On Thursday, the government announced a £15bn package implementing a number of measures to provide support to millions of households across the UK struggling with the rising cost of living. These measures include a discount on energy bills, a one-off cost of living payment for those on means tested benefits and disability benefits, as well as a £500m increase to the Household Support Fund.
The package of support is welcome news at a time when increasing numbers of people will be in need of extra support. It is positive that the government has recognised the need to support families on the lowest incomes through this crisis.
We also welcome the increase and extension to the Household Support Fund to support vulnerable households. It is important, however, that as the local authorities are responsible for allocating the Fund, a consistent approach is established across the country as it is allocated through local authorities.
We have outlined below the measures the government announced on Thursday.
Households will receive £400 of support with their energy bills through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. We have asked government for clarification on whether and how this money will be available to people on heat networks without domestic electricity meters.
More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650 this year, made in two instalments.
Pensioner households will received an extra £300 this year to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter.
In September, those in receipt of disability benefits will receive a one-off payment of £150.
The government is providing an extra £500m of local support, via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from October to March 2023.
We will continue to keep our members updated on development. In the meantime, you can sign up to our webinar to find out the latest information on what support is available and how housing associations are working in partnership to mitigate against the cost of living crisis.
If you have any questions about this update, or any other welfare reform or Universal Credit issue, then please get in touch.