Support with Living Costs

Support is available, both from central government and Norfolk County Council, to help with the cost of living increases. 

Cost of Living payments

These are the cost of living payments provided by central government that people may be eligible to receive:

Energy Bills Support Scheme – £400 per household

  • All households will be eligible to receive this. Individuals in residential care will not receive any funds through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.  This amount will be paid via energy suppliers over 6 months from October 2022.  Direct debit and credit customers will have money credited to their account.  People with a prepayment meter will have the amount applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.
  • Where people live in households where rent includes utility costs, landlords should be responsible to pass on any payments received.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – £300 per household

For those over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) as at week ending 25th Sep 2022 and who receive the Winter Fuel Payment.
Payment will be automatic as a top-up to their annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/ December 2022. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit.  Ineligible individuals include:

  1. People in hospital receiving free treatment for more than a year
  2. People who require permission to enter the UK and whose granted leave states they cannot claim public funds
  3. People in prison for the whole week from 19 to 25 Sep 22
  4. People who lived in a care home for the whole time from 27 Jun to 25 Sep 22 and received Pension Credit. This only applies to residential care as people who live in supported living or housing with care and meet the criteria will receive the payment. However, if people live in residential care and receive a state retirement pension without pension credit, they can receive a winter fuel payment. Further information can be found here: Winter Fuel Payment: Eligibility – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Cost of Living Payment – £650 per household (paid in 2 instalments of £325)

People receiving certain means-tested benefits are eligible for these payments.  This will automatically paid by the DWP in 2 instalments , the first in July 2022 and the second in Autumn 2022.  Eligible benefits include: Universal Credit or Income Based JSA, Income Related ESA, Income Support, Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credits or Pension Credit.  People in residential care are eligible provided they receive one of the eligible benefits

Disability Cost of Living Payment £150 per claimant

Claimants on DLA/ PIP/ AA/Armed Forces Independence Payment/ Constant Attendance Allowance/ War Pension Mobility Supplement at 25/5/2022.  Automatically in September 2022. 

Council Tax Rebate £150 per household in England in Council Tax bands A-D.

Those who pay Council Tax by direct debit will be paid automatically into their bank accounts from April 2022.  People in residential care will not have a payment unless they have a council tax liability.  The same for those in supported living, they would only receive it if they have a council tax liability. Usually people in support living do not have a council tax liability so the majority will not get the payment. There is a discretionary scheme run by districts where you can apply if you live in a property above a band D. The council tax rebate 2022-23 – billing authority guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Norfolk Assistance Scheme

The Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) is a support model provided by Norfolk County Council that helps people in financial hardship and cannot pay their living costs.  NAS can provide emergency financial help, such as food vouchers, assistance with fuel or utilities, and assistance with rent arrears.  NAS can also supply essential household goods and furniture, along with providing support, guidance and advice about other support organisations that are available.

There are currently two offers of support through NAS at present, one for individuals of working age, and one for individuals aged 65 and over

Applications can be made online via www.norfolk.gov.uk/NAS, working-age individuals without access to the internet can make an application over the telephone via 0344 800 8020, and people aged 65 and over with no access to the internet can call Your Norfolk Advice Line on 0333 996 8333 to make an application over the telephone.

Nourishing Norfolk 

Commmunity supermarkets and community fridges offer a long-term solution. They offer a wide range of affordable groceries and enable people to choose the food they would like to buy so they can put together well-balanced, nutritious meals. Norfolk County Council is supporting Norfolk Community Foundation’s Nourishing Norfolk movement to develop 15 food hubs in Norfolk.
Find out more about how people can access foodbanks, community supermarkets and community fridges On Norfolk County Council’s website:
Help with food and drink

The Tricky Period and Toiletries to Go

All Norfolk Libraries have free bags of sanitary products and toiletries available to grab and go. They are freely available and there is no need to ask. More information about what is available is on Norfolk County Council’s website:
Tricky Period and Toiletries

Community Learning

Norfolk’s Adult Learning service is running:

  • Budgeting courses such as “beat the bills”. 
  • Cooking courses in conjunction with Community Supermarkets.
  • Family learning activities in school holidays.

Find out what’s available and book online.

Help with paying water bills

Norfolk County Council is working with Anglian Water to help older, vulnerable residents with their water debts. Anglian Water will be getting in touch with all those on the social tariff who are eligible for support. However, if you know someone of any age who is struggling to pay their water bills please they should contact Anglian Water directly.

Accessing Support

We appreciate that some people may find it difficult to access support.  Norfolk County Council have therefore created a web-based campaign to help people find the right support they need.  This covers information relating to money support, including NAS, help with benefits and money management, as well as food support, both for families eligible for free school meals.  This can be found via https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/what-we-do-and-how-we-work/campaigns/help-with-living-costs. Norfolk County Council also have in place a service in relation to Information, Advice and Advocacy Services, working in conjunction with charities and voluntary organisations. This service is broken down into three areas:

  1. Social welfare information, advice, and representation,
  2. Community advocacy, and
  3. Specialist support.

This service can be accessed via many different routes, including Adult Social Services, Norfolk Assistance Scheme, and the Norfolk Advice Service.