Support for the rising cost of living
Support with bills
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born before 26 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
Most people get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically if they’re eligible.
You do not need to claim if you get certain benefits
You may need to claim if either of the following apply:
You’ve not got the Winter Fuel Payment before
You’ve deferred your State Pension since your last Winter Fuel Payment
You might need to claim if you live abroad even if you do get one of these benefits.
How to claim
Call the Winter Fuel Payment Centre to claim by phone: 0800 731 0160
Fill in a Winter Fuel Payment claim form for UK residents and send it to the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October 2022 and March 2023.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity and you’re eligible. Contact your supplier to find out.
There are different ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depending on where you live.
If you live in England and Wales
You qualify if you either:
Are on a low income and have high energy costs
You can still qualify for the discount if you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter.
Your electricity supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example a voucher you can use to top up your meter.
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills.
This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter or in a text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one.
Your local council might be able to help you get a fuel voucher
You can use a fuel voucher at:
A shop signed up to PayPoint
A Post Office or shop signed up to Payzone
Grants to help pay off your energy debts
If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off.
The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
British Gas Energy Support Fund - apply for a grant on the British Gas Energy Trust website
Scottish Power Hardship Fund - apply for a grant on the Scottish Power Hardship Fund website
Ovo Energy Fund - apply for a grant on the Ovo Energy Fund website
E.ON Energy Fund - apply for a grant on the E.ON Energy Fund website
E.ON Next Energy Fund - apply for a grant on the E.ON Next Energy Fund website
EDF Energy Customer Support Fund - sign up to the priority services register to apply for a grant on the EDF Energy website
Bulb Energy Fund - apply for a grant on the Bulb Energy Fund website
Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’ - apply for a grant on the Octopus website
Shell Energy Support Fund - apply for help on the Shell Energy website
If your supplier isn’t listed it’s a good idea to contact them directly to see what extra support they can give you.
If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer. You’ll need to get debt advice before applying
Currently, you can find meal discounts at the following supermarkets:
Asda has been running a 'kids eat for £1' offer that has no requirement to buy an adult meal at the same time. Those aged over 60 can also enjoy soup, a roll, and unlimited tea and coffee for £1 in any of its 205 cafés throughout December.
Morrisons has a permanent 'kids eat free' offer for every adult meal purchased over £4.49.
Sainsbury’s has ‘feed your family for a fiver’ advice, which provides customers with cheap meal ideas.
Waitrose has reintroduced its popular hot drink offer in partnership with Caffè Nero for members of its myWaitrose loyalty scheme (which is free to join) – just remember to bring your own cup to avoid being charged for a reusable one. You'll be able to get a free Americano, cappuccino, latte or tea. You need to make a purchase, but there is no minimum spend to get the free drink. myWaitrose members who download the Caffè Nero app can also get 25% off Caffè Nero's seasonal menus, a free Barista Coffee at Caffè Nero branches when you link your myWaitrose card and make a purchase, and offers every month (such as a free seasonal mince pie this December when you buy a barista-made drink).
Iceland, over-60s can get 10% off their shop on Tuesdays. Iceland also offered £30 vouchers to people receiving Pension Credit earlier this year.
Sainsbury's has been topping up the government-funded NHS Healthy Start scheme by £2. The NHS scheme encourages a healthy diet for pregnant women, babies and young children under the age of four from low-income households.
Eligible customers in England who use a Healthy Start card when shopping at Sainsbury’s will automatically receive a printed coupon worth £2 to use towards fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables during their next shop. In November 2022, Sainsbury's announced it will extend the Healthy Start coupon to Wales and Northern Ireland until 11 April 2023.