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Cost of Living Campaign

Published on 02 May 2023 12:48 PM

We know that the current cost of living is causing a lot of anxiety to older people and their families and that too many people are, or will, struggle with rising costs. We are sharing information and links to ensure that people are aware of and receiving all the support to which they are entitled. 

Pension Credit

You can check if you could be entitled to Pension Credit by following the link below to the national charity, Age UK, who hosts a free and anonymous Benefits Calculator.

Those in receipt of Pension Credit, which can be backdated up to three months, tops up the weekly income of a single pensioner to £182.60 or a pensioner couple to £278.70, (or higher in some circumstances).  Pension Credit comes in two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit and it’s separate from the State Pension.

Pension Credit also opens the door to a wide range of additional support, as well as automatically qualifying for the governments Cost of Living Payment, including:

  • A Cold Weather Payment of £25, paid automatically when the average temperature is 0°C or below over seven consecutive days
  • £140 off electricity bill thorough the Warm Home Discount Scheme (if eligible)
  • A free TV licence (if over-75)
  • Free NHS dental treatment and help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital
  • Help with Council Tax and rent
  • Cheaper phone and home broadband deals
  • Reduced water bills
  • An extra amount of Pension Credit for some carers worth up to £37.70 a week

To make a claim for Pension Credit, people should call the DWP Pension Credit claim line direct on 0800 99 1234 or visit  It can be claimed by phone, postal form and online. If you are struggling give our local Information and Advice officers a call on 0300 6669860 or email

Help with Energy Bills

With the cost of living having an impact on everyone's energy bills, it's important to understand what help is available and what cost of living payments you're eligible for.

The National Charity, Age UK has a page on their website offering information and advice on ways to get Government help with your energy bills:

Government help with energy bills - cost of living | Age UK

Help with Cost of Living

With the cost of living rising, we could all do with some extra money in our pockets and help keeping the cost of our energy bills down. No one wants to spend more on their energy bills than they have to. Find out what government support is available to help you with your bills and how you could save money by using energy more efficiently.

The National Charity, Age UK, has a useful page offering advice on:

  • Help with energy bills
  • Boosting your income
  • Managing money
  • Looking after your health

Help with the cost of living | Age UK

Warm Spaces

Many people will find it harder to heat their homes due to the increase in energy costs. There are many organisations, churches, libraries and other venues that are opening their doors to people for free providing a welcoming warm space. These warm spaces also offer an opportunity to connect with people locally. You can find your local warm spaces here

Find a Warm Welcome Space Today

Food Banks/Aid

Food banks are community organisations that can help if you can't afford the food you need. You'll usually need to get a referral to a food bank before you can use it.

Here are links to the locations of local Food Banks (N.B. There may be others)

Search by area on Trussell Trust website:




Ely/East Cambs

St Neots/Hunts

South Cambs

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit that you might be able to claim if you need help with care or have an illness or disability.

There are two different weekly rates, and the amount you get depends on how much help you need. Any money you do receive doesn't need to be spent on your care.

Am I eligible to claim Attendance Allowance?

You can claim Attendance Allowance if you meet all the following criteria:

  • You're over State Pension age (if you haven't reached it, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment instead).
  • You have any type of disability or physical or mental illness, including sight or hearing impairments and conditions such as dementia.
  • You could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, or supervision to keep you safe during the day or night.
  • You have needed help for at least 6 months. But if you’re terminally ill you can make a claim straight away.

The other benefits you get can increase if you get Attendance Allowance.

You do not have to have someone caring for you in order to claim.

Please read the Age UK Attendance Allowance Guide or Attendance Allowance Factsheet

How do I claim Attendance Allowance?

To make a claim, you have to fill out the Attendance Allowance claim form. There are a couple of ways to get your form. You can:

When filling out the form, be really clear about how your illness or disability affects your life and attach any supporting information, such as GP letters, your care plans, or prescription lists. 

Once you've submitted your form, the Department of Work and Pensions may contact you for more information or arrange a visit from a doctor. It's a good idea to prepare for this visit by writing down things you think the doctor should know about. 

You'll get a letter about whether or not you’ll get Attendance Allowance, how much, and from what date. If you’re not happy with the decision, you can appeal.

If you would like support, please contact our local Information and Advice officers to help you. Call us on 0300 6669860 or email

Find out more: Attendance Allowance: Overview - GOV.UK (

Energy Bill Support if you do not get it automatically

Most households in England, Scotland and Wales get a £400 discount on their energy bills automatically. In some cases, you do not get the discount automatically, for example if you:

  • Pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner
  • Live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid

Eligible homes

You may be eligible to apply if your main home is:

  • a residential park home
  • on a boat on a permanent residential mooring
  • on a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site
  • part of a heat network without an electricity meter
  • in social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
  • off the mains electricity or gas grid
  • in a care home or assisted living facility and you pay for some or all of your care (directly or through loss of pension or other benefits)
  • in a separate domestic home within a non-domestic property (such as a farmhouse or a flat above a shop)

Check your eligibility and apply online

Free Prescriptions for over 60's

You may be entitled to help with NHS health costs, depending on your age and circumstances.

What help could I get with prescription charges and health costs?

Everyone aged over 60 gets free prescriptions. If you're under 60 you can save money on prescriptions by buying prescription prepayment certificates from the NHS for 3 or 12 months. This covers all your prescriptions for that period, regardless of how many you need.

If you’re 60 or over you're also entitled to a free NHS sight test, so you should let your optician know when you reach 60.

Depending on your circumstances, you could also get help with the following:

  • NHS dental treatment
  • the cost of glasses or contact lenses
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports
  • travel costs to receive NHS treatment.

Find out more about prescription prepayment certificates on the NHS website

Am I eligible for free prescriptions and health costs?

You'll qualify for help with the NHS costs mentioned above if you or your partner receive any of the following benefits:

If you don’t receive any of these benefits but have a low income, you may still be eligible for some help with health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme. You can either apply for the NHS Low Income Scheme online or by post. 

Want more information?

Information Guide

Health Costs fact sheet

Cost of living Information and Advice

Age UK has now published our “Keeping the lights on” report, which displays the impact of the cost of living crisis on older people’s emotional wellbeing and the pressures they face with meeting their essential costs.

“Keeping the lights on”, shows that in January 2023 around 800,000 older people reported recently leaving their homes to make use of public spaces like public buildings, shopping centres, warm banks, or public transport in a bid to keep warm.

This data, alongside powerful first hand accounts, makes the case for a radical rethink of how we view energy. Heat and power should no longer be seen as a commodity but as an essential right which must be fully accessible to those struggling to make ends meet.

The report makes the case for the Government to use the Budget to introduce and directly fund a 50% discount on energy bills for those in greatest need.

This ‘social tariff’ is essential if we want to confront head on the devastating impacts of fuel poverty on older people and those of all ages struggling to heat and power their homes.

Read our partner national charity, Age UK's, report here: age-uk-energy-public-policy-report-march-2023.pdf (

Our previous information

We are very aware of the struggles people are facing with the cost of living increases. Here is the link to a previous news story of ours, where we share various sources of support.