Cost of living

  • If you are struggling to pay for essentials such as bills and food, you might be able to get help
  • You could be entitled to cost of living payments.
  • Check if you can claim benefits, even if you have a job.

Can I claim benefits?

You may be entitled to benefits even if you are not currently receiving any, or increase your current benefits if you are:

  • sick or disabled
  • of working age and on a low income
  • of State Pension age and on a low income
  • responsible for children
  • of working age and on a low income

You can read more about benefit entitlement here and check eligibility here

if you make an application for benefits you can ask for your first payment to be made early, while you’re waiting for either:

  • a decision on your application, or
  • your first payment

Will I get a cost of living payment?

The government will send you a ‘cost of living payment‘ if you:

  • get certain benefits – for example, Universal Credit, PIP or Attendance Allowance
  • are over State Pension age and get Winter Fuel Payments

You may be eligible for one, or more, of these Cost of Living Support Payments if you get certain benefits or tax credits. For example, if you get Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit and Winter Fuel Payments, you will receive 3 cost of living payments.

These payments will not count as income when calculating your benefits.

You don’t have to apply. If you are eligible then you will automatically be paid in the same way that you receive your benefits or tax credits.

If you receive a cost of living payment but are later found to not have been eligible, then you will have to pay it back.

When will I receive the payment, and how much?

The amount of payment you will receive depends on which benefits you get.  You can check the amounts and dates for payments here.

Help with energy costs

The government’s Energy Price Guarantee put a limit for most households on the rates your supplier can charge you for gas and electricity.  This will last until the end of March 2023.  There will still be a limit after that, but the amount you pay for energy will go up.

If you are worried about paying your energy bills, contact your supplier as soon as possible. They may be able to work out a payment plan.

If you already have a payment plan, but are still struggling to make the payments, ask your energy supplier for:

  • a review of the plan
  • payment breaks
  • more time to repay

You can read more about help with heating costs here.

Help with heating costs

Worried about paying your rent?

If you are having problems paying your rent or are falling into rent arrears, take action as soon as possible to avoid losing your home. Check out our advice on arrears and dealing with debt.

Struggling with debt

If you are struggling with debts, the Breathing Space scheme may be of help to you.  You can find out about the scheme here.

Did you find this helpful?

Rydym yn ymddiheuro na fedrwn ddarparu’r wybodaeth yma yn Gymraeg, ond os hoffech siarad ag ymgynghorydd yn Gymraeg yna cysylltwch ar 08000 495 495.
We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

This page was last updated on: Mawrth 12, 2024

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.