We understand that there is a rise in the cost of living. We want to make sure we support our residents where we can to the best of our abilities. If you need advice, support or urgent help, there are organisations and schemes that could benefit you.
Grants and support for energy and living costs
- Household Support Fund: There is extra funding available from the government’s Household Support Fund and this will enable us to give financial support to those people on low incomes who would otherwise struggle with energy bills and food. The scheme runs until September 2022. More details about the scheme in Torbay.
- Council Tax Rebate scheme: aims to support households with their energy bills. You can find full details of the scheme on our council tax rebate page.
- Energy Bills Support Scheme: Domestic electricity customers in Great Britain will receive a £200 reduction in their electricity costs from this October, through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
- Winter Fuel Payment: If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 from the government to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a Winter Fuel Payment.
Welfare support scheme
The Welfare Support Scheme provides assistance to Torbay residents who require help to meet an essential need. It also aims to assist Torbay residents who need support to establish themselves or maintain their independence in the community.
Help with paying rent and Council Tax
- If you are struggling to pay your council tax then there are ways we may be able to help.
- What to do if you are having problems paying your rent or mortgage and where to get help.
- How to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
- How to claim Universal Credit
- Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs): Discretionary Housing Payments provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs.
- Council Tax Discretionary awards: We have a limited fund to provide additional help for those struggling to pay their council tax. Awards will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
Help with paying bills
- Warm Home Discount Scheme: You could get money off your electricity bill for the winter under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you, it is a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March. You may be able to get a discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity.
- Cold Weather Payment: You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.
- Citizens' Advice: You can find lots of information about energy advice and grants to help pay off your energy debts on the Citizens' Advice website.
Help with food costs
- Free school meals: All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state schools in England automatically get free school meals. However, if eligible, parents and guardians should apply for free school meals when they enrol their child in school, as this can help their child’s school attract additional funding to support their child’s learning. You can check eligibility and apply on our free school meals page.
- Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF): The Holiday Activity and Food programme aims to support children to eat more healthily and be more active over the school holidays.
- Healthy Start: If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. Find out more about Healthy Start and how to apply if you are eligible.
- Food banks: Food banks provide stocks of food, typically basic provisions and non-perishable items, free of charge to people in need. Find out more on the Torbay Food Alliance website.
Help with paying for childcare
Find out where you can get help and advice with your childcare costs.
Help with debt and money problems
Find out who can help you if you have debt and money problems.
Advice for energy use and rising costs
- National Energy Action (NEA) provides independent advice on energy use and costs. Their additional help pages also provide information on other agencies that can provide support.
- The Energy Saving Trust offer help to save money on bills at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint.
- The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity set up to support families and individuals facing financial hardship and energy debt. You do not need to be a British Gas customer to access help.
Department of Work and Pensions offer Budgeting Loans.
A Budgeting Loan can help pay for:
- furniture or household items (for example, washing machines or other ‘white goods’)
- clothes or footwear
- rent in advance
- costs linked to moving house
- maintenance, improvements or security for your home
- travelling costs within the UK
- costs linked to getting a new job
- maternity costs
- funeral costs
- repaying hire purchase loans
- repaying loans taken for the above items
Other useful resources
- The Torbay Community Helpline 01803 446022 is available Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturday 11:30am to 12:30pm, for access to advice, information and referral to a whole range of support in the community and beyond.
- The government MoneyHelper website has guidance and advice on managing your money in uncertain times, along with everything you need to know about the cost of living support package as well as advisors who can support you.
- National Debtline is a debt advice charity run by the Money Advice Trust with a free and confidential debt advice service.
- MoneySavingExpert.com is a consumer website that provides lots of advice on how to cut costs and save money, including a cost of living crisis survival guide.
- Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.
- Find out what benefits and financial support you might be able to get to help with your living costs. You can get benefits or financial support if you’re eligible.