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Cost of living - help for households

Find out if you can apply for financial support and get help with debts and household bills.

Help with benefits

If you are having problems paying your rent or Council Tax, and you are already receiving support such as Housing Benefit or Council Tax support, please contact us immediately via email at yourmoney@eastriding.gov.uk or contact the Your Money team. Please also contact us if your circumstances have changed at all. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can make sure you are receiving the correct level of help for your situation.

If you are not receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax support, we may still be able to help you. Please check out the options on this page.

Benefits for residents and low income households

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to help from both the council and the government to help with your rent, Council Tax, food, and energy bills. The council provides:

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you're unemployed, on a low income, or claiming benefits. However, this is being replaced by Universal Credit and only certain people can make new claims for Housing Benefit.

Who is eligible

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either of the following apply:

  • you're of pension age and live in rented accommodation
  • you live in supported accommodation and get care support, or supervision, as part of your tenancy.

If you aren't eligible, but are of working age, you should apply for Universal Credit instead.

How much you might receive

If you rent your home from a private landlord your Housing Benefit will be calculated on the local housing allowance (LHA) rate appropriate to your household size and the area of the East Riding you live in:

Check your LHA rate on GOV.UK

If you rent your home from the council or a housing association your Housing Benefit will be calculated on the rent for your property less any service charges which we cannot pay, such as water rates. This may be capped if you have more bedrooms than you need:

Check what Housing Benefit you might get on GOV.UK

How to apply for Housing Benefit

To make a claim for Housing Benefit you will need to provide evidence of your identity, savings, and income:

Housing Benefit - how to apply

Need help?

Our YOUR money team can help you find out if you're eligible and how to apply.

Household Support Fund

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided councils with funding to support vulnerable households with the rising cost of energy bills and food. Grants will be awarded from the fund to eligible residents.

The funding covers the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022. If you were eligible in April, the council will contact you, from week commencing 23 May through to August, and advise you of your entitlement.

Who is eligible for a grant?

Residents who receive Council Tax support, and who are in one of the groups below, will be prioritised for a support grant from the fund. Please note that the list of criteria is not exhaustive, and some households may have to meet more than 2 criteria.

In relation to the Household Support Fund, a child is defined as someone who is:

  • under the age of 19 on 30 September 2022 or
  • a person aged 19 or older, who receives free school meals or whose parent/guardian/carer receives a child-related benefit (for example, Child Benefit) for them.

Eligible groups

Pensioners without children

  • In receipt of a disability related benefit at any rate, for example Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Employment and Support Allowance Support Component
  • Have an allowance for heating and water element included in the financial assessment for Adult Social Care.

Please note: this list is not exhaustive and households may have to meet 2 or more of the above listed criteria depending on their circumstances.

Households with children

  • Have HIGH barriers to work, which includes:
    • the claimant or partner receiving a disability related benefit such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments at the higher rate or Employment Support Allowance (Support Group), which must be in respect of you or your partner and not that of your child
    • the claimant or partner be in receipt of the carer premium or carers allowance
    • be a lone parent or second earner
    • with a child under 5.

Please note: this list is not exhaustive and households may have to meet 2 or more of the above listed criteria depending on their circumstances.

Households without children
  • Have HIGH barriers to work, which includes:
    • receiving a disability-related benefit, such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments at the higher rate or Employment Support Allowance (Support Group)
    • the claimant or partner be in receipt of the carer premium or carers allowance.

Households who are in the following list will not be accepted:

  • if you do not live within East Riding of Yorkshire Council boundary
  • if your child(ren) attend an East Riding school but live outside of the East Riding boundary
  • any household who is not in receipt of Council Tax support.

Where a child spends time with a parent part of the week, it will be the person who receives child benefit for them that will be entitled to the grant.

How much will I receive?

Payments for food and fuel will be allocated based on the figures below.

Household

Grant Awarded individual – Food

Grant Awarded per household – Fuel

Award amount

£10

£150

 

Grants will be awarded until such time as all funds have been used.

How do I apply?

The council will contact all eligible applicants - you cannot make an application for a grant.

When will I get paid?

From 23 May through August we will contact eligible residents. If you are eligible, and you have previously received a BACS payment from a previous household support fund, payment will be made into your bank account. If you are eligible, but have not previously received a BACS payment, you will be sent a unique barcode. You can use the barcode to collect the grant from your Post Office. The barcode will be sent to you by email or post. Please make sure you check your junk or spam folder if you are expecting the barcode to be emailed to you.

Are there any terms and conditions that apply?

All applicants must comply with the terms and conditions detailed below:

  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council, in the operation of this scheme, reserves the right to request any evidence, explanation or proofs that it deems necessary and reasonable, where entitlement is under review. This condition applies at any time from 1 April to 30 September 2022
  • In order to satisfy DWP requirements, East Riding of Yorkshire Council may request any evidence, explanation or proofs that it deems necessary or reasonable. Requests for evidence may be made at any time until the scheme is finalised.
  • If a resident fails to satisfy all reasonable requests made by the council, the council reserves the right to request the repayment of a grant already paid
  • As further support may be available under the council's Holiday Activities Programme, we may share relevant information with that scheme.

How will the council prevent fraud?

The council will undertake any checks it considers necessary to prevent fraudulent payments of grants. If it is proven at any time that a resident has fraudulently claimed a benefit, which then entitles them to a grant from the Household Support Fund, the council may request the repayment of the grant. The resident may also face prosecution.

Payments of the grant will be a one-off lump sum per eligible resident and will only be made direct into a UK bank, or through the Post Office. Any bank details supplied will be subject to anti-fraud measures. Payments will only be made into accounts that are in the name of the resident. Proof of identity and eligibility will be required at a Post Office to collect your grant payment.

To minimise the risk of fraudulent grant claims, the council's Fraud Investigation Team will carry out anti-fraud checks. We may use data provided by third parties to verify claims:

Benefit fraud - more information

Data Protection rights - the council and your personal data

Any other household may be eligible for support under the council's emergency assistance scheme:

Emergency assistance scheme - more information and how to apply.

Households may also contact their nearest food bank when they require emergency support:

East Riding Food Poverty Alliance - find a foodbank

Council Tax support

We encourage you to contact us as soon as you can if you are unable to maintain your Council Tax payments. Please let us know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount. If you have any questions you can contact us at:

Email: council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk
Tel: 01482 393939

If you need help to understand what support you may be entitled to, please contact our YOUR money team. You can contact them for a free and confidential appointment:

Email: yourmoney@eastriding.gov.uk

The Your Money team - more information

If you need help to pay your Council Tax, whatever your age and circumstances, you should find out if you can apply for Council Tax support:

Council Tax support - who it's for and how to apply

Claim Council Tax support as part of a new Universal Credit claim

If you are making a new claim for Universal Credit, you can claim Council Tax support at the same time. You must indicate on your Universal Credit claim that you pay Council Tax. This will ensure that the council automatically receives your Council Tax support claim.

If your Universal Credit claim is refused, you will have to make a separate claim for Council Tax support.

Help with Council Tax payments

If you are eligible, there are many discounts and exemptions that can help reduce your Council Tax payments, such as:

  • residents on a low income and with less than £16,000 in savings can claim Council Tax support. A reduction of up to 75 per cent can be applied for working aged resident, and 100 per cent for pension aged residents
  • single people can claim a 25 per cent discount
  • if someone who lives in your home is disabled, your Council Tax banding could be reduced by one band if the qualifying criteria are met:

Council tax reductions - more information

Change your payments

If you cannot afford to pay your Council Tax bill monthly, you could pay weekly, every 2 weeks or spread your monthly payments over the full year:

Email: counciltax@eastriding.gov.uk

Discretionary housing payment

If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit, or the housing element of Universal Credit, and you still have some rent to pay, we might be able to offer you a discretionary housing payment (DHP). This is a short-term payment from the council to help cover some housing costs.

We decide how DHPs are allocated, and each case is decided on its own merits. There isn't a clear set of allocation rules but we must be fair and reasonable when deciding:

Discretionary housing payment and how to apply

Emergency assistance scheme

The council's emergency assistance scheme can help residents with the cost of food, gas and electricity, and other essential items:

Emergency assistance scheme - information and how to apply


The government provides benefits for low income households and for working age people:


Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) determines who can get Universal Credit. The monthly payments are to help with your living costs. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you may also be able to apply for additional financial assistance from us. This may include Council Tax support or a discretionary housing payment, for example.

If you are making a new claim for Universal Credit, you can claim Council Tax support at the same time. You must indicate on your Universal Credit claim that you pay Council Tax and the DWP will notify us that wish to claim Council Tax support.

If your Universal Credit claim is refused, you will then have to make a separate claim for Council Tax support:

Universal Credit - eligibility and how to apply

Job Seeker's Allowance

Job Seeker's Allowance is for people who are actively looking for a job but haven't yet found work. You have to attend weekly appointments with your job centre advisor and show that you are looking and applying for work. Job Seeker's Allowance is paid into your account every fortnight:

Job Seeker's Allowance - more information and how to apply on GOV.UK

Income support

You cannot make a new claim for Income Support. All new claims will be for Universal Credit which has replaced this, and other, benefits.

Debt and financial advice

The council services listed below can help you manage your money, claim any available benefits, and provide debt advice:

YOUR money team

Our dedicated YOUR money team can help with even the most complex situations. They will ensure you are claiming all the benefits, grants, and discounts that you are entitled to. They can also give debt advice and help with budgeting.

Please contact them for a free and confidential appointment:

Email: yourmoney@eastriding.gov.uk

The YOUR money team - more information

Budgeting tool

Our budgeting tool will help you create your own personal budget plan to assist with taking control of your finances.

Use our budgeting tool to find tips on how to:

  • reduce your expenses
  • maximise your income
  • pay off your debts
  • save for the future.

Budgeting tool


The government provides services to help you manage your money:


MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the government's financial guidance service which includes Pension Wise, the Money Advice Service, and the Pensions Advisory Service. It provides free, impartial, and trusted money advice. The services help you with money management skills and provide advice on budgeting and debt management:

MoneyHelper - free financial guidance


Community services and some charities can provide help and debt advice:


Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provides comprehensive unbiased help and advice about a wide range of life situations and problems. They have specialist debt advisors who can provide free, specialist debt advice:

Citizens Advice - help with debt

Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice

Step Change

Step Change provides free, expert debt advice which will be tailored to your situation:

Step Change - debt advice

HEY Credit Union

HEY Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union service. They can provide East Yorkshire residents with affordable credit options:

HEY Credit Union

You can watch short animated YouTube videos that explain about the work of credit Unions:

YouTube - First-time buyers and affordable credit - Megan and Kyle's story (external website)

YouTube - Trouble with loan sharks - Tom's story (external website)

You can find details about their walk-in branches (Bridlington, Goole, Withernsea, Driffield, Beverley, Wetwang, Holme on Spalding Moor (information only) and Hull City centre) or call them on (01482) 778753.

Credit Unions are a safe way to save and borrow.

Help with household bills - utilities and energy

The council can help vulnerable households with their energy bills and other costs. Find out more about the emergency assistance scheme and the Household Support Fund.

YORSwitch

The YORSwitch scheme negotiates with the energy companies, on behalf of our residents, to provide a competitive price. This is done via an auction between the energy companies. The scheme also makes switching providers as simple as possible. No auctions are being held at the moment, due to the unstable market, but you can still register for the YORSwitch scheme. You will receive quarterly newsletters and be notified as soon as the next auction is arranged:

YORSwitch - more information and how to register


Services provided by the government to help with your energy bills include:


Warm Home Discount Scheme

Please note: the government have yet to announce when this scheme will be open for 2022/23.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme provides a one-off discount on electricity bills. Your electricity supplier will apply this discount to your bill. You may be eligible for this payment if:

  • you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
  • you are on a low income.

To find out more and how to apply visit:

Warm Home Discount Scheme - more information on GOV.UK

Please note: this is not a council scheme.

WaterSure

WaterSure is a scheme which helps some people with their water bills. To be eligible, residents must be in receipt of benefits and need to use a lot of water, either for medical reasons or because their household has a certain number of school-age children.

To find out more visit your water supplier's website.

Please note: this is not a council scheme.

Support for families

As a new school year approaches we can help with some of the associated costs:

Free school meals

Many families on lower incomes, with children at school, will be entitled to free school meals for their children:

Free school meals - information and how to apply

Pupil Premium Grant

The Pupil Premium Grant is paid to schools so that they can provide extra services to pupils from low income families. Schools claim the grant for every pupil receiving free school meals, but the children of low income families who choose not to claim free school meals may still be eligible:

Pupil Premium Grant enquiry form

Clothing grant

You may be eligible for a school clothing grant for your child if you are in receipt of:

  • Universal Credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit guaranteed credit
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and support allowance (income based)
  • Be receiving support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

To be eligible, your child must be moving from primary to secondary school and both schools must be in the East Riding boundary and you must also be resident within the East Riding boundary:

Apply for a clothing grant - more information

Help with childcare

Help with childcare is available for families with children from toddlers to teens. We can help you find a suitable childcare provider, and eligible families can get funding to cover the cost of up to 30 hours of childcare. There are a few options available, depending on your working status and how old your child is. If your child is:

You can find out more about available childcare funding options for children up to the age of 16 on the government's Childcare Choices website:

Childcare Choices - more information and how to apply


Benefits provided by the government for families :


Tax Credits - Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

You can no longer apply for Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit. Instead you will need to claim Universal Credit.

Tax Credits - find out more on GOV.UK

SureStart Maternity Grant

You may be eligible for a one-off payment, to help toward the costs of having your first child, if you are in receipt of any of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Universal Credit

You may also qualify if you're getting a Support for Mortgage Interest loan:

Sure Start Maternity Grant - more information on GOV.UK

Homeowners

The government provides the following support for homeowners:

Support for mortgage interest

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage you should talk to your mortgage provider, to find out whether they can help.

If you are a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments from the Department for Work and Pensions on:

  • your mortgage
  • loans you've taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.

The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is paid as a loan. The loan is repayable, with interest, when you sell or transfer ownership of your home:

Find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest

Boiler upgrade scheme (BUS)

To encourage property owners to change to low carbon heating systems, the government is offering grants of up to £6000 towards installation costs:

Boiler Upgrade Scheme - more information on GOV.UK

Benefits and services for pensioners

Financial support for pensioners, provided by the government, includes:

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel payment is automatically given to people who are in receipt of the state pension or who receive a social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit). The payment is to help with winter fuel bills, and is normally made between November and December.

How much you get depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week. The qualifying week for winter 2022 to 2023 is 19 to 25 September 2022:

Winter Fuel payment - more information on GOV.UK

Cold Weather Payment

You may be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment if you are in receipt of any benefits of the following:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

The payment is made if the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius for 7 consecutive days or more, between November and March:

Cold Weather Payment - more information on GOV.UK

Pension Credit

If you're on a low income and over State Pension age, you may be eligible for Pension Credit. Pension Credit tops up:

  • your weekly income to £182.60 if you're single
  • your joint weekly income to £278.70 if you have a partner.

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs. You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age. After you reach State Pension age applications can only be backdated by three months:

Pension Credit - more information on GOV.UK and how to apply

Free TV licence

If you are over 75 and getting Pension Credit, you are entitled to a free TV licence:

Free TV licence - more information on TV Licensing

Pension Wise

Pension Wise is a government service that offers free, impartial guidance about your pension options. An appointment with Pension Wise is free and will help you understand what your overall financial situation will be when you retire:

Pension Wise - more information and how to book an appointment

MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper, the government's financial guidance service, provides a selection of useful guides on pensions and retirement:

MoneyHelper - more information about pensions

Disability benefits and services

Benefits provided by the council for people with a disability:

Disabled facilities grant

If you or someone you live with has a disability, you may be eligible for a grant to pay for adaptations to your home.

A disabled facilities grant is a means-tested council grant of up to £30,000 to assist with the costs incurred in adapting your home to allow access to normal household facilities. Before you can apply for a disabled facilities grant, you must first be assessed by an occupational therapist (OT) who will visit you to determine what you need to help you to live at home.

For more information and to organise an assessment email:

Email: healthy.homes@eastriding.gov.uk
Tel: (01482) 393939


Benefits provided by the government:


Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

If you have a long-term mental health condition, or a physical condition that impacts on your everyday life, you might be eligible for PIP. You can claim if you're working, have savings, or you are in receipt of other benefits:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - more information and how to apply on GOV.UK

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you:

Attendance Allowance - more information on GOV.UK

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance is currently being replaced by Personal Independence Payment but you can still claim for a child who has a disability if they:

  • are under the age of 16
  • have difficulties walking or need much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

Disability Living Allowance for children - more information and how to claim on GOV.UK

Food banks

Food banks can help anyone who is at a crisis point, for whatever reason. Anyone can find themselves in crisis, and demand for food banks has seen a significant increase in recent years. They work with the local authority and referral services to provide food parcels in exchange for issued vouchers. Each food parcel contains a minimum of 3 days' worth of tinned and dried food.

Your local Children's Centre can help you access a food bank service:

Find your local Children's Centre

The Trussell Trust - more information about food banks

Adult care

The Your Life, Your Way website provides information to help you find the right care and support, to help you (or someone you care for) live an active and independent life.

Financial assessment

For us to provide the correct care, and to find out what help you can get towards the cost of that care, we need to carry out a financial assessment. If you already pay for 100% of your care, you do not need a financial assessment. The assessment process also looks at your specific care and support needs, and whether you are living at home or in a care home, to work out your personal budget:

Adult care financial assessments - more information on Your life, your way

Personal budgets

A personal budget puts you, or someone you trust, in control of the care and support you receive. This means you can spend your personal budget on the care and support services that your feel will best meet your needs:

Adult care personal budgets - more information on Your life, your way

Shared lives carer payments and benefits

If you would like to provide a home for an adult who needs care and support, you may be entitled to a fixed payment as a shared lives carer:

Shared lives carer payments and benefits - more information on Your life, your way

Paying for your care

Most people must pay something towards their care, unless one of the following applies:

  • you are receiving reablement services
  • your services are provided under section 117 of the Mental Health Act
  • you qualify for NHS continuing healthcare - this is a package of care for people who are assessed as having a 'primary health need'.

The amount you will need to contribute depends on the value of your financial assets:

Paying for your care - more information on Your life, your way

Broadband and home phone - social tarrifs

A social tariff is a special low-cost deal for broadband. Some providers also include phone-only deals. Low income households, for example those receiving benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, could get reduced broadband and phone costs if their provider offers a social tariff.

Which providers offer social tariffs?

BT, KCOM, Now, and Sky, all offer social tariffs. BT offers a Home Essentials package, which includes a phone only option, and KCOM offers a Flex package. Ofcom provides a full list of social tariff providers:

Social tariff providers on the Ofcom website

Eligibility and how to apply

If you receive a means-tested state benefit, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, you are likely to be eligible for a social tariff, even if you are an existing customer.

Please note: different providers have different eligibility requirements. Some only offer social tariffs to Universal Credit recipients, while others extend eligibility to those on Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance. Some providers also offer social tariffs to vulnerable households that receive non-means-tested benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment.

You will need to provide evidence of your eligibility, although BT can check directly with the Department for Work and Pensions as part of their online application process. You will also need to check whether the provider offers a social tariff service in your area, as this will depend on the provider’s broadband coverage.

BT Home Essentials information and how to apply - BT website

Postcode checker - check broadband coverage on the KCOM website

Where can I access free wi-fi?

All East Riding of Yorkshire Council libraries offer free wi-fi and computer access. To make sure there is a PC available for you to use, you can pre-book your computer access. You will need your library card number and PIN to book:

Book a computer

Search for an East Riding library

Prescription costs - ways to save

Free prescriptions

You are eligible for free prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you are:

  • aged 60 or over
  • aged 15 or under
  • aged 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • pregnant, or have had a baby in the previous 12 months, and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • an NHS inpatient

or if you have a valid:

  • war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • medical exemption certificate (MedEx).

You can also get free prescriptions if you are on certain benefits or you are entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate. To find out if you qualify for free prescriptions, use the NHS eligibility checker:

Eligibility checker for help with NHS costs, including prescriptions - NHS website

Free prescriptions information - NHS website

Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)

If you are not eligible for free prescriptions you can reduce the cost if you need medication that is prescribed regularly, including dental medication. You can buy a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) in advance. If you need more than:

  • 3 prescribed items in 3 months, you can buy a 3 month PPC for £30.25
  • 11 prescribed items in a year, you can buy a 12 month PPC for £108.10

You can buy a PPC online:

Buy Prescription Prepayment Certificate - NHS website

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