Information and advice, to assist with the cost of living can be found below.
Topics include Energy Bill Support (Pre-Payment Metre Voucher Scheme), Benefits Rates, Disabled Facilities Grant, Concessionary Transport, NHS Prescriptions/Health Costs and Broadband.
Energy Bill Support Pre-Payment Metre Voucher Scheme
If your Household is using traditional pre-payment meters to pay for energy the government are urging customers to redeem their Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) vouchers before the deadline on Friday 30 June. The EBSS vouchers allow eligible pre-payment meter customers, often in low-income homes, to access the EBSS discount of up to £400 on their energy costs, which other customers received automatically over the winter.
What Pre-payment meter users need to do?
If you are a Traditional pre-payment meter user then you can approach your local Post Office or PayPoint, taking along your EBSS voucher, energy pre-payment key or card and the ID specified in the voucher letter and the voucher can then be redeemed for you at the counter.
Please check your post, emails and texts to ensure that you haven’t missed any vouchers. Vouchers are valid for 3 months, so if you have an expired voucher, you need to contact your electricity supplier as soon as possible and ask for a new one to be sent out to you.
For more information, please click on the link below. You can also find out more in the official poster.
Age UK East London Energy Doctor
Age UK East London have partnered with Havering Council to launch a new Energy Doctors service to aid residents in tackling the cost of living crisis.
What is this service for?
The Energy Doctors service is here to help Havering residents save money on energy bills and get their homes ready for next winter, by offering professional advice on energy efficiency and making small changes and repairs to their homes.
The free service is open to all residents in the borough, though appointments will be prioritised for those most vulnerable to fuel poverty.
Expert Energy Doctors are available to visit residents’ homes to carry out energy assessments, which will identify areas where energy is being wasted and provide tailored advice on how to make savings.
The teams can also make small repairs where possible, including fitting draught excluders and radiator reflectors, along with swapping older lightbulbs for energy efficient bulbs to reduce energy consumption. They can also give advice on tackling issues with mould and condensation.
Please note that larger jobs such as loft insulation, home cladding, new windows and boilers are not covered under this service but we will refer you on to their sister partner Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering who will be able to support you through their information and advice team.
For further information please click on the link below:
Telephone: 02030 111241
2023/2024 Benefits Rates
Every year, many benefits rates change. This link gives details of the changes this year. Please click on the link below for more information.
Disabled Facilities Grant
Disabled Facilities Grant is available to adapt your home. You may be eligible for financial support from your council to make small adaptations to your home.
You could get a grant from your council if you’re disabled and need to make changes to your home. For example if you:
· are physically disabled
· have a learning disability
· have age-related needs
· are autistic
· have a cognitive impairment, like dementia
· have a progressive condition, like motor neurone disease
· have a terminal illness
· have a mental health condition
You might need to:
· widen doors and install ramps or grab rails
· improve access to rooms and facilities, for example with a stairlift, or level access shower
· improve access to your garden
· build an extension, for example a downstairs bedroom
· provide a heating system suitable for your needs
· adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
To get a grant, you or someone else living in the house must:
· be disabled
· intend to live in the property during the grant period (usually 5 years but this can be shorter, for example, if the person is terminally ill)
The person who submits the application must be either the:
The council needs to be happy that the work is:
· necessary and appropriate to meet the disabled person’s needs
· reasonable and can be done, depending on the age and condition of the property
The work should be completed within 12 months of the grant being approved.
The Disabled Facilities Grant is a means-tested grant for people aged 18 years or over, so the amount you could get depends on your household income and savings.
A means test looks at your income and savings, together with those of your spouse or partner, if you have one. The first £6,000 of household savings are exempted from the means test.
Each local authority has its own policy for the means test, so you would need to contact your local council.
Please click on the link for the borough that you live in for more information.
London Borough of Havering:
London Borough of Redbridge:
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham:
If you're 60 or over or you have a disability, you might be eligible for concessions/discounts for public transport. This can include discounts on your rail journeys, free bus pass, taxi card. Please click on the link below for more information
NHS Prescriptions/Health Costs
If you are aged over 60 you get free prescriptions. If you are under 60 you can save money on prescriptions by buying prescription prepayment certificates from the NHS for 3 or 12 months. If you are in receipt of certain qualifying benefits then you may qualify for free prescriptions.
If you don’t receive any qualifying benefits but have a low income, you may still be eligible for some help with health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme. For more information please click on the link below.
NHS Low Income Scheme
Social Tariffs – Broadband
Social tariffs are discounted mobile and broadband deals for people in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and other qualifying benefits. They are also referred to as ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ tariffs by some providers. They are delivered in the same way as normal packages but at a lower rate.
A large number of broadband providers now offer discounted social tariff products, with some offering deals which could save you around 50% compared to other tariffs.
For more information please click on the link below.
If you are not in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits and would like a Benefit Check to check entitlement then you can speak to a member of our Advice & Information Team. We can support you with benefits checks and benefits form filling.
Alternatively you can use the benefit check calculator below to check if you qualify for any benefits.