Cost of living support

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Household Support Fund

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Funded by UK Government logo
text | Household Support Fund 2024 - Closed

Household Support Fund 4 has now closed and all available funding for this wave of the scheme has been allocated.

The fund covered the period from the 1 April 2023 to the 31 March 2024. North Kesteven District Council worked in partnership with a range of local organisations to deliver the fund and help meet the needs of our community.  A portion of the funding was allocated to provide support to our residents in receipt of Housing Benefit, but not in receipt of other support provided via the national Cost of Living scheme administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.  Three waves of the scheme were delivered and those who were eligible will have received a letter from us. The final element of the funding was delivered in two waves of an online application process. 

On Wednesday 6 March 2024, government announced that the Household Support Fund would be extended for a further six months from 1 April 2024.  Local authorities are currently reviewing the guidance provided by the government on how the funding for Lincolnshire can be utilised and further details will be published here once available.

Further to the support detailed on this webpage, residents facing financial difficulties can also visit the below websites for details of the other support available.

Find full details of the amount of Household Support Fund awarded to Lincolnshire on the Lincolnshire County Council website.

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Putting more money in your pocket

Help to Claim

If residents have lost their job or seen reduced hours, they might be eligible for Universal Credit. Many in-work households do not claim as they do not know what they are entitled to. 

Help to Claim is a service to help people in the early stages of a Universal Credit claim. Support is available on freephone 0800 144 8444 (Monday - Friday 8am to 6pm).

Information on Universal Credit, advance payment, and the migration from 'legacy benefits' is available on the Understanding Universal Credit website.

Pension Credit

If you are of pensioner age and not in receipt of Pension Credit, use the online pension credit calculator to see if you are eligible. This could boost your income up to £3,300 a year. 

Pension Credit claim line 0800 99 1234.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments may be awarded in special circumstances to provide additional financial help with housing costs, - payments are normally only for a limited period only.

See our webpage to read about and apply for Discretionary Housing Payments

Stop Loan Sharks

Stop Loan Sharks investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders and provides support for borrowers in the UK. 

If you have borrowed from a loan shark or are worried about someone else, we’re here to help and keep you safe. For more information see the Stop Loan Sharks website.

Citizens Advice - work out your budget tool

The citizens advice website has a helpful online tool that can help you understand what you’re earning and spending and where you might be able to cut costs. Find more information on the Citizens advice website.

Step Change - Making a budget

Making a budget is the first step towards taking control of your finances and getting your situation back on track. Budgeting helps you to see where your money is going, so it’s easier to make sure that you’ve covered all of the things you need to pay for. Find more information on the Step Change website.

Get advice and well-being support

Benefits and Money Advice

We help provide confidential advice regarding your money, welfare, and benefits. For further information please see the North Kesteven District Council Benefits and Money Advice pages.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice offer free, impartial advice on debt, benefits, employment , and housing problems. They can help households make sure you're getting all the support they are entitled to. 

Advice Line on freephone 0800 1448848 (Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm).

Money Advice and Pension Service

Government funded debt advice, budgeting tools, and money advice is provided by the Money and Pensions Service.

Money Helper offers free, impartial help with money online, over the phone on 0800 138 7777 or on WhatsApp on 07701 342 744.

Samaritans

Whatever you're going through, a Samartian will face it with you. Call 116 123.

Night Light Café

Here to listen to you. Out-of-hours support service. Call 0300 011 1200.

SHOUT

Text 'BLUE' to 85257 for free 24/7 mental health text support.

Here4You

24/7 mental health & wellbeing advice for children and young people, their families and carers. Call 0800 234 6342.

Mental Health Matters

24/7 confidential emotional & mental health support line. Call 0800 001 4331.

Debt Advice Services

Online services are secure and you can get immediate, personalised help. Some services are available 24 hours a day. If you would rather make a phone call, You can speak directly with an expert adviser. Telephone services are usually available weekdays, evenings and Saturdays.

  • You can access free, confidential, regulated debt advice through Step Change Debt Charity or call them on 0800 138 1111.
  • You could also contact National Debtline by webchat or call them on 0808 808 4000 (Monday - Friday 9am to 8pm, and Saturday 9:30am to 1pm).
  • In Lincolnshire, Citizens Advice organisations deliver telephone and face-to-face debt support as part of national commission. This can be accessed locally through Debt helpline 0800 240 4420 (Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm).
  • Join the many thousands of people each year in England who benefit from getting advice through the Money Adviser Network.
  • The Financial Wellness Group can offer support when your finances get out of control.
  • PayPlan help with contacting people you owe money to and arranging lower payments to make things more affordable.
  • Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt. You can call them on 0800 622 61 51.

Lincolnshire Rural Support Network

LRSN is a member organisation of the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) which is a collaboration of National Health Service trusts, charities, businesses, and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond. We are an alliance of people and organisations coming together around one basic principle: Suicide is preventable.

Find more information on the LRSN website.

Family Action

Family Action transforms lives by providing practical, emotional and financial support to those who are experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation across the country. Find more information on the Family Action website.

Royal British Legion Cost of Living Grants 

This programme is designed to allow the Royal British Legion to assist people who need help in a quick and easy way with everyday essentials such as kitchen appliances, clothes, and energy costs. See if you are eligible on the Royal British Legion website.

Blue Light Together

Blue Light Together is the place for UK emergency services staff, volunteers, retirees and friends and family to find information, ideas and support to help look after your mental health. Find out more on the Blue Light Together website.

Mind - Mental health and the cost of living crisis

If this speaks to you, speak to us. Having so much to deal with can affect your mental health. Mind can’t fix the cost of living crisis, but we can help you feel more able to cope. Find more information on the support Mind can offer on the Mind website.

HAY North Kesteven

You might find the support you need through an activity or local service. Here you can find an interactive map with a number of support services that are available to you. See more on the How Are You North Kesteven website.

Warming Up Hub

A free to use warm space for anyone provided by the Lincoln City Foundation. Open every Monday 10am- 2pm Poachers Den (GBM Stand) LNER Stadium, LN5 8LD. For more information visit the Warming Up website.

Help with bills and other costs

Council Tax Support

Households on low-income with under £16,000 savings or capital (unless in receipt of Pension Credit) may qualify for a discount from their council tax bill. To find out if they are entitled, they can use the Benefits Calculator.

Social Tariffs

Switching provider or accessing discounted social tariffs can help households save money. Ofcom are raising awareness of social tariffs from broadband and phone packages and how people can access them. 

Anglian Water offer tariffs for low-income households with up to 50% discount on water and sewage charges.

Residents should call the Extra Care Team on 0800 232 1963 and see if they are able to switch tariff or find if there are other ways Anglian Water can help with bills.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. More information can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Anglian Water

Anglian Water are offering affordability support.

Mortgage costs

Citezens Advice offer ways on cutting down your mortgage costs.

Help with your TV licence

The Simple Payment Plan was created for those in financial difficulty.

Qualifying customers can choose from either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan that spreads the cost of a TV Licence over 12 months, this means you make smaller payments more frequently, helping you to better manage your finances.

TV Licensing accepts referrals to the Simple Payment Plan from not-for-profit organisations such as charities or your local authority money advice department. It cannot accept referrals from commercial organisations. 

If you would like to speak to someone about your finances, you can contact your local authority debt advice team or there are many not-for-profit organisations offering free, confidential and independent advice. Any not-for-profit organisation providing this service can refer you to us to join the Simple Payment Plan.

There are other TV licence concessions, which you might be eligible for depending on your circumstances. There are concessions available for:

NHS Prescriptions and Health Costs

Some people are eligible for free or reduced-cost NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and help with other NHS costs including transport to appointments. 

Dealing with rent arrears

If you are a private tenant not in receipt of benefits, Shelter is the best point of contact if you’re behind on rent. Find more information on the Shelter website.

Support for Mortgage Interest

If you are a homeowner, Citizen’s Advice can help you to claim Support for Mortgage Interest from the government (if you are eligible). Find more information on the Citizen's Advice website.

The DWP can also help homeowners on certain benefits pay interest on loans or mortgages please visit GOV.UK's support page.

For further advice if you’re worried about mortgage cost rises can be found on the Moneyhelper website.

Fuel direct scheme

If you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be able to pay in instalments through the Fuel Direct Scheme. To set this up, contact your local Job Centre, who will call your supplier if you qualify.

Energy supplier grants

There may also be grants available to you from your energy supplier. These are run by energy companies, but you don’t necessarily need to be a customer to apply. Check out Charis Grants for a number of schemes that can provide assistance. Find a list of grants and benefits on the Citizens Advice website.

Government-funded legal advice and representation (legal aid) is available to anyone facing possession proceedings. For more details, please visit GOV.UK.

Money saving expert

There are so many helpful places and resources for getting good advice and help on saving money, but few are as well known as Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website.

From tools to help save on household bills, to a guide on banking and saving to get best returns on your money, advice on reclaims and accessing money you’re owed and tips to counter soaring prices, it’s the popular website for cutting your costs. You can sign up for a free weekly Money Tips email.

Switch off for more money with E.ON

Every energy company has its own scheme for helping or incentivising you to save energy. If you’re an E.ON Next customer, look out for a deal that gives you rewards for reducing your energy use during peak times – which also saves you money.

It works by signing up, receiving alerts and aiming to hit the targets that are set for energy savings over a set period. In return, you win account credits.

Visit E.ON Next's website and the National Grid ESO website for more information.

Saving energy saves money

Saving energy is not only good for the environment, but it will also save you money.

By making small changes to your daily routine, such as turning off lights when leaving a room, unplugging electronics when not in use, or cooking differently, you can significantly reduce your energy use and lower your electricity bill. 

Energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs also bring long-term savings.

Ask your energy provider about free energy-efficient light bulbs and look into switching to a better deal.

Other avenues of support in saving energy bills include:

Visiting The Energy Saving Trust website.

Visiting the Simple Energy Advice website or calling on 0800 444 202

Visiting the National Energy Action website or calling on 0800 304 7159 between 10am to 12pm Monday to Friday.

Local Energy Advice Demonstrators (LEAD)

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero has awarded £300,000 to fund the LEAD project to allow Local Authority’s across Lincolnshire to provide support to residents living in buildings that are hard to modify.

The funding will be used to make homes more energy efficient and provide upgrades to sustainable heating systems.

If you would like to find out more visit Lincs 4 Warmer Homes

Help with food

Help With Food

New Life Church run a local, independent food bank covering the North Kesteven District.

Greater Lincolnshire Food Partnership

Greater Lincolnshire Food Partnership are are a partnership of organisations across Greater Lincolnshire, working together for greener, fairer and healthier food for all, through sustainable local action. Go to their website to find lots of information and help, including a list of foodbanks within the Lincolnshire area. You can also find opportunities to get involved with food growing in Greater Lincolnshire on their incredible edible webpage.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme

The Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) is a Government funded programme that provides reception to year 11 pupils who receive benefits-related free school meals in Lincolnshire access to free healthy meals and activities over the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays. Find more information on the Lincolnshire County Council website.

NHS Healthy Start Get help to buy food and milk

If you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old, you could get help to buy milk, fruit and vegetables. Find out more and apply on the NHS website.

Sleaford Community Grocers

More and more families in Sleaford & District are facing the prospect of not knowing exactly how to provide food for their families - but Sleaford Community Grocers is here to support those who need it.  Find more information on the Sleaford Community Grocers website.

Help from organisations, including grants and loans

Connect to Support

Connect to Support Lincolnshire is an online information and advice library, community directory and marketplace for adults in Lincolnshire. This website is intended for adults who want to find out about local groups, activities and services within the community. If you need telephone support and/or live web chat then this is provided by Age UK via the website.

It offers signposting to groups, activities, and support within local communities on topics such as:

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Housing & Independence at Home
  • Carers
  • Getting Out & About (Travel & Mobility)
  • Volunteering & Community
  • Safeguarding
  • Money & Legal Matters

Telephone support and live web chat to help people navigate support is available Monday to Friday 2pm to 7pm on 0300 3030 8789. More information can be found on the Connect to Support Lincolnshire website.

Wellbeing Lincs

Wellbeing Lincs is a countywide service supporting adults across Lincolnshire to achieve confident, fulfilled, and independent lives. Call 01522 782140.

Help for households

Countries around the world are facing rising goods and energy prices, inflation and cost of living pressures after the pandemic and matters such as the unrest in Ukraine.

We know people are worried so the government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for on the Government help for households webpages.

Lincolnshire Credit Union

Credit Unions help people save money and can offer affordable loans. They are an alternative to loan sharks and pay-day enders, and can help people avoid problem debt. 

Visit nottsandlincscu.co.uk or call them on 0330 004 0842.

Turn 2 Us

Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. The Turn2us Grants Search can help you look for funds that might be able to give you a grant or other types of help. 

Turn 2 Us also has information on where you can get assistance with the cost of white goods and other household items.

 

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Stretch it, Save it, Share it - Cost of Living