Household costs

Cost of Living Payment

Households on means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive an additional payment of £900 this year, paid automatically in three instalments.

The £900 will be paid to over eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants. Starting in Spring, it will go direct to bank accounts in three payments split over the course of the next year through to Spring 2024.

There will also be a separate £150 for over six million disabled people, and £300 for over eight million pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments.

Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time but will be broadly as follows:

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 for most people on DWP benefits and between 2 and 9 May 2023 for most people on tax credits and no other low income benefits
  • £150 – Disability Payment – paid between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – payments will be between 31 October 2023 and 19 November 2023
  • £300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/24
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024

This is in addition to the £400 discount on energy bills

Find out more about Cost of Living Payments

Cheaper phone and broadband

Want to pay less for reliable broadband? If you are in receipt of government benefits, you could be saving money right now on your monthly broadband and mobile bills by accessing cheaper deals called social tariffs.

Check the Ofcom website to see if you can switch to a social tariff

Mortgage Charter

If you’re struggling with your mortgage rate, you may be able to get help from your mortgage lender.

There are six key ways in which the charter might help you:

  • If you’re worried about repayments, you can now contact your lender for help and guidance, without any impact on your credit score.
  • If you’re up to date with payments, lenders will let you switch to interest-only payments for six months.
  • If you’re approaching the end of a fixed rate deal, you will have the chance to lock in a new deal 6 months ahead.
  • If you’re up to date with payments, you can switch to new mortgage deals.
  • You can access tailored support from your lender if you’re struggling with payments.
  • Homes cannot be repossessed within 12 months of a first missed payment.

Find out if your lender has signed the Mortgage Charter.

Household Support Fund

There is further Government funding for the Household Support Fund which is distributed to English councils, who know their areas best and can offer direct support for those most in need in their region.

Funding is aimed at the most vulnerable and those who cannot pay for things like energy and water bills, food and essential items.

You do not have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council, and if you do get benefits, they will not be affected.

Local authorities can also issue food vouchers to families during the school holidays.

Get help with the cost of living from your local council

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. 

Check if you’re eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment

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

Help paying your water bill

Many water companies run hardship schemes or fund independent charitable trusts which can help you pay your bills.

Get support paying your water bill

Get help with all or part of your rent

You may get help with all or part of your rent.

There’s no set amount of housing costs support and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council or housing association.

Use a benefits calculator to find out if you can get benefits to help pay your rent

Universal Credit if you’re unemployed or on low income

If you and/or your partner are responsible for paying rent for the home you live in, or if you have a mortgage, Universal Credit may provide help towards the cost. 

Check if you are eligible for Universal Credit

Housing benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are state pension age or you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary accommodation

Check if you are eligible for Housing Benefit 

Support for additional housing costs

You may be able to get support for additional housing costs if you’re already claiming Housing Benefit.

Contact your local Council to find out what support you can get

Council Tax support schemes

Councils run support schemes to help people on low incomes with their Council Tax bill.

Contact your local Council to find out what support is available

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you are on certain benefits you may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments which provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs.

Check if you’re eligible for a discretionary housing payment

Get help with interest payments on mortgages or loans

If you’re a homeowner on qualifying benefits, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.

Check if you’re eligible for Support for Mortgage Interest

95% mortgages for homes up to £600,000

You may be eligible to borrow up to 95% of the cost of a property worth up to £600,000 thanks to the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Contact mortgage providers to see if you’re eligible.

The Money Helper service provides free, confidential and impartial help tailored to individual needs.