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Struggling with the cost of living? Help may be available

Rising energy, fuel and food costs are having a significant financial impact on people in our communities. However, if you are struggling to pay your household bills there is a range of support and help available in Perth and Kinross.

Cost of living

If you are struggling, please ask for help. We understand that it's not your fault, and the Council and our community partners may be able to support you through this.

Sections

Warm spaces | Energy bills | Rent and mortgage | Money and other debts | Food support | Other support | How you can help

Warm spaces

Earlier this year Councillors agreed funding to support community groups and venues to create warm spaces. Warm, welcoming and safe locations where are open to the public for free during the cold winter months. 

View the full list of warm spaces in Perth and Kinross and find a location near you.

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Energy bills

The cost of household energy has increased significantly recently, and this looks set to continue. If you are struggling to pay your electricity and heating bills, help and support is available.

Warm Home Discount scheme

The Warm Home Discount (WHD) is a government scheme where the largest energy suppliers' credit £140 onto the electricity bills of households in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.  People who are eligible on the qualification date will receive a letter by mid-December telling them whether the discount will be applied automatically by the energy supplier, or if the customer needs to contact the WHD Helpline by the end of February 2023 to submit a claim.

Warmer Homes Scotland funding

Contact Home Energy Scotland to check what funding and support is available to you as a homeowner or private tenant to help you make your home warmer and more comfortable through a range of energy saving improvements. 

£400 energy bill discount

From October most households will get £400 off their electricity bill through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to pay your heating bills. Check eligibility.

Winter Heating Payment

This is the replacement for the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland. Anyone who was eligible for the Cold Weather Payment will automatically be paid the £50 annual Winter Heating Payment through Social Security Scotland. Payments for winter 2022 will start to be made from February 2023.

Home energy efficiency advice

Free home energy advice in Perth and Kinross is available from:

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Rent and mortgage

Support for Council tenants

The Council's Housing Service has put aside money to help tenants who are finding it difficult to pay their rent. If you are a Council tenant please call your locality housing team if you are struggling to pay your rent or bills. We can offer a wide range of practical help - you may even qualify for financial support towards your housing costs.

Call your Locality Housing Team on 01738 476000 (Option 2) or visit the rent arrears support page. You can also text the word MONEY to 62277 if you feel like you're struggling to pay your rent and bills. A member of our staff will call you back to see what we can do to help.

Our Housing staff are currently telephoning tenants to see if there is anything we can do to help. You might get a call from our staff during the evening or at weekends. If you feel like you would benefit from some help to pay your rent and bills, they can tell you about the range of support that is available.

You can watch this short video on the help available through our Housing Service:

Financial Insecurity Fund

Perth & Kinross Council has a fund to help tackle financial insecurity and support households with essential needs and priority debts over the winter. The Financial Insecurity Fund has been created using the Council's share of £20 million provided by the Scottish Government for this purpose.

Discretionary Housing Payment

Visit our Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) webpage for information about who is eligible and how to apply.

Home Owners' Support Fund

If you are a home owner and you are in danger of losing your home because you cannot pay the mortgage, you may qualify for support from the Scottish Government.

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Money and other debts

Benefits support and advice 

The Council's Welfare Rights Team is there to ensure that the residents of Perth and Kinross are not missing out on their entitlement to benefits and other related help by providing a free, confidential and impartial benefits advice and information service.  The Team helped to put an additional £1.4m in the pockets of people in Perth and Kinross over the last year.

If you need advice about your benefits you can use their online referral form or call  01738 476900 (Option 1).

Watch the short video below to find out more about the support the Welfare Rights Team can provide for you.

Crisis grants

The Scottish Welfare Fund is a discretionary scheme administered by local authorities which aims to provide a safety net in an emergency through the provision of crisis grants.

You can apply for a grant online. To find out more visit the Scottish Welfare Fund - Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants page or call the Scottish Welfare Fund Team on 01738 476900 (option 2).

Perth and Kinross Local Low Income Support Payment

Starting from October a one-off Local Low Income Support Payment (LLISP), will be paid to eligible households by the end of March 2023 who were:

  • in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on 5th July 2022 (this does not include Single Person's Discount - 25%), or
  • exempt or have no liability for Council Tax on the following basis on 5th July 2022:
    • all the occupants are care leavers
  • 16/17 year old care leavers in receipt of ThroughCare/AfterCare payments.

Scottish Child Payment scheme

If you are the parent or carer for a child aged under the age 16 and you are in receipt of certain benefits you may qualify for Scottish Child Payments of £25 a week.

You can visit the Scottish Government website to find out if you are eligible for a payment and to apply.

Free school meals and clothing grants 

Free school meals are offered to all pupils in P1 - P5.  If your child is older you may be able to claim free school meals if you are claiming certain benefits. You may also qualify for a school clothing grant for your children. Call 01738 476200for more information or view the free school meals and clothing grants page. 

Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit

You may be able to get Council Tax Reduction if you are liable for Council Tax. If you also rent your home, you may also get Housing Benefit. Please contact us on 01738 476049to check your potential entitlement or view the Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit page.

Self-Isolation Support Grants

If you have to self-isolate because of Covid-19, you may be eligible for a Self-Isolation Support Grant. You can apply at any time during the period you've been asked to self-isolate for.  From 1 May the grant is one payment of £225.

Young Scot

Young Scot have information for young people on financial support and Young Scot discounts.

Gypsy/Traveller community

MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project) is providing support for members of the Gypsy Traveller community. It is running a Financial Resilience Helpline, where advisors help community members find and access all the benefits they are entitled to. Contact Alex Hendrikson 07931 555 390. 

Citizen's Advice Scotland

Citizen's Advice Scotland (CAS) offers personal, one-to-one advice and information on employment, housing, debt, benefits and consumer issues like energy bills.

Their helpline - 0808 196 9440 - is open 10am - 3pm Monday to Friday.

CAS has also launched The Money Map - an easy-to-use online service you can use from the comfort of your own home. It offers information on how to increase your income via benefits and grants, as well as how to save money on things like council tax, energy bills and other daily living costs such as food, clothing and utilities. It also provides budgeting support, to help you take control of your financial situation.

Perth has its own CAS service that can provide a wide range of money, benefits and debt advice. You can contact them by calling 01738 450580, emailing them or by visiting the Citizen's Advice website.

National Debtline

National Debtline is a charity that provides free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. Its website features a Coronavirus hub with the latest information and advice on the help available, and you can also have private web chat with an adviser. You can also call them on 0808 808 4000.

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Food support

Perth and Kinross Foodbank

Perth and Kinross Foodbank provides emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis. If you need support from the foodbank you can visit their How To Get Help webpage. You can call 0345 30 111 00 if you think you need a referral to the Foodbank.

Local larders

Community groups across Perth and Kinross have established local larders to give access to free or reduced food to help families in need and reduce food waste. Check the list of community larders to find one in your area.

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Other support

Scottish Government help and advice

The Scottish Government cost of living website provides information on the wide range of advice and financial support available to people in Scotland. The site includes information on help available for households to meet rising energy, housing and other costs. It also provides details on accessing Scottish and UK social security payments, including online benefit calculators, as well as wider health and wellbeing information.

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How you can help

While everyone is impacted by the cost of living crisis to some extent, if you are in a position where you can offer help to people who are struggling, please do consider how you can get involved. Everyone has something to offer, you could: 

  • volunteer for local foodbanks, community larders and other community support groups
  • donate to foodbanks and other community support groups - check their social media and websites for what they most urgently need
  • share information, tell your family, friends and neighbours about the support which is available and encourage them to access any help they need

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Last modified on 23 November 2022

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