The following details may help you get support with rising energy prices
National and local government are providing support to many vulnerable households in response to rising energy costs. Support is already available for households in receipt of benefits, pensioners, vulnerable families and others. The most up to date advice on what is available can be found at www.gov.uk
If you are struggling to heat your home this winter, please find a directory of local warm banks / spaces to find warmth, community and help.
Working Households Fund
Dartford Borough Council has introduced a new fund to support Dartford working households who are just above the benefit thresholds and who are struggling with the increased cost of living. A grant of £100 will be awarded to qualifying households.
The following eligibility criteria must be met to receive a Working Households Fund grant:
- The applicant/joint applicants must be liable for Council Tax in a property in bands A to D in the DBC area;
- The property must be their sole or main residence;
- The household annual income before tax and National Insurance for a single applicant must be below £31,447 (the average UK earnings) and for joint applicants, must be below £62,894. These figures exclude child benefit;
- The household must not have combined savings of more than £3,000 at the date of the application;
- The applicant/joint applicants must not be in receipt of housing benefit, Council Tax Reduction or be eligible for disability benefits, means tested benefits or be pensioners (all of these are eligible for other support).
The full Working Household Fund policy can be found here.
You will be asked to upload a copy of your payslip (for a joint application, payslips for both applicants are required) and a copy of your latest bank statement covering at least one month (if a joint application with separate bank accounts, both applicants will need to submit copy statements). You should have this information ready to upload when you apply.
If you think you are eligible and have your documents ready, the quickest way to apply is online by clicking here.
For more information on the type of data and information we will process for this grant, click here.
Energy Bill Discount Online Tool
A new online tool has been launched for the public to check if they are eligible for the discount on their energy bills. Eligible low-income and vulnerable households can get a £150 discount off their energy bills. All customers will receive a letter between this month and mid-January confirming their eligibility, and the payment will be made automatically through energy suppliers by March 2023. The Government has also announced the reopening of the Warm Home Discount scheme which will provide a discount of £150 off electricity bills for three million low-income households this winter. Most households will receive the discount automatically.
If you are a Council tenant, a tenant in the private sector or you have a mortgage, it’s important that you talk to your landlord or lender at the earliest opportunity if you think you will have difficulty paying your rent or mortgage.
You may be entitled to the following to help you with your housing costs:
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments apply to both Council and private sector tenants. These can provide extra money to help with your housing costs on top of any benefit support you may already be receiving. To get a Discretionary Housing Payment, you will need to either already be receiving the old scheme Housing Benefit or the housing contribution element through Universal Credit. To access a Discretionary Housing Payment, please visit https://www.dartford.gov.uk/benefits/apply-discretionary-payments for further details.
Council Tax Reduction
Council Tax Reduction may be available of your household is on a low income. You could receive support towards some or all of your Council Tax bill. To find out more, please visit https://www.dartford.gov.uk/benefits/council-tax-reduction for further details.
Help with your utility bills
Most utility companies offer help if you are struggling with your bills, including payment plans. Most water companies also offer discounts for households on low incomes. Please speak to your provider to find out more.
Broadband and phone
If you are looking for ways to cut back on your spending, you could be eligible for cheaper broadband deals with social tariffs. Social tariffs for broadband are discounted deals offered by various broadband providers to support households on low income or in financial hardship.
Free School Meals
If your child is in Year 2 or below, they can get free school meals. Please speak to your school for more details.
If your child is below 19 years of age and in full-time education, they may be eligible for free school meals. Please refer to www.kent.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals for more details.
For help with managing your income, benefits and debt, please click here.
For information on food banks click here.