Cost of Living Support Hub

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting us all. We understand that residents may be concerned about the rising fuel and living costs, and so we have gathered a range of support in place across the Council and wider organisations to help plan for winter.

Energy costs

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills don't delay in contacting your provider for further advice.

Charities across the country have put together some information on how to conserve energy and save money on your bills:

£150 Energy Bill Rebate - Discretionary council funding  for bands E-H

Applications for the energy rebate for properties in bands A to D have now closed. If you have received a letter, but have not applied for your rebate, the £150 will be credited to your council tax account.

West Lancashire Borough Council has adopted a new Local Discretionary Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme, to help support households with rising energy costs. Visit here to find out more

Fuel Voucher Support

West Lancashire Citizens Advice Bureau can provide fuel support for those on pay as you go meters.

This scheme is for fuel vouchers to use with Prepayment Meters (where you top-up as you use). The vouchers are NOT compatible with meters where you pay by DD/Monthly or on receipt of bill.

This scheme only allows CAB to issue ONE x £30 voucher at a time, with a maximum of 3 vouchers being issued in a 12-month period.

If you have already had 3 fuel vouchers from any agency for this scheme, they will not be able to assist you. You should contact your supplier directly and seek assistance from them.

Pensioner Cost of Living Top-Up Payment

Households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment may receive an extra payment of between £150 to £300 this year. The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December. Visit https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/how-much-youll-get for more information.

 

Financial support

If you are concerned about your finances, there is a range of help and advice available. Visit our dealing with debt page to access further information and useful links or read below to make an appointment with our Money Advice Team.

Advice on running a bank account, planning your finances and cutting costs can also be found at the Money Advice Service (external link) along with useful calculators and tools (external link) to help you.

Benefits Calculator and Budgeting Tool

We want to help you maximise the income available to you and our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out an estimate of what you could be claiming. https://westlancashire.entitledto.co.uk/

Why not also try our Budgeting Tool: https://budgetnew.entitledto.co.uk/WestLancashire 

It's free to use and the details you provide are kept anonymous.

We have also produced some simple money saving tips to help support residents to budget in other areas whilst the cost of living crisis may be causing some financial stress.

Find out more from our directory of wider  support services

Household Support Fund

West Lancashire Borough Council are now receiving applications from residents who do not have enough resources to meet their immediate short-term needs and require assistance with essential items.  

This grant can be used to help towards the cost of:

  • food
  • energy / water needs
  • essentials linked to energy / water needs
  • wider essentials such as household bills, clothing, and white goods.
  • travelling to COVID-19 vaccination appointments

It is not intended to cover debt advice or general financial hardship support which is not linked to food, warmth and/or hygiene.

The fund is not intended to cover housing costs as there are other benefits and support available to help with these, for example Discretionary Housing Payments. Please email housing.benefits@westlancs.gov.uk for an application form. 

Awards will be made where there is no alternative means of meeting the need.

Find out more about the Household Support Fund and how to apply here.

Disability Cost of Living payment

Any person who receives DLA, PIP, Attendance Allowance, armed forces independence payments or war pensions mobility supplement may be entitled to an extra £150. Visit  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment  to find out more.

 

Food support

There are numerous organisations across West Lancashire that can support you if you are struggling with your shopping. You can find details of these food banks here.

 

Help with Debt

Regardless of how much debt you have, there are many ways to get help. There are several agencies that can assist with debt issues. Some of these are listed below:

You can find a full comprehensive list of West Lancashire and national organisations that can support with debt here, or contact our Money Advice Team on moneyadvice@westlancs.gov.uk.

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Whilst the other support on this page is based around practical advice, we know that worrying about making ends meet can also take a severe toll on your physical and mental health. It’s crucial that you take care of your own wellbeing to help support you through difficult times.

The NHS has several support services that can support you, from Every Mind Matters that provides practical tips for enjoying better mental health every day, to a range of digital wellbeing tools that can help with poor sleep patterns, low moods and other symptoms of stressful thinking.

If you are struggling with your mental health and need support, you can find a list of adult mental health support services and children's mental health support services on our website.