- Starting this morning, millions of households will begin receiving living expenses payments
- Households that do not qualify may still be eligible for other support schemes
- These include grants of up to £1,500 and other payments to help pay bills
Millions of households will receive a £300 government living cost payment from today – but if you don’t qualify, there is other help available too.
Households receiving qualifying means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit will have the £300 tax-free payment automatically transferred to their bank account between October 31 and November 19.
But many Brits who are not eligible for the £300 payment are still struggling with the high cost of living.
Silver Savings: Retirees are the group with the greatest potential for energy cost savings this winter
The average household currently pays electricity bills of £1,834 a year and also faces horrendous costs for food, fuel and other essentials.
But there are also other programs to help needy households struggling with high living costs.
The other living expenses assistance available this year
Up to £600 for pensioners
Millions of pensioners could soon receive a total of £600 in government support payments for their energy bills, with both older people and benefit claimants benefiting.
The first scheme, the Winter Fuel Payment, is worth between £100 and £300, and many recipients will also receive the Pensioner Living Payment, worth between £150 and £300.
These payments are worth between £100 and £300 per year and are paid to people born before September 25, 1957.
How much you receive depends on factors such as your date of birth and the benefits you claim.
Payments typically occur in November or December, with eligible households receiving confirmation letters in October or November.
The money is intended to help pay energy bills, which tend to be higher for older people because they need warmer homes and may have connected medical devices.
Anyone who receives the winter fuel payment should automatically receive the retiree cost of living payment.
Those eligible should be paid in November or December.
£150 for home heating
The Warm Home Discount is a £150 payment towards energy costs.
It is aimed at two groups: those who receive the guaranteed credit element of the pension credit and those who receive certain means-tested benefits.
Households with a standard meter will receive £150 off their bills, while households with prepaid meters will receive a voucher.
Payments will be made between October 2023 and March 2024.
Cash or vouchers from the household help fund
Households struggling with living costs can apply for cash and vouchers from the Household Help Fund.
This is a pot of government money that is distributed by municipalities to the people in their region.
The program was increased by £842 million in April this year and will run until April 2024.
The system is a postcode lottery, as each local council decides how and to whom the money is paid out.
For example, some municipalities issue vouchers, while others issue cash.
Local authorities paid money and vouchers worth up to hundreds of pounds per house.
Anyone can apply, but may have to meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being low income.
Subsidies from energy companies
Customers struggling with high energy bills can get help from energy companies, including grants of up to £1,500, free electrical equipment and better insulation.
For example, British Gas provides grants of up to £1,500 for both its own customers and those of other energy companies.
Other energy companies such as Octopus Energy and EDF also have their own programs.
However, most require successful applicants to be low-income or otherwise unable to afford energy bills, and may also meet other criteria.