Cost of Living Support
Financial support, benefits and debt advice
The Department of Work and Pensions have made additional funding available for low-income households in Kingston who meet the criteria and who are struggling to afford food, fuel, utility bills and other essentials.
This funding covers the period 1st of April to 31st March 2024 inclusive.
You can apply yourself or ask a professional/someone who supports you to apply on your behalf. For more information, including the eligibility criteria, please visit our Household Support Fund webpages or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Cost of Living Payments
The UK Government’s Help for Households page has information on eligibility and the payment windows for those on Universal Credit, JSA, ESA, Pension Credit and Disability related payments.
Find out more and how to apply for Cost of Living Payments
The Help for Households campaign also brings together over 40 support schemes that you may be able to access depending on eligibility, including tools to check the support you might be eligible for and how to access it.
How to save energy and lower your bills
Also on the Help for Households page is energy saving information.
Pension Credit does not only provide additional financial support for those over state pension age, but it also means you can access range of other benefits such as Cost of Living Payments and Housing Benefit. Find out more and apply on the Government's Department of Work and Pensions website.
Disability and Carer benefits
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is for young people under the age of 16 and living with a disability or long-term health condition. You can apply or find out more information via Gov.uk or by calling 0800 121 4600
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is for working-age people living with a disability or long-term health condition. Find out more and apply online or call 0800 917 2222
- Attendance Allowance (AA) is available if you are state pension age or over, and you have a disability severe enough that you need help from someone to look after you. Find out more and apply for AA or call 0800 731 0122
- Carer’s Allowance (CA) is available if you care for someone 35 hours per week and they receive certain disability benefits. Find out whether you are eligible and how to claim.
Rising Mortgage Interest Rates
The rise in mortgage interest rates has impacted many people with variable and tracker mortgages, and those who have come to the end of their fixed rate deals.
If you are coming off a fixed deal or are on a variable/tracker rate and are facing a significant rate rise - there are currently two key pieces of advice:
- Talk to your mortgage provider as early as possible to discuss the options - they may be able to offer you some options to reduce your payments - such as extending your mortgage term or moving temporarily to interest only.
- Look at the government's SMI (Support for Mortgage Interest) scheme. This scheme offers help in paying the interest on your mortgage for up to £200,000 of the loan (or £100,000 if you are on Pension Credit or already on certain benefits). THIS SUPPORT IS A LOAN, which you will have to pay back. You must check out the details of the scheme in full to see if it is suitable for you, if you qualify, how to claim and what you pay back and when.
Accessing other benefits and help to increase your monthly income
Finding out what support and benefits might be available to you can be confusing. But there are a number of tools and organisations that can help you.
- Turn2Us - a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. Try out their benefits calculator or call the helpline on 0808 802 2000
- Universal Credit - if you are working, but on a low income, you may qualify for Universal Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit online.
- If you need help applying for Universal Credit then contact Kingston Citizens Advice which offers help to claim - 0800 1448444
Check out our Employment and Skills page for information on how you can change career, upskill and get new qualifications that will help you to improve your employment opportunities.
There are a number of trusted services that you can contact online or by telephone that give free, confidential and impartial advice. They can help you prioritise your debts and give advice on how to manage your finances.
- Debt Free London - funded by the Money and Pensions Service, provides free expert advice either in person, via phone, whatsapp or video chat. Call 0800 808 5700
- MoneyHelper - provides clear, free, independent and impartial advice on how to manage your debts. Find out more by visiting the Money Helper website or calling 0800 138 7777.
- National Debtline - for free independent advice or call 0800 808 4000.
- Stepchange Debt Charity - providing free debt advice and support. Find out more information by visiting the Stepchange website or call 0800 138 1111.
Support for vulnerable adults
Kingston Advocacy Group - provides support for vulnerable adults such as those with learning difficulties or mental health problems. For example, this could be helping with housing or debts, as well as getting access to services they need. Contact KAG online or by phone 020 8549 1028.