Cost of living advice and support

The Safeguarding Adults Executive Board has put together this webpage to provide you with the support and advice available across the Bi-borough with the support of partner agencies and national organisations.

The cost of essential things such as food, gas, electricity and petrol are increasing. As wages and benefits aren’t going up as quickly, paying for the things you need and caring for yourself and others might become much more difficult.

The ways in which it could affect you are that:

  • your money from wages or benefits may not cover as much as usual
  • you might find it harder to pay for food, medication and transport
  • your weekly shopping might cost more than usual, which might mean you have to buy less
  • you may find the cost of energy to light and heat your home becomes more expensive

Welfare rights and benefits

The government has information about what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel. You may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits. You do not need to apply. You’ll be paid automatically. If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.

In response to increasing prices and the pressures around the cost of living, the government has launched Help For Households, which is a campaign to raise awareness of the support available amongst those that need it most. The campaign gives clear information about the exceptional payments, energy support and existing support schemes available, so the public know what is available and where they can find help – the webpage brings together over 40 support schemes that the public may be able to access depending on eligibility.

You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home for all or part of the week. However, if you previously claimed tax relief when you worked from home because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you might no longer be eligible.

If you don’t have enough money to live on, you might be able to get help to afford essentials like bills and food from the local payments support team.

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Public Health Key Messages

  • Don’t Delay – Speak to your GP if not well.
  • COVID-19 and the lockdown measures have had an impact on referrals to services, including cancer screening.
  • If you have any symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, unexplained bleeding, a lump in your breast or elsewhere, moles, changes in bowel habits, or a cough for more than three weeks it is important that you contact your GP. 
  • Please attend routine screening appointments when you’re invited.
  • The NHS is ‘open’ and if you feel unwell and it is not COVID-19 symptoms don’t delay – the sooner you get advice the better. 
  • Depending on your symptoms you can get advice from:
    • your local pharmacy
    • your GP practice.
    • NHS 111
  • If you need medical help fast or think you need to go to A&E call NHS 111.
  • Call 999 for life threatening emergencies.