MILLIONS of households can get thousands in bill support to help with their energy bills.
This support comes on top of the hundreds that workers will save from the sweeping tax cuts announced in today's Mini Budget.
The Treasury has vowed to cut the rate of National Insurance by 1.25% points and the basic rate of income tax by 1p.
The measures will save the average worker £500 over the coming months and into the next year.
It comes as the Chancellor announced:
- Beer price rise cancelled
- National Insurance rise scrapped saving hundreds a year
- Income tax cut from next April saving average £170 a year
- Stamp duty cut for home movers and first-time buyers
- Boost for self employed as complex tax rules axed
- Low-tax investment zones for business
- Corporation tax hike scrapped
- Bankers bonus ditched
The savings will help households struggling with the rising cost of living as energy prices are set for a hike from October 1, but other support is available.
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Liz Truss froze energy bills for two years earlier this month, in a bumper cost of living support package.
The policy ensures that the average household will pay no more than £2,500 from October 1 under a new Energy Price Guarantee.
However, the cap is just on what firms can charge customers. Bills could still be higher, based on energy usage.
And many could still be entitled to a raft of cash support worth thousands of pounds on top of the latest help with bills.
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The amount of financial help you'll be eligible for depends on your circumstances – but every household will get a discount on their energy bills this October.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, it is best to first call up your supplier to discuss your options as you may be entitled to a cash grant.
Here we explain the financial support on offer to households right now.
We also explain how customers can get extra support from their energy supplier with grant payment worth up to £1,500
Cost of living disability payment – worth £150
Over six million people with disabilities should have started to receive £150 since Tuesday, September 20.
This payment is to help those with disabilities pay for any energy intensive equipment they might have.
The payment will be made directly into their bank account and households won't need to apply.
It won't have any impact on existing benefit awards either.
You can get the cash if you claim one of the following:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
Energy bills rebate payments begin – worth £400
From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
We've listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households.
British Gas, EDF Energy, Ovo Energy and Scottish Power plans to send the cash directly into customer bank accounts.
The way you'll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.
If you're on a credit meter or smart prepayment meter the discount will come off your bills or be credited to your account automatically.
Those on traditional prepayment meters will receive the discount through a voucher.
Check with your supplier to confirm how you'll receive the cash.
Pensioner cost of living payment – worth £300
In November, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
To qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, the following must apply:
- You were born on or before 25 September 1956
- You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
Cost of living payment – worth £324
Millions of households have been paid the first part of their £650 cost of living payment.
Around eight million payments have already been made to help hard-up households to help them pay for spiralling bills and essentials.
Those on the following benefits are eligible for the second payment worth £324:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
The second payment will be paid in autumn.
However, the government has yet to confirm the exact date when payment are set to begin.
The cash will automatically land into the bank account that people use to receive their benefits.
The exact dates for when you have to make a successful claim by in order to be eligible also hasn't been confirmed.
Warm Home Discount – worth £150
Millions of households are in line to get a £150 discount off their energy bills between December and March 2023.
You'll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker's allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
The Department for Work and Pensions, who's overseeing the scheme, will send you letter in October to confirm if you'll get the payment later on in the year.
Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin from December.
It's up to individual energy companies to decide when they will give their customers the discount.
If you're unsure about who supplies your energy, you can find out through Find My Supplier.
Household support fund – up to £150
Local councils are giving out cash top help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.
How much you can get depends on where you live and in many areas.
To qualify you'll usually need to be a recipient of council tax support.
You can search for yours using the search tool on gov.uk – just enter your postcode.
Local councils also offer welfare assistance schemes all year round that can help you with bills.
Cold weather payment – worth up to £75
When temperatures plummet those in low income households can get a £25 payment.
These cold weather payments have already been made in several locations where residents have experienced below zero weather.
The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven day period of low temperatures between November 1 and March 31.
In the coldest areas three £25 payments have been made so far this winter, adding up to £75 in total.
See if your postcode has qualified for a payment and make sure you got it if you were eligible.
Fuel vouchers – £50
If you're on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.
The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it's offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.
The best place to start to find somewhere which can offer you a fuel voucher is by asking your local council – you can find yours via gov.uk by searching your postcode.
The voucher should help you cover around two weeks worth of electricity use.
Some energy companies may also issue their own vouchers, so ask your supplier directly.
Energy grants – worth up to £1,500
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
The British Gas Energy Trust has previously paid struggling households up to £1,500 – and you don't need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this help.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Npower's energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
Check other benefits and help you can get
It's also worth noting that millions of Brits are missing out on benefits they're entitled to adding up to billions of pounds in total.
Benefit calculators can help you check what you could be entitled to.
There are several benefit checker tools you can use – here's our guide.
You can get free debt advice
If you're in debt there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free advice on how to manage debt.
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Most of them can offer you free guidance and help in person, over the telephone or online.
- Money Helper – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
They can also help you take the next steps if you need a debt management plan (DMP) to tackle your debt or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). These are agreements for managing multiple debts.
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