This page contains information regarding how to increase income and reduce costs to help offset the increases in the cost of living.
Information correct up to 3rd October 2022.
Foodbanks are available in Bexhill, Battle and Rye.
Your local Councillor can also refer people for support, especially in an emergency.
Help to buy food and milk
Get help to buy food and milk. If you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old, you could get help to buy milk, fruit and vegetables.
What is it? – It is a discount up to £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 provided by your energy supplier (government subsidised)
Could claim for next winter around October.
The number of discounts suppliers can give is limited. Your electricity supplier decides who can get the discount each year.
Apply early for a better chance of getting the discount.
Eligibility – Those on pension credit, those on a low income or on certain means-tested benefits
Points to note:
- The money is not paid to you directly if you have a monthly bill – it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.
- You may receive a voucher if you have a pre-pay meter
- Some small energy companies do not offer it.
- Need to call your electricity supplier to find out if they offer it and to apply.
- Check with your supplier as early as possible to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.
To make a referral to the Warm Home Check service go to www.warmeastsussex.org.uk or call 0800 464 7307 or text WARM to 80011.
The website is also full of handy tips to help you keep you warm and well at home.
Next claim period will be open winter 22-23
What you can get – Payments are between £100 and £300 depending on your circumstances.
How to claim – You usually do not need to claim winter Fuel Payment – you’ll get it automatically if you’re eligible.
If you have not got a Winter Fuel Payment before, you only need to claim if any of the following apply:
- you do not get benefits or a State Pension
- you only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
- you get benefits or a State Pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country
If you need to claim you can claim Winter Fuel Payment by phone or by post.
Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Email enquiry form
Telephone: 0800 731 0160
Let your supplier know as soon as possible if you are worried you can’t afford to top up your bill or prepayment meter, contact your supplier straight away.
Ofgem rules mean they must offer emergency support.
In most cases, it’s best to get ahead of any problems with paying as early as possible, so let your supplier know that you’re struggling to pay – they’re obligated by Ofgem to help you come up with a workable payment plan, so the earlier they know, the better.
There are a range of options they might be able to offer on a case-by-case basis. You can ask for:
- More time to pay
- Payment breaks
- Payment reductions
- Access to hardship funds
However, your repayment plan is structured, don’t worry – your energy supply won’t be cut off.
If you are worried you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter, contact your supplier straight away.
Our rules mean they must offer emergency support (in the form of loans, primarily). This includes:
- emergency credit if your meter runs low or runs out
- ‘friendly hours’ credit if top-up points are closed and your meter is running low. You can access this overnight, at weekends and on public holidays
- extra support credit if you are in a vulnerable situation and have few options to pay
- extra support credit while you work out ways to pay if you are in a vulnerable situation. For example, if you cannot leave your home because of the pandemic.
You will need to repay the credit from your supplier when you next top up. You can ask to agree these arrangements in a payment plan.
Suppliers must work with you to agree on payment plans you can afford. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.
Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)- The Council considers that the DHP scheme should be primarily seen as a short-term emergency fund. It is extra money that the Council can pay on top of the claimants normal Housing Benefit (HB) if it considers that extra help is required.
How does it work? – People in Bands A-D including people in receipt of the Single Person Discount or who pay less than £150 or do not pay Council Tax at all will be eligible for a one-time payment of £150 from the government.
- Government expects the vast majority of people who pay by Direct Debit to receive this money in April 2022. Councils will make these payments automatically.
- For households in Bands A-D who do not pay by Direct Debit, councils will have to contact people to get bank details and this takes longer. Payments will be made by 30 Sept at the latest.
- If you don’t pay by direct debit, it’s worth setting one up now – this will make it quicker and easier to get the £150. When you get the money, you can cancel your direct debit if you choose.
The Energy Bills Support Scheme provides a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023.
All households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible for the discount.
The discount is automatic. If you get a message asking for your bank details, this could be a scam.
The discount will be applied to your monthly household electricity bill for 6 months starting in October 2022. You’ll get:
- £66 in October and November
- £67 in December, January, February and March
You’ll get the discount monthly, even if you pay for your energy quarterly or use a payment card.
Traditional prepayment meter users will get equivalent vouchers that you will need to redeem.