If you’re struggling to pay your bills or your council tax, or for other essentials like food and drink, there is plenty of support available.
Here’s some information that might be able to help you.
Support from Oxfordshire County Council
Some Oxfordshire residents receiving housing benefit can now claim £300 to help with living costs. Oxfordshire County Council have sent letters with a link to an online form to over 4,250 residents eligible for support, which must be filled in by 28 March 2023. For more information visit Oxfordshire County Council’s information page on its website.
Welcome the Warmth – can provide a range of fully-funded energy-efficiency improvements for your home. Oxfordshire County Council has secured grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of eligible homes within the Oxfordshire area.
Care Workers’ Hardship Grant
Oxfordshire care workers’ can apply for a grant from Oxfordshire County Council to help those struggling with increased living costs. If you are working in the Oxfordshire care sector you can make an application online for the Care Workers’ Charity hardship grant for up to £750 up until the 31 March 2023. For more information on eligibility and how to apply please see the Oxfordshire County Council website.
If you are facing any difficulties paying your council tax for any reason, including loss of work or a reduction of income, contact us as soon as possible on 0345 302 2313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are currently not being paid, or are on a low income and are struggling to pay your bills, please apply for Council Tax Reduction – your account will then be put on hold for 30 days while your application is processed.
Discretionary Council Tax Exceptional Hardship Fund (CTEHF) 2023-2024
The CTEHF has been set up for the current financial year 2023-2024 to provide assistance to council taxpayers facing ‘exceptional hardship’ due to the cost of living crisis to help reduce their council tax liability.
Find out more about the CTEHF on our webpage.
Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people who are on low income or out of work. The scheme is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Find out more about Universal credit on our webpage.
Other support available from government
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Visit the government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme page to read more about it and use the Eligibility Tool to find out if you can make a claim.
If you are in urgent need of financial assistance, you may be eligible for other government benefits.
Visit the government’s claiming employment and benefit support website or visit your local job centre for more information.
If you are claiming a low-income benefit you may also be entitled to a £650 Cost of Living Payment. To find out more, visit the government’s Cost of Living Payment information page.
Claiming Employment and Support Allowance
You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work or if you cannot work while you are unwell. It’s also available for people who are employed, self-employed or unemployed. You can find out more information and if you’re eligible on the government’s website.
Statutory Sick Pay
Your employer has a responsibility to pay you statutory sick pay if you’re too ill to work. There’s more information about statutory sick page, on the government’s website.
Support for self-employed
If you are self-employed you can find out more about the self-employment income support scheme on the governments website.
Free debt advice is available from the National Debtline – their number is 0808 808 4000.
Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale can provide you with free, confidential advice via 0808 278 7907
The Money Advice Service provides free debt advice on 0800 138 1677.
The government’s MoneyHelper website also provides online advice and support, webchat to answer your questions, tools for managing money and debt, and information on local advice and support organisations.
Alternative Fuel Payments
The Government has announced assistance to support those households who do not have a direct relationship with an energy provider and those households that use alternative fuels like heating oil.
Under the scheme households will submit an application at GOV.UK expected to go live on 27 February 2023. Applications cannot be made directly to the council.
An award of £400 will be payable to households who do not have a direct relationship with an energy provider and £200 to households that use alternative fuels.
See the Government’s web page for further details of the schemes.
The council will be assisting the Government to distribute the awards, we are waiting on further details from the Government before we can confirm when payments will be made.
A dedicated customer helpline will be opened by Government to assist customers from 27 February 2023.