Cost of Living Support Directory

This is a really useful list of the main sources of support as we continue to endure a significant cost-of-living crisis:

Cost of living payments

During 2022, certain people living in England, Wales and Scotland were entitled to a Cost-of-Living Payment to help with rising costs.

There are three variations of this payment:

Cost of Living Payment for those on disability benefits

People receiving ‘extra cost’ disability payments, such as Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, are entitled to a £150 Cost of Living Payment. This began being paid in September 2022.

Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits

A Cost of Living Payment is also available for people on means tested benefits, such as Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit.

This is £650 in total, with payments in two parts. If you are entitled to this Cost of Living Payment, the second and final instalment should have been paid between 8 – 23 November 2022.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

People of pension age who also receive the Winter Fuel Payment are eligible for a Cost of Living Payment between £150-£300. This should have been paid in November 2022.

None of the Cost of Living Payments are taxed and It is possible to receive more than one, depending on your circumstances.

If you are entitled to any of the Cost of Living Payments above but haven’t yet received your payment, you should contact the office that pays your benefit or tax credits or report your missing payment here.

Further Cost of Living Payments

The government has announced further Cost of Living Payments for 2023.

More details about payment dates are set to be announced. The amount of each payment is expected to be as follows:

  • Cost of Living Payment for those on disability benefits – £150
  • Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits – £900
  • Cost of Living Payment for pensioners – £300

Please note some of these payments are expected to be paid in a number of instalments rather than a one-off sum.

Energy Bills Support Scheme discount

For winter 2022, the government has offered a £400 discount to the majority of households to help with rising energy bills. All households in England, Wales and Scotland are eligible and this doesn’t need to be re-paid.

The discount will be automatically applied to your monthly household electricity bill for 6 months from October 2022. You don’t need to make an application.

The payment schedule is expected to be as follows:

  • £66 in October and November 2022
  • £67 in December 2022, January, February and March 2023

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and have not yet received your discount, you should contact your supplier as soon as you can.

Every household is entitled to the discount, regardless of how you use or pay for your energy. You may receive the payment straight into your bank account if you have a direct debit or it may be discounted from your gas and electricity bill. Before you get in touch, make sure your supplier hasn’t already credited your energy account with the discount.

If you pay for your energy through a prepayment metre, you should be receiving vouchers at the start of each month. If you haven’t received any vouchers or if any have been missed, please contact your supplier.

Households that use alternative fuels like heating oil will also receive a £200 payment this winter, this is expected to be paid in February 2023.

From November 2022, people living in Northern Ireland should have received money off their energy bills to an equivalent of the £400 discount being offered in England, Scotland and Wales. This will be automatically deducted from your bill, and you don’t need to make an application. If you haven’t received your discount, please contact your supplier.

Starting from January 2023, every household in Northern Ireland will receive a single payment totalling £600 to help with their energy bills.

EBSS Alternative Funding

If you live in England, Scotland and Wales and use and pay for energy but do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier which would allow you to benefit from the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount, you are eligible for a £400 discount on your bills.

This is available for:

  • Care home residents
  • Residents of park homes
  • Tenants in certain private and social rented homes
  • Homes supplied via private wires
  • Residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites
  • Farmers living in domestic farmhouses
  • Off-grid households

To receive the payment, you will need to complete a short, online application which will be open from January 2023. There will also be a helpline available to offer assistance to anybody without access to the internet.

Priority Services Register

Every energy company has its own Priority Services Register. This register allows them to offer additional support to people in potentially vulnerable situations.

You may be eligible if you:

  • Have reached your state pension age
  • Are disabled or have a long-term medical condition
  • Are recovering from an injury
  • Have a hearing or sight condition
  • Have a mental health condition
  • Are pregnant or have young children
  • Have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well)

Being on the Priority Services Register will provide you with extra support such as:

  • Advance notice of planned power cuts.
  • Priority support in an emergency. Network operators could provide heating and cooking facilities if your supply is cut off.
  • Identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or agreed on picture cards if callers need to visit or contact you.
  • Nominee scheme. You can nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier.
  • Help with prepayment meter access. For example, moving a meter if you can’t safely get to it to top up.
  • Regular meter reading services. For example, if nobody can read your meter.
  • Accessible information. For example, account info and bills in large print or braille.

Affordable Warmth Obligation

The Affordable Warmth Obligation provides financial help towards energy-saving improvements to your home. This includes home insulation work and repairing or replacing your boiler, for example.

This scheme isn’t specific to people with an illness or a disability, but it can help to reduce your household costs.

To qualify you will need to be:

  • Living in social housing


  • Be living in private housing and be claiming at least one of the following benefits:
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Universal Credit
    • Pension Guarantee Credit (Pension Savings Credit does not qualify)
    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you are renting from a private landlord, you will need to get permission before any work is carried out.

Other financial support available

Winter Fuel Payment

Winter Fuel Payment is an annual lump sum given to help you to heat your home in the winter. The payment is between £250 and £600, depending on your age, who you live with and if you receive Pension Credit, income-based JSA, income-related ESA or Income Support.

You can read more about Winter Fuel Payment and how to apply in our article here.

Cold Weather Payment

Cold Weather Payment is paid during the winter months to help towards the cost of heating your home or other essentials. You will receive £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

You may be eligible for Cold Weather Payment if you receive the following benefits:

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

After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days. This is paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.

For Winter 2022/23, the Cold Weather Payment scheme will start on 1 November 2022.

Eco Scheme

The Eco Scheme works under the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Now in its fourth stage, referred to as ECO4, the scheme aims to help low-income households cover the cost of energy efficient home improvements.

If you claim the following benefits, you may be eligible for ECO4:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit (new qualifying benefit for ECO4)
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit (new qualifying benefit for ECO4)

For the fourth stage of the scheme, some benefits have been removed from the criteria including Disability Living Allowance and Severe Disablement Allowance. If you have previously benefited from the Eco Scheme, please double check to see if you are still eligible.

Local councils are also able to expand the eligibility, this is referred to as ‘flexible eligibility’ and means that different places in the country may make different decisions. To find out more see here.

Fuel Direct Scheme

The Fuel Direct Scheme, also sometimes referred to as third party deductions, allows a person receiving benefits to agree to some of their bills being paid directly out of these benefits payments.

This means that if you struggle with budgeting or understanding different bill payments, you can rely on the government to pay towards your bills via the benefits you are entitled to. It is also beneficial if you have fallen behind on bills as this money can be used to pay towards any accumulated debt, although please bear in mind that these payments may not cover the total of your bills.

To be eligible for fuel direct scheme, you will need to receive one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income based
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support or Pension Credit