Help paying bills

The government and some service providers have schemes to help you pay your bills. 

You may be entitled to more than one of these schemes and many payments are tax-free. 

Cost of Living Payment

Households on some benefits, including UC, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will automatically receive a tax-free payment of £650. 

You will get one payment in summer and another in autumn. This payment is on top of other schemes. 

Energy Bills Support Scheme 

Every household will automatically have £400 taken from their energy bills in October. 

This is a grant from the government which doesn't need to be paid back.

Disability Cost of Living Payment

Those claiming disability benefits will receive a one-off £150 payment in September to help with extra costs.

Winter fuel payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

Some pensioners are entitled to between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills in winter months.

Those who are entitled will automatically extra £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment this winter on top of their usual fuel payment.

Check if you’re eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment here

Council Tax rebate

If you live in Council Tax bands A to D in England you’ll get £150 back from your Council Tax bill.

If you pay your Council Tax by direct debit then you should have received this automatically. 

You can find out more information on the City Council website here

Tax-free childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare.

Find out how to claim claim tax-free childcare here

30 hours free childcare

Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4 year old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.

Find out how to access this here

15 hours free childcare

If you have a 2 year old child/ren and are on certain benefits you may be able to get get 15 hours of free childcare a week.

All families with children aged 3 and 4 can also access 15 hours of free childcare a week.

Find out how to more here

Child Benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.

It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.

Find out here how to claim Child Benefit

Claim back childcare costs

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, with up to £646 back each month for one child or £1,108 for 2 or more children.

Find out more about claiming back childcare costs

Apply for free school meals

Free school meals are available to pupils if parents get certain benefits.

Check if your child can get free school meals

Holiday activities and food programme

You can get access to free activities and food for your children in the holidays if they receive free school meals.

Find out more about Gloucester's programme here

Claim Healthy Start vouchers

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

Check if you’re eligible for Healthy Start vouchers

Get help with maternity costs

You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.

Check if you’re eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant

Cold weather payments

You may be entitled to £25 extra a week if you’re getting certain benefits during the winter when the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days.

Check if you’re eligible

Warm Home Discount

Some low-income households may be entitled to a £150 rebate on their winter electricity bills.

Do check with your energy supplier if you are eligible

0% VAT on energy saving materials

If you install energy saving materials (eg thermal insulation or solar panels) within the next five years you won't pay VAT.

It's worth considering if you are able as it'll make your home more efficient  and save money on bills.

There are some grants available for this which you can find here

Household Support Fund

County Councils have been given a pot of money to help the vulnerable cover daily essentials. 

Do check on the County Council's website if your eligible and to apply

Budgeting loans

You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for 6 months. This can be used for household items, rent in advance and travelling costs.

Check if you’re eligible for a Budgeting Loan

Cheaper phone and broadband

If you're struggling to afford your phone and broadband bills you may be able to join a 'social tariff'.

Do check the Ofcom website to see if you might be eligible

Help paying your Water Bill

If you're struggling to pay your water bill Severn Trent have a range of support measures including the Financial Hardship Fund, Bill Cap Scheme and support if you're living alone.

See what support Severn Trent may be able to give you

TV Licence fee freeze

The TV licence fee has been frozen at £159 until 2024. This means households will not see any change to the licence fee until 1 April 2024.

Find out more information on free TV Licence for over 75‘s

Cutting fuel duty

Fuel duty for petrol and diesel has been cut by 5 pence per litre across the whole of the UK until March 2023. It saves £100 for the average car driver, £200 for the average van driver and £1,500 for the average haulier.

Save 1/3rd on rail journeys

You can get up to a third off train fares with a railcard in Great Britain, saving up to £142 a year on average.

Check if you may be able to get a railcard

50% off travel if you’re on Universal Credit

You may be eligible for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card if you’re on Universal Credit.

Find out more information on the National Rail website

Bus passes

In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the State Pension age.

Apply for an older person’s bus pass

If you’re disabled then you may be eligible for a disabled person’s pass.

Apply for a disabled person’s bus pass

See Also

Cost of Living

I appreciate that many constituents have concerns about the Cost of Living at the moment so I hope that the guide below will be helpful in understanding different support packages that may be available to you.