Money Matters – October 2023
October 9th 2023, by ccha2120
In this money matters edition, we cover:
- The 25% council tax discount
- Cost of Living Payments
- Help to Save
- Help with Dental Costs
- Colder months
- Check your meters
Croydon Council is currently reviewing the 25% council tax discount.
Croydon Council is contacting many residents with a 25% discount on their council tax bill if they are the only person over 18 in the household.
If it does apply to you and you receive one of these letters, please do not ignore it or you may lose your discount. This is true even if you do not currently pay council tax because, for example, you are on certain benefits. Information on how to reply to the review process is given in the letter.
You may also be eligible for the discount if all the adults in the property receive certain disability benefits.
For more information, please visit the Croydon Council website.
Next round of ‘Cost of Living Payments’
The next round of Cost of Living payments will be paid out between 31 October and 19 November. This is for residents on certain means-tested benefits, including universal credit, income-related ESA, tax credits and pension credits. Please note, you need to have been eligible for these benefits between 18 August and 17 September 2023.
If you have recently applied for Pension Credit and reached State Pension age during this time, you may still be eligible. If you have any doubts or concerns, you can call Jane White on 0800 054 6710.
If you are still waiting to receive the payment and believe you should have, please contact .
This is a friendly reminder to be careful of suspicious calls, emails, or texts related to the ‘Cost of Living Payments’. It’s always best to be cautious and avoid clicking on links or providing personal information.
Get help with savings if you’re on a low income (Help to Save)
This is a government program which is designed to assist low earners in saving money. If you’re eligible, you could receive a bonus of 50p for every £1 you save over four years.
To open a Help to Save account, you must meet certain criteria, including being entitled to the Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit or claiming Universal Credit with a household income of £722.45 or more in your last monthly assessment period.
You can find out more about eligibility and how to apply by visiting here.
Are you eligible for help with dental costs?
If you are coming up to State Pension age and are currently on a means-tested benefit that entitles you to free NHS dental care, such as ESA or Universal Credit. This does NOT automatically mean you will be entitled to help with dental costs when you move onto your State Pension only when you get Pension Credit beforehand.
However, you may qualify for free or reduced-cost treatment through the NHS Low Income Scheme if you have a low income, even if you are not on benefits.
If you would like help or advice to find out if you’re eligible, please get in touch with Jane White on 0800 054 6710.
Winter is coming!
If, like many of us, you have had your heating off for the past several months due to warmer weather and concerns over rising fuel bills, we urge you to check that your boiler is functioning well. It’s best to do this early in case you discover a fault.
Check your meters
Although the energy price cap is finally coming down, without the government’s additional £400 support this year and with standing charges rising in some cases, you may find your bills are still worryingly high compared to previous years.
Resident often contact Jane, our Welfare, Benefit and Debt Advisor, with concerns about high gas or electricity bills. This can happen for various reasons, but many residents discover they have been billed for months, sometimes years, based on estimates.
Make sure you have taken up to date meter readings and passed these on to your energy supplier either online or by the phone.
Remember, you will likely use more energy at home over the winter months. Don’t rush to reduce your direct debit just because you have a small credit on your account.
Warm home discount
If you have high energy costs, you can check if you’re eligible to receive the discount of £150 by using the government’s Warm Home Discount online tool.
Take care and stay safe!