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Help with the cost of living

Services to support you as the cost of living increases this winter

people shopping for food and petrol, and adjusting a thermostat

As the cost of living increases, you may be worried about how to pay for food, heating and other bills. We’ve put together some information about where and how to find support across Walsall borough.

Whatever hardships you’re facing, we’re here to advise you.

Help with the cost of food and essentials

Find out more about the Household Support Fund payments to help eligible households during the winter months.

You may want to:

If you receive certain disability benefits, you will receive a one-off payment of £150 to help with rising living costs.

If you're a parent, your child could be eligible for free school meals.

The Help for Households campaign has a list of discounts and offers from supermarkets, clothing and shoe shops and utility companies that you might find helpful.

You can also find out about local charities that can help with the cost of school uniforms and equipment, as well as household items and appliances.

Help with transport costs

You could get:

If your child receives a free school meal, you can use this as evidence to support an application for home to school travel assistance.

Find out more about the Household Support Fund payments to help eligible households during the winter months.

 

Help with your energy bills

It's important that you contact your energy provider as soon as you start finding it difficult to pay your bills.

You can:

There is help with heating costs on the government's website:

The government has produced some information that you might find helpful - download the energy bills support factsheet.

You can also:

There is a range of financial support available for families with children.

If you're pregnant or have a child under 4, you can get Healthy Start vouchers from the NHS to help buy basic foods.

Find out what benefits you can get

Check what you’re entitled to using the benefits and financial support checker.

Find out what benefits you can get if you're a parent or carer, or planning to have or adopt a child.

    Get help with childcare costs

    The government’s Childcare Choices website will tell you what support you can get and how to apply. Support includes:

    • tax-free childcare (up to £2,000 a year per child)
    • 15 hours free childcare if you have a 2-year-old child and you’re on certain benefits
    • 15 hours free childcare if you have 3 or 4-year-old children
    • 30 hours free childcare for working families with 3 or 4-year-old children 

    You may be also able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

    Extra help for eligible families

    If you're eligible, you can:

    Find somewhere to live

    Get help paying your rent

    You can:

    You may be eligible for benefits from the government. Their website will tell you all about:

    Help if you're homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless

    We can offer help and support to you. You can contact our housing team by email or you can phone us.

    Find out more about:

    If you want to help someone who is sleeping rough, you can get in touch with StreetLink.

    You can:

    The council tax reduction (CTR) scheme has changed. You may be able to get hardship support if the changes mean that you are worse off.

    Find out about

    SSW community hub can make sure you get extra help when you need it. You can also compare their tariffs to see what's right for you.

    If you're having money problems, you can apply to the SSW Charitable Trust. They may be able to help towards the cost of your water bill.

    If you're a care leaver, you can get a discounted tariff from SSW.

    You can also get advice about cutting the cost of your water bills from the Money Saving Expert website.

    It's important that you get all the financial support that you're entitled to. You can use a benefits calculator to work out what benefits you can get.

    Find out more about the benefits you could get, including:

    You may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits. Find out more about the cost of living payment.

    If you receive certain disability benefits, you will receive a one-off payment of £150 to help with rising living costs.

    There's also advice from the government about:

    You may be able to get tax relief or financial support:

    There are lots of organisations outside of the council that will help you.

    Debt advice

    Help with managing your money

    Breathing Space is a free scheme that could give you up to 60 days space from creditors. StepChange can help you to apply.

    If your debts are getting out of control, we can help. Email our debt referral team.

    Mental health emergency

    • call 999 or go to A&E now if someone's life is at risk
    • call your GP, 111 or use the NHS 111 online service if you need urgent help but it's not life-threatening

    Find out more about getting urgent help for mental health.

    Support services

    There are lots of support services that will help improve your mental health and wellbeing:

    There are lots of schemes to help you get online and find an affordable tariff. 

    Get a social tariff

    Social tariffs can help if you're struggling to afford broadband or phone services:

    Improve your digital skills

    Walsall Connected can support you to access online council services, and help improve your digital skills.

    Black Country Connected can loan you a device, get you connected and help you to gain confidence with using technology.

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