Vita Health Group Cost of Living Newsletter
Warm Spaces - Spaces available for anyone in need of warmth
Looking after your mental health
See the links below for information about emotional wellbeing and financial difficulty:
Blurt Foundation - things that might help
"Feeling unable to support ourselves and our dependents is awful. Really awful. Soundbites like “people are choosing between heating and eating” don’t do justice to the deep sense of shame, fear, frustration, anger, resentment and hopelessness, that come with struggling to afford the basics."
Mental Health & Money Advice - How the cost-of-living crisis might affect your mental health
"At Mental Health & Money Advice, we recognise that financial difficulty and mental health are interlinked and that the double stigma of mental health and money can be an isolating experience."
Mental Health & Money Advice Toolkit
"A resource to help you understand, manage and improve your mental and financial health"
Mental Health & Debt Guide
"Of course, when mental health is involved, sometimes just having the energy to deal with it is tough. And that’s what this guide is about: recognising that mental health and debt is a marriage made in hell, so we’ve easy practical steps you can take to get back on track."
The link between money and mental health - Mind
Be careful of scams
We have heard reports about scam texts and emails sent to people by scammers pretending to be the Council or Ofgem and asking for bank details to receive a government energy or council tax rebate.
Please be cautious if you receive a text, email or call about an energy or council tax rebate, it is likely a scam.
Any government energy payments you will receive will happen automatically. You do not need to claim these payments.
Council tax rebates:
Those who pay for council tax by direct debit will receive the government’s energy rebate directly into their bank account. If you don’t pay your council tax via direct debit then you will be sent a letter with details of how to claim the rebate. The council will not contact you over the phone or by text or email.
Find info on how to spot a scam here
See how to report a scam here
Help with energy bills
Update on 14 October 2022:
If you have not received the £150 cost of living payment for receiving disability benefits (PIP, DLA, AA, AFIP, WPMS, etc) you can report it online here: https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/report-a-missing-cost-of-living-payment/benefit-entitlement/
You needed to have been in receipt of the benefit on 25/05/22 to qualify. For missing payments on other cost of living grants - for pensioners, means tested benefits etc. see: https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/report-a-missing-cost-of-living-payment/welcome
The government will give every household in Great Britain £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme. You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back.
You’ll get the £400 in 6 instalments starting from October 2022. You’ll get:
£66 in October and November
£67 in December, January, February and March
If you have an electricity meter and pay your bills every month or quarterly, your supplier will automatically take the amounts off your energy bill each month.
If you have a prepayment meter, your supplier will confirm how you’ll get the £400 closer to October 2022. They’ll either:
Extra help for people on the lowest incomes
People who get means tested benefits will get an extra payment of £650.
You are eligible for this support if you get any of these benefits:
The money will be paid in two instalments. The first instalment will be paid if:
We do not yet know the qualifying dates for the second payment. If you aren't currently getting a qualifying benefit, it is worth checking now if you could be entitled to it and putting in a claim.
The £650 is split into two payments:
You do not need to claim it. It will be paid automatically if you qualify for it.
It will probably be paid the same way you usually get your benefits paid. The first installment will be paid
In addition to the £650 payment, there are a further two groups who will get additional payments:
1) People in receipt of disability benefits (DLA, PIP, AA, AFIP, and certain other bens) who will get an additional £150.
2) Pensioners who get the Winter Fuel Allowance for 2022-23 will get an additional £300.
These payments are on top of universal and means tested benefit support payments. See Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK for the full details about this.
Find out more about support available and information about energy bills at these links:
Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK
Making a complaint to your energy supplier
Making a complaint to the energy ombudsman
Calderdale CAB: Tips for saving energy
Together Housing: Energy toolkit
The Green Doctor - offering free services to help you save money on household bills:
Household Support Fund
Your local council might help you pay for things like:
Ask your local council if they run a welfare assistance or Household Support Fund scheme. You can find out how to contact your local council on GOV.UK.
Find information about Calderdale Council's Household Support Fund here.
You don’t have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council. If you do get benefits, they won’t be affected if you start getting money from a welfare assistance or Household Support Fund scheme.
Council Tax Rebate
The council tax rebate will provide a payment of £150 to households living in council tax bands A – D. Local councils are responsible for determining who is eligible and making payments. These will be made from April 2022 and will not need to be paid back.
If you live in an eligible property and you pay your council tax by direct debit, your local council will generally make the payment directly to your bank account, starting from April 2022. You do not need to do anything in the meantime, unless your council requests further details from you.
If you live in an eligible property and you do not pay your council tax by direct debit, your local council will contact you with details of how to claim your rebate. You do not need to do anything in the meantime.
If you are not sure which council tax band your property is in, you can check by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands
Find more information about support with the cost of living at these links:
Comprehensive information about getting help with the cost of living: Citizen's Advice
Full details government cost of living financial support: Government Cost of Living Support Factsheet
Information about welfare entitlements for single parents: Financial support for single parents
Money and wellbeing information for Calderdale: Calderdale Council
Money advice service in Halifax: Noah's Ark Centre
Community support for the homeless, the elderly, the vulnerable, refugees, and survivors of domestic abuse: Focus4Hope
Community support for elderly and isolated people & families in Calderdale: Calder Community Cares
Welfare/benefits advice for disabled people: Disability Support Calderdale
Welfare/benefits advice for oder people: AgeUK Calderdale
Find information about local food banks here.
Free/cheap lunches for kids.
Cheap recipes: Jack Munroe - Cooking on a bootstrap
Shelter - Housing and homelessness charity
Calderdale Housing Assistance
Horton Housing services in Calderdale
Do you know of any other useful support, organisations or links not listed here? Let us know and we can add it, please email: