Published 21st June 2022
Due to the increase in the current cost of living, some Norfolk residents may be reluctant to accept the care they need due to the cost. Others may simply need additional financial support. This quick reference guide by Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services Quality Assurance Team outlines some of the support available to help you in your conversations with people and their families.
- Inflation (CPI) hit 9% in the 12 months to April 2022 and is expected to remain at around 9% for the remainder of this year, largely caused by increasing energy prices worldwide.
- The energy price cap (the maximum price suppliers can charge) increased by £693 a year on 1 April 2022 and is due to increase by a further £900 in October 2022.
Support provided by Central Government
The Government has announced the following support to help people with the increase in the cost of living and will provide further details in due course:
- Households in Council Tax bands A-D should have already received £150 off their 2022-2023 Council Tax Bill (usually paid as a lump sum by the District Council).
- 28 million households will receive a discount of £400 on their energy bills from October 2022. This was previously announced as a £200 loan to be repaid over the following 5 years; however, this will now be a government grant.
- The Warm Home Discount Scheme www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme is being expanded to make more people eligible. This could mean an additional £140 per year off electricity bills from October 2022 including those on pre-payment and pay-as-you-go meters. People receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit will qualify if their energy supplier is part of the scheme. Some people on a low income may also be able to apply to their electricity supplier.
- Those claiming means tested benefits, such as Universal Credit or Tax Credits for example, will receive a £650 Cost of Living Payment. This will be paid directly to people’s bank accounts in two payments, the first from July 2022 and the second in the Autumn of 2022.
- Those in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment (a one-off payment of £100-300 automatically paid in November / December), will also receive an extra one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of £300 in the Autumn of 2022.
- Those in receipt of disability benefits, will receive a one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 in September 2022.
Support for Norfolk residents eligible for care and support
Additional information around available support can be found on the Norfolk County Council website www.norfolk.gov.uk/what-we-do-and-how-we-work/campaigns/help-with-living-costs For those in receipt of care and support from NCC (or those who may shortly be eligible for services), additional information and support is available from:
- The online calculator adultsocialcare.norfolk.gov.uk/web/portal/pages/using-the-online-calculator which provides people with an estimate of their care charges before their care starts. For those unable to access this, a provisional assessment can be completed by the Financial Assessment Team over the telephone: 01603 222133 Option 2.
- For those contributing to the cost of their care and support who also pay expenses that are necessary and directly related to their disability or illness, they may be able to claim Disability Related Expenses (DRE). Practitioner guidance is available here or information for people is available on NCC’s website here www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/start-with-social-care/paying-for-care/will-you-have-to-pay-for-your-care/claiming-disability-related-expenses Alternatively, the DRE Team can be contacted on 01603 222133 Option 2.
- The Money Support Service www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/support-for-living-independently/money-and-benefits/money-support-service provides money advice, help with budgeting, including access to grants available from utility providers etc. Telephone 01603 223392 (option 4) or email MSS@norfolk.gov.uk.
- People may be entitled to additional welfare benefits and the Welfare Rights Unit www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/support-for-living-independently/money-and-benefits/help-and-advice-with-benefits is able to provide help and advice with benefits claims and queries. Telephone 01603 224447 or email email@example.com
Support available to all Norfolk residents
The Norfolk Assistance Scheme helps all Norfolk residents who are in financial hardship and cannot afford to pay their living costs. Applications are made online and further information is available here www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/support-for-living-independently/money-and-benefits/norfolk-assistance-scheme
Norfolk Warm Homes norfolkwarmhomes.org.uk/ is a scheme providing advice and support to help people live in warmer homes whilst reducing energy bills. Additional support to help with energy debts If people are in debt to their energy supplier, they might be able to get a grant to help pay it off. The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
- British Gas Energy Trust, apply here: britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/grants-available/
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund, apply here: community.scottishpower.co.uk/t5/Extra-Help/Hardship-Fund/ta-p/53
- Ovo Energy Fund, apply here; www.ovoenergy.com/help/debt-and-energy-assistance
- E.ON Energy Fund, apply here: www.eonenergy.com/more-for-your-home/energy-fund.html
- E.ON Next Energy Fund, apply here: www.eonnextenergyfund.com/
- EDF Energy Customer Support Fund, apply here: www.edfenergy.com/for-home/help-centre/faq/extra-support-when-you-need-it?steps=23147#chapter-23146-6
If they can’t get a grant from their supplier, they may be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/grants-available/ This grant is available to anyone, not just British Gas customers. Other budgeting and debt advice
Further advice and support are available from several other organisations:
- Age UK: www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/debt-savings/
- Norfolk Community Advice Network: ncan.co.uk/directory-of-advice-and-support-organisations/
- Money & Pension Service: moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/?cn-reloaded=1
- Citizens Advice Norfolk: www.ncab.org.uk/
- Stepchange: www.stepchange.org/
- MoneySavingExpert: www.moneysavingexpert.com/
- Turn2us: www.turn2us.org.uk/