Council tax budget 22/23

Support with rising living costs

We know this is a challenging time with increasing costs for everyone. This page has lots of advice and support that might help - if you do need help, please ask. 

Financial support 

Help to increase your monthly income 

  • 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 online.

If you need help applying for Universal Credit then contact Kingston Citizens Advice who offer help to claim - 0800 1448444

Disability and carers benefits

Managing your household budget

Knowing how much money you have coming in each month, and where you need to spend it, can help you to keep on top of all your household expenses and prepare for any unexpected extra cost.

  • Money Helper - provides an online budget planner where you can keep a record of your spending, a breakdown of your finances by category and personalised tips to help you effectively manage your money. Find out more information online.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) - provides a budgeting tool to help you work out your budget. Find out more online or call Kingston CAB on 020 3166 0953.

Debt advice

 

Reducing your energy and water costs

If you are on low income, have a disability or are state pension age, it is worth checking to see if you are entitled to any of the following:

  • Council tax energy rebate - Households in England in council tax bands A-D, who are not exempt from council tax, will be eligible for a £150 council tax rebate payment from April this year. Find out more on our energy rebate page.  

  • Warm Home Discount - a one-off discount of £140 off your electricity bill. You may be able to get a discount on your gas bill if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.

There are 2 ways to qualify:

  • If you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.

  • If you are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria.

The fund is expected to open again in October 2022. Find out more online

  • Winter Fuel Payment - If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. The deadline to make a claim for winter 2021 to 2022 is 31 March 2022. For more information online or call 0800 731 0160  

  • Warm Home Better Health - free assessment - We have commissioned the energy-saving experts ‘Thinking Works’ to provide local residents with free home assessments to help keep homes warm and provide advice on keeping well and healthy. If you are a Kingston resident and have one or more of the following, you are eligible for this free service:

  • Aged 65 or over

  • Have a long-term condition such as diabetes 

  • Have a low income, such as being in receipt of Universal Credit

Find out more online or call 0800 118 2327 or email [email protected] 

  • Energy Bill Discount Scheme - domestic energy customers in Great Britain will receive a £200 discount on their bills this Autumn. The Government will provide funding to all energy suppliers for them to pass on to their domestic energy customers from October.
    Customers will pay back the discount automatically in equal instalments over five years, starting from April 2023-24.

  • National Energy Advice (NEA) - a free support service providing advice on energy bills and how to keep warm and safe in your home. Find out more information by calling 0800 304 7159

  • Smart Energy GB - provides information on smart metres and tips for saving energy around the home. 

  • Simple Energy Advice - provides information on how to reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer, plan home improvements and make your home greener. Find out more information by calling 0800 444202

  • Thames Water - provides two schemes for people on low income, households with large families, or those who have a water dependent medical condition:

  1. WaterHelp - you may be able to get a 50% discount on your water bill if you are a low income household. 

  2. WaterSure - your bill could be capped if you receive certain means tested benefits, have a medical condition that requires extra water, or three or more children are living at the property making you eligible for child benefits.

Visit the Thames Water website for more details on eligibility criteria and how to apply or call 0800 009 3652

 

Employment support, advice and training 

  • JobCentre Plus - If you are looking for a new job or thinking about making a change, find out about opportunities or receive support around benefit entitlements at 

Contact JobCentre Plus for more information on 0800 169 0190 or visit GOV.UK    

  • Thrive Kingston Programme - free one-to-one career coaching for Kingston residents who are 25 and older and receiving Universal Credit. Book your place online.

  • Work Match - free employment support, advice and guidance and training to residents of Kingston Upon Thames. 

  • Kingston Adult Education Courses - develop your skills or gain qualifications to help improve your chances of finding employment or progressing your career. Kingston Adult Education offers a wide range of courses to help with this. Fore more information email [email protected], call 020 8547 6700 

 

Food insecurity support

Kingston Food Banks - If you need help from the food bank, there are a few steps to follow:

  • Get a food bank voucher - local agencies who can make assessments for a food voucher are: Citizens Advice Bureau, housing support officers, children’s centres, health visitors, social services and some local charities. 

  • Arrange a visit to the referral agency - they will discuss your situation and supply you with a food voucher where appropriate. 

  • Bring your food bank voucher to your nearest food bank centre - you can find a list of your local centres and opening times (here)

Find out more information online or call 020 8391 1100

 

General help and advice

  • Connected Kingston - Connected Kingston is a site dedicated to helping Kingston residents find local activities and navigate local services. It is run by the council and Kingston Voluntary Action in conjunction with local charities and statutory organisations. Find out more online or call 020 8255 3335.

  • Kingston Citizens Advice Bureau toolkit - Information and advice to help local people cope with the cost of living increases. Find out more information by calling 020 3166 0953. 

 

Help getting online 

Kingston Libraries - The libraries offer free access to PCs and also have free wifi where you can get online and access information. There are also volunteer Digi Buddies that offer help to use the internet. Find out more information

Drop-in during the times below to access help from a Digi Buddie:

  • Thursday, 10 am - 1 pm (term-time only) - Kingston, Tudor Drive, Tolworth, Old Malden libraries

  • Friday, 10 am-1 pm (term-time only) - New Malden, Hook and Chessington libraries

Kingston Online - Help and support with digital skills. Find out more information

 

Mental health and wellbeing support 

  • Kingston Council - Find various support and resources on the council website.

  • Connected Kingston mental health pages - provides a list of local services and support for help with mental health and wellbeing. For more information visit Connected Kingston’s mental health page.

Last Modified: 13/04/2022 13:05:13