Help with the Increased Cost Of Living –

Things to do to keep the bills down & maximise your income

  1. Maximise our income by claiming each and every Government Benefit/Local Authority Grant we are
    entitled to
  2. Reduce our outgoings by being more Energy Efficient, e.g. by improving Home Insulation
  3. Get rid of unnecessary costs, e.g. unused subscriptions

N.B. This information will be regularly added to as new schemes appear and previous ones are stopped, so please keep checking for new advice and forgive any out-dated information.
This year the cost of everyday living has spiralled to a new high and looks likely to continue, so here are
some suggestions from a variety of sources of how we can all:

Unclaimed benefits:
Huge numbers of people in the UK are entitled to either Disability Benefits or Earnings Related Benefits but are unaware of their eligibility – there are some really useful benefits calculators online at:
https://www.entitledto.co.uk/ or https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/

There is extra money that the Government recognises some people need, for health or low income reasons and if you are eligible, you should claim if it would help you.
Not all benefits are means-tested.
Also, this extra income coming in to the county will spread to the local economy if you are then able to
• spend in local shops
• get the help you need at home e.g. gardener, cleaner or window cleaner
• buy more logs, oil, etc.
So it helps the whole community if you get extra money coming in.
If you think you may be eligible for a Benefit, you can apply online for some of them,
e.g. Blue Badge Parking Permit https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/roads-transport/parking/bluebadges.asp

But some need an initial phone call e.g. PIP (Personal Independence Payment)
https://www.gov.uk/pip/how-to-claim
And some are still paper forms e.g. Attendance Allowance, that you can print off the website or you can phone the Attendance Allowance helpline Telephone: 0800 731 0122 and ask them to send you a form, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form

General Hints and Tips:
The ‘Money Saving Expert’ website (Martin Lewis) has just produced a comprehensive guide of tips and
suggestions to reduce the cost of living- we are probably already doing some of these but there might be
new ideas here to try, particularly his emphasis on ‘Heat the Human, not the Home’.
Here is the link to the guide: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/heat-the-human-not-the-home-save-energy/

Local Council Support – Eden and Allerdale:
The local councils are funded by the Government for some permanent support schemes plus some
temporary ones, responding to need e.g. during the Covid Crisis.
The leaflet ‘Cost of Living Support’ from Cumbria County Council has some useful ideas for local support,
https://cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/Content/Internet/536/6181/44650132218.pdf

Direct Government Help:
Council Tax Rebate: In February it was announced that those people in the Council Tax bands A-D will get a rebate of £150 this year, to reduce their Council Tax costs. It will be taken off this year’s 2022/23 Council
Tax bill and DOES NOT NEED TO BE REPAID. Even if you have your Council Tax paid for you by the local
council under a https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/council-tax/council-tax-discounts/discounts-andexemptions/ – you will still receive this money.
The £150 will be sent automatically to your bank, if they have your bank details/pay by Direct Debit.

Energy Bill Help: In October 2022, every household will be given £200 direct to their energy supplier, to
reduce their bill while energy prices are so high. Those on a pre-pay meter will be paid through the Smart
meter or will receive a credit voucher. This money will be added back to your energy account from April
2023, at a rate of £40 a year. It is anticipated that unit prices for Gas and Electricity will have come down
by then so the £40 payment each year will have less effect.

Further information to follow.

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