household Support Fund for those living in the county of Nottinghamshire.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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