Financial support for dementia carers during the cost of living crisis
Carers and people with disabilities are more affected by the rise in the cost of living. This is because of extra costs and the limits on earning power due to caring or disability.
Some financial help is available. Most of this will be credited to you automatically but it is worth knowing what you should be getting. Make sure you follow up if something does not get through to you.
There are also some discretionary grants which you can apply for from your local council or energy supplier.
Government grants and rebates
You may have heard about the various grants and rebates that the government is giving households. These are to help with rising energy prices and the rise in the cost of living generally. None of these grants and rebates are taxable and they will not affect any other benefits you receive.
Help with Council Tax
Householders who pay council tax by direct debit should have already had the rebate applied to their bills. If you cannot see that that has happened (or if you do not pay by direct debit) then contact your council to ask about how you will receive the rebate.
For householders in England (in council tax bands A – D), there is a £150 rebate on the council tax bill.
This is a rebate, not a loan, and will not have to be paid back.
Energy Bill Support Scheme
All domestic energy customers in Great Britain will receive a £400 grant towards their energy bills.
This is not means-tested and not dependent on the bill-payer being in receipt of any benefit or tax credit.
The grant will be paid as credits to the electricity account or, for pre-payment meter customers, by money off tariffs or vouchers.
Cost of Living Payment
There will be a £650 payment made to households in Great Britain where someone is getting at least one means-tested benefit. These include universal credit, pension credit, income-based job seekers allowance and income-related employment and support allowance or tax credits.
The payment will be made in two instalments over the summer and autumn. To get the first instalment the person must have been receiving the qualifying benefit on 25 May 2022.
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
All pensioner households where the Winter Fuel Payment is received will also receive a £300 lump sum payment as a top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment. This will be paid in November or December.
Disability Cost of Living Payment
There will be a payment of £150 for people living in Great Britain in receipt of one of a disability benefits. These benefits include attendance allowance, personal independence payment, disability living allowance, armed forces independence payment, constant attendance allowance and war pension mobility supplement.
The person must have been receiving the benefit (or have started a claim which later was awarded) on 25 May 2022.
For residents of Northern Ireland there will be equivalent support given to that described above.
Here are some other ways of getting help which may be useful to know about.
Household Support Fund
The ‘Household Support Fund’ has £1billion given to local councils in England, and to the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is to be distributed to those most in need of help with the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and utilities.
Each council will have its own procedures for applying for this support. You should search for “household support fund” on your council’s website or contact the council’s information service.
Support from your energy supplier
Energy suppliers may be able to help with spiralling costs through their hardship funds and may help with paying off energy debts.
Contact your supplier or look on their website to see what is available.
Benefit and Debt Advice
Make sure you are claiming all the welfare benefits you are entitled to.
If the cost-of-living crisis is pushing you into debt it is important to see help and advice as soon as possible.
There may also be local benefits and debt advice services near you – your council should have the details.
If you have a question about any of the above, please call us on 0203 5400 710 or use the form below and we will be in touch.