Many people are worried about money at the moment, important costs like energy, food and fuel are rising steeply. If you're worried about being able to afford to live, you're not alone and there is support available.
If you need urgent support coping with the rising cost of living crisis, you should contact us immediately on 0114 273 4567. We can help to navigate through a wide range of hardship grants and support schemes.
Household Support Fund
If you live in Sheffield and are struggling to afford food and other essentials, the fund can help to support you with:
- food and housekeeping (groceries, toiletries, baby essentials etc)
- telephone and broadband (mobile phones, top-ups, broadband charge etc)
- gas and electricity
- clothing, including school uniforms
- white goods
- wider essential needs not linked to energy and water should Authorities consider this appropriate in their area
It cannot be used for:
- advice services such as debt advice
- mortgage costs
- statutory activities/requirements that either the Council or another public-sector organisation is responsible for delivering
- rent or housing arrears under normal circumstances
If you need help paying rent or housing arrears, you must apply for help through Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, a Discretionary Housing Payment or a Homelessness Prevention Grant. If you can prove you are ineligible for these benefits, in extreme circumstances we may be able to help with rent advances and deposits for new tenancies or rent arrears.
If you need help to apply for the Household Support Fund, call us on 0114 273 4567 (Option 0) and we will help you with the application process.
Discretionary Housing Payment and Council Tax Hardship Scheme
This scheme can help you if you get Housing Benefit but you still need help to pay your rent. You can also get help to pay your Council Tax if you get Council Tax Support
Local Assistance Scheme
This scheme provides Independence Grants to support independent living and Sheffield Crisis Grants to help Sheffield residents in crisis situations who aren't receiving help.
Warm Home Discount
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or are on a low income and meet your energy supplier's criteria for the scheme.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity.
The Affordable Warmth Obligation
You might be able to get help for energy-saving improvements to your home if you either:
- claim certain benefits and live in private housing (for example you own your home or rent from a private landlord)
- live in social housing
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
You usually do not need to claim Winter Fuel Payment - you’ll get it automatically if you’re eligible.
If you haven't 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
WaterSure is a scheme which helps some people with their water bills.
To qualify for WaterSure you need to:
- be on a water meter or have applied for one and be waiting for it to be installed, or be paying an assessed charge because it's not possible to fit a meter at your property
- be on certain benefits
- have a high essential use of water
If you’re on a low income you can apply for Housing Benefit to help you pay for part or all of your rent.
You can apply for Housing Benefit whether you’re unemployed or working, and whether you rent from the private sector, a Housing Association or our Council housing.
You could get £69.70 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.
You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.
You do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person.
If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.
Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. Pension Credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges.
Pension Credit is separate from your State Pension.
You can get Pension Credit even if you have other income, savings or own your own home.
It's never too late to get help with debt problems. But the earlier you try to sort things out the more options you have.
A number of companies and organisations offer debt advice. Many will help with free initial advice, but you should check with anyone you contact about the service they offer. You don't have to pay for debt or money advice. There is plenty of free help for you.
Organisations who advertise debt solutions such as Debt Management Plans (DMP) and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) make a profit from setting up these procedures. Although they may be appropriate for you, we strongly advise that you always take independent advice on all the options for dealing with debt before contacting any DMP/IVA provider.
Loan providers who advertise ‘consolidation loans’ for people in financial difficulty make their money by selling their product and their main interest is making a profit. Sometimes they insist on the loan being secured on your home. They are not independent and although debt consolidation may be right for you, you should always check what else you can do.
Sheffield Citizens Advice provides free, local, independent debt advice or call them for free on 0808 278 7820
If you need advice about Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) or other bankruptcy issues, visit the Insolvency Service website.
National Debtline provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice by telephone on 0808 808 4000, Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm and Saturday from 9:30 am to 1pm.
For people eligible for legal aid, you can get help from Community Legal Advice. This is a telephone based service which helps those people on low incomes or benefits. Call them on 0345 3454 345.