This page aims to point residents to the wide range of support available to help with the rising cost of living. It also includes information on help with council tax, housing costs, childcare costs, travel, and more. My team and I are always here to provide support, so please do not hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Croydon Council website by clicking this link: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/get-help-rising-cost-living
Government Cost of Living Support
Millions of the most vulnerable households will receive support this year to help with the cost of living. You can find out more about the specific elements of the support package from the Treasury below, as well as the Help for Households - Get government cost of living support website.
Energy Price Guarantee - FROZEN
The Government is subsidising energy bills, so that the monthly energy bill for a 'typical' household is currently roughly £210. This was set to rise in Spring 2023, however the Chancellor has now extended the Energy Price Guarantee until the end of June, when energy prices are expected to fall again. By June, a 'typical' household will have saved around £1,100 through the scheme.
You do not have to pay this money back. There is no need to apply for the scheme and you will not be asked for your bank details.
Cost of Living Payment for those on Means Tested Benefits
Households on means tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £900 this year.
This payment will be made automatically in three roughly equal instalments. Click the link below to find out when each payment is due.
Cost of Living Payment for those on Disability Benefits
Individuals on disability benefits will receive a one-off £150 payment in the Summer of 2023 to help with extra costs, such as for specialist equipment or transport.
This is in addition to the £900 Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits.
Cost of Living Payment for Pensioners
This Winter, pensioners will 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.
This is in addition to the £900 Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits.
Citizens Advice Croydon
Citizens Advice Croydon are a registered charity that provides information and advice to the residents of the London Borough of Croydon. They offer knowledge and provide confidence to people who need to find their way forward - whoever they are, and whatever their problem.
You can contact CA Croydon on 0800 144 88 48 for information or to arrange an appointment or complete their online contact form here.
Government Income Support and Benefits/Universal Credit
Many residents are not always aware of their entitlement to Income Support and other benefits. There are a range of benefits available to support individuals not in work, on low incomes, or with a health or disability need. You can check out your eligibility on the gov.uk website here.
You can also use a benefits calculator to determine whether you are eligible, the most common calculators being gov.uk, EntitledTo, and Turn2Us. You can browse these calculators here. If you are still unsure on what you are eligible for, it's always a good idea to talk to Citizens Advice Croydon.
Universal Credit (UC)
UC is a payment to help with your living costs. You may be eligible if you're on a low income, out of work, or you cannot work. You can find more information about UC here, and apply online here.
Alternatively, you can call DWP on 0800 328 56 44.
If you struggle with understanding complex information or struggle to complete forms, Citizens Advice provide a Help to Claim service for Universal Credit. For more information, please visit here.
UC has replaced Tax Credits meaning you cannot claim Tax Credit and UC at the same time. You can only make a claim for Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit if you already get Tax Credits. For those in receipt of Tax Credits, you can manage your claim online here.
Employment and Support Allowance
You can apply for ESA if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. You can apply if you are employed, self-employed or unemployed. You could get UC at the same time. Check if you are eligible and make a claim online here.
If you cannot make an application online you can call the UC helpline on 0800 328 56 44 and select Option 3.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
PIP can help with extra living costs if you have either:
- a long term physical or mental health condition or disability
- difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition
You can still get PIP if you are working, have savings, or are in receipt of other benefits. You can apply online here or find out more information about the support available here.
Discretionary Support for those in Emergency Financial Hardship
Visit this website to find out about benefits that are available from Croydon Council if you are in financial hardship and need emergency support: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/benefits/financial-hardship
If you are a private tenant, Croydon Council will support you to ensure your rights and responsibilities when renting a property from a private landlord. Find out more about our support for private tenants by clicking here: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/housing/private-tenants
Help finding a job or training
Croydon Works is available to all Croydon residents to help them find jobs or get training to help get them into work. They provide:
- Many job opportunities in Croydon and surrounding areas
- Sector specific training
- Apprenticeships and traineeships
- Work experience placements
- Careers and CV advice as well as interview preparation
Click the link to find out more: https://croydonworks.co.uk
Household Bills, Council Tax, Utilities, TV and Phones
The following information provides advice and contact details to help reduce your household bills. You can also discuss all of the below with Citizens Advice Croydon.
Gas, Electricity and Water
Since 2015 Energy companies have been required to put customers onto the cheapest available tariff suitable to their needs. If you are unsure whether you are on the cheapest tariff or you would like to compare the costs of your energy bills please contact your energy provider direct or visit the Money Saving Expert website here. You can also search for a price comparison tool to check your usage. If you are on a low income, you might be able to receive help via either:
Additionally, for those struggling to pay energy debts, grants are available to help. Contact your energy supplier directly to find out more. If your energy supplier does not provide a grant scheme you can apply to the British Gas Energy Trust for help. These grants are available to everyone whether you are a British Gas Customer or not. To check if you are eligible here.
Your water company will often provide you with free water saving devices (such as water saving shower heads). Find out who your water supplier is by visiting this website: https://www.water.org.uk/advice-for-customers/find-your-supplier/
Help with Council Tax
Croydon Council provides several ways to reduce your Council Tax. This includes Council Tax Support for those on a lower income. The amount of support you can get will depend on your income and personal circumstances. To view these benefits, visit this website: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/council-tax/get-money-your-bill
Broadband, TV, and Mobile Phones
For those on low incomes or in receipt of certain benefits, there are low income broadband packages available (often called "Social Tariffs"). For more information about the packages available and to check eligibility please visit OFCOM here. Further advice and information on how to reduce broadband and TV costs is also provided at the Money Saving Expert website.
For mobile phone payments, most advisory organisations recommend contacting your provider directly for help if you're struggling with your bill. Your provider may be able to help by sorting a payment plan, reducing your bill, giving you more time to pay, increasing your data or download limit or moving you to a contract which suits your needs better. You can find out more information by visiting Citizens Advice.
You could be up to £7,000 per year better off on Pension Credit compared to UC. If you or your partner is over pension age, and the other is working age, check now to see if you are entitled to Pension Credit or Housing Benefit, before the rules change on 15 May. Check your eligibility online by clicking here. From 15 May, mixed age couples who are not already claiming Pension Credit or Housing Benefit will only be able to make a claim for Universal Credit.
Help with Childcare Costs
There is a range of support available from Government to either help with the cost of child care or to reduce your existing child care costs. The schemes available vary and depend on your personal circumstances and family income but broadly fall into the following:
Tax Free Childcare
- Free Childcare provision amounting to either 15 or 30 hours per week (dependant upon circumstances) - this is set to be extended and will be available to nearly all children up to primary school age by September 2025;
- Tax Credits to help with childcare;
- Universal Credit to help with childcare.
To check what help and support you might be able to receive please visit Child Care Choices here.
Free Holiday Clubs
Thousands of Croydon children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals can now sign up for free activity clubs with healthy meals over the school holidays. Visit the Council Website to find out more: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/holiday-activities-and-food
Help with Travel and Transport
For rail travel and the range of railcards on offer which can reduce costs by up to a third following a small payment for the card; please visit the National Rail website at www.railcard.co.uk/.
For those eligible, there is also a Disabled Persons Rail Card. More information on this railcard, and how to apply are included at the following link: www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/.
Travel for free or get discounts on TfL transport and most National Rail services with a Freedom Pass. This includes travel on bus, tram, Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail. You can travel free on TfL services with your Older Person's Freedom Pass from 09:00am weekdays and anytime at weekends and on bank holidays. If you have a Disabled Person's Freedom Pass, you can still travel at any time on TfL services. You can find more information here.
Advice for Managing Debt & Saving Energy
For advice on managing debts and saving energy, visit the Council website: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/get-help-rising-cost-living/advice-managing-debts-and-saving-energy
Please note that the information on this page is provided for information purposes only, and should not be taken as professional or personal financial advice.