Supporting you through the rising cost of living
Council tax, benefits and financial support
A range of advice, guidance and contact details to ensure you know where to get the support you may need during the current cost of living crisis.
Household Support Fund 2023/24
Wiltshire Council has been allocated £5.4m in round four of the Household Support Fund provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
This funding is to support households that would otherwise struggle to buy food, pay essential utility bills or meet other essential living costs during the current cost-of-living challenges and particularly those who may not be eligible for the other forms of Government support.
Grants paid from this funding are different to the GOV.UK: Guidance - Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024 paid direct to those eligible by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The funding is being distributed through partner organisations and council departments between now and 31 March 2024.
Find out about the help and support available from the Household Support Fund (HSF).
- Discounts and exemptions - find out if you qualify for a council tax percentage of discount or a complete exemption from paying council tax
- GOV.UK - Universal Credit - monthly payment to help with your living costs if you are of working age. If you don't have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment (or first payment after notifying of a change in circumstances) you may be able to get an advance of your first Universal Credit payment
- Housing Benefit - If you are on a low income, even if you are working, you may be able to get help with your rental costs
- GOV.UK: Help for Households - information on the Cost-of-Living Support from the government that you could be eligible for
- GOV.UK: Guidance - Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024 - from the Department of Work and Pensions - paid direct by the DWP to those eligible
- GOV.UK: Help with your energy bills - information about the Government's Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS AF) and Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP), providing energy bills support to those who haven't received automatic financial assistance from any energy support schemes
- GOV.UK: Cost of living support - find out what support is available to help with the cost of living; this includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel
- Household Support Fund (HSF) - information about the Winter 2023/24 Household Support Fund which will help those in the most need
- Money navigator tool - Money Helper UK provides guidance based upon individual circumstances and help find support in your area
- I'm worried about debt - support if you are struggling with debt
- Help in a crisis - local welfare provision providing support to people in crisis
- Healthy Start (NHS): How to apply - Get help to buy food and milk. The Healthy Start pre-paid card can be used to spend on healthy foods and to receive free vitamins for those who are pregnant and children under the age of four
- Early Years funding for 3 and 4 year olds - entitlement is for all children aged up to three and four for up to 15 hours free childcare per week. Or 570 hours per annum, 38 weeks of the year
- 30 hours childcare offer - for eligible families to extend their three and four year old funding up to 30 hours per week
- Early years pupil premium - for early years providers delivering the funded hours to eligible three and four year olds. The payment goes to the setting to support your child
- Scope disability energy support - free energy and water advice to disabled people, helping to manage energy and water needs
- Government - Get 50p for every £1 you save - HMRC encourages customers to sign up to Help to Save, the government savings scheme, after revealing savers shared £146 million in bonus payments.
FUEL - support for eligible families during the Christmas holidays
FUEL is the holiday activity and food programme (HAF) is funded by the Department of Education. FUEL provides eligible school-aged children with free access to enriching activities, nutritious meals and healthy eating information during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays.
The HAF programme is delivered in Wiltshire using the brand FUEL (Food, Unity, Energy, Laughter) and the programme is a direct response to the growing issue of holiday hunger. The FUEL programme in Wiltshire has supported more than 10,000 children, since launching in 2021.
More information at FUEL Programme.
Free sims and mobile data from Wiltshire libraries
Wiltshire Libraries are working with the Good Things Foundation to distribute free SIMs and mobile data to people in need. The National Databank scheme is supported by UK mobile networks including Vodafone, O2 and Three.
The free SIMs and mobile data are available from Chippenham, Devizes, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Warminster libraries.
To be able to access the National Databank you must be 18+ years old and from a low-income household. One or more of the following must also be true:
- you have no or poor access to the internet at home
- you have no or poor access to the internet away from home
- you can't afford your existing monthly contract or top-up
Cheap bus travel
- Connecting Wiltshire: Bus - the £2 bus fare cap will run until 31 December 2024.