Cost of Living Support

The increased cost of living is having a huge impact on all our communities across our district. It’s a difficult time for everyone, especially as the winter draws in. There is a huge amount of support available and this page will give you the information you need to seek the help you require.

Whether you’re looking for support with energy bills, food, or living essentials, our cost of living information hub can help you access the right support.

If you know of someone who is unable to access this information online but may be eligible for any of the support listed on this page, please encourage them to call our customer service team on 01444 458166 so we can assist them directly.

Food and Essentials Support

The Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund scheme supports vulnerable households in need of help with the increased cost of living. Mid Sussex District Council has been allocated funding by the Department of Work and Pensions to support residents in need across the district.

The fund is intended to cover a wide range of low-income households in need, including:

  • Families with children of all ages
  • Pensioners
  • Unpaid carers
  • Care leavers
  • Disabled people
What costs can I get help with?

You or someone you may know can get help with food and white goods costs through a voucher scheme.

How will I receive the financial help?

If you qualify, vouchers will be issued directly to you.

How do I know if I am eligible?

The eligibility criteria is as follows:

  1. Low income families identified as financially vulnerable
  2. Individuals/households in crisis, identified by self-referral, internally by service departments, external professional partners, and family/friends.
  3. Those with caring responsibilities identified as financially vulnerable.
  4. Households with disabled persons identified as financially vulnerable
  5. Those identified as victims of domestic abuse identified as financially vulnerable
  6. Older people on low incomes/benefits identified as financially vulnerable
  7. Families with children under school age identified as financially vulnerable
  8. Those with mental health needs identified as financially vulnerable
  9. Housing Benefit customers who have missed out on DWP cost of living payments.
  10. Those housed in temporary accommodation out of the area
  11. Those in temporary accommodation in the area
How can I apply?

To apply, please click the button below and complete the form.

We require the following evidence to be submitted with your completed application.

  • Proof of ID such as your driving licence, passport, birth certificate or bus pass
  • 2 months bank statements for all account held by you and your partner, if these do not show your current address we will also need to see a recent utility or Council Tax bill.

Please note if you have more than £1000 in savings you may not be eligible for the Household Support Fund.

If you are not able to upload this evidence to the application form you can email it to us at hsf@midsussex.gov.uk

Apply here - The Household Support Fund

Or if you’d prefer to speak to someone on the telephone, please call the customer service team on 01444 458166. 

 

Food Banks, Low Cost and Free Food

Mid Sussex Voluntary Action who leads on the Mid Sussex Food Partnership group have created a dedicated webpage to signpost you to a range of local community support. 

The webpage provides information on food banks, how to access low cost and free food, food saving ideas and other forms of support such as NHS healthy start vouchers. You can find all this information on their website.

Visit: www.msva.org.uk/get-help-with-food or call: 07887325816

Energy support

Boiler upgrade scheme

This scheme provides funding for premises owners (residential or business) to install heat pumps (or biomass boilers) to replace fossil fuel boilers to help energy efficiency/long-term cost saving for residents.

For more information visit the government website: www.gov.uk/apply-boiler-upgrade-scheme/check-if-youre-eligible.

Energy saving with LEAP 

LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) provides free support for lower income households across West Sussex. They offer Home Energy visits and can install free energy- saving features. There is also telephone support for money advice, information and referrals to other services, schemes, grants and support with bills.

Call: 0800 060 7567 or email: support@applyforleap.org.uk or visit: www.applyforleap.org.uk.

Warmer Homes Programme

The Warmer Homes Programme offers a range of energy-efficiency improvements up to £25,000 for eligible Mid Sussex residents until March 2025. It covers various upgrades, including insulation, heating, and solar panels. Funding is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For further information about the programme, visit: https://www.warmerhomes.org.uk/

To check if you’re eligible, and to apply, visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-home-upgrade-grant

Energy advice and information

On the West Sussex affordable energy website, you can find a range of trusted information from local services by going to the ‘Advice’ section and selecting ‘Mid Sussex District Council’. There are also energy-saving tips, heating advice, grants and up to date information on the latest government schemes.

Visit the website: www.westsussexenergy.co.uk.

Further Advice

For further information and advice on home energy efficiency, please see our ‘Net Zero Home’ webpage. A Net Zero Home - Mid Sussex District Council

If you are a business looking for support, please visit the ‘Net Zero Business’ webpage (A Net Zero Business - Mid Sussex District Council)  or the Business Support page (Business Support - Mid Sussex District Council).

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The money is not paid directly to you, but is a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024. You’ll usually get the discount automatically if you’re eligible.

If you are eligible, you’ll get a letter by early January 2024. If you do not get a letter and you think you’re eligible, you must contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before 29 February 2024.

For more information, visit: www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme

Housing Support

There is a wide range of housing support available including help to stay in your home, sheltered housing for older people, and support for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The sooner you get in touch with us for support, the sooner we can help you, regardless of your situation.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact us via email: at housingadvice@midsussex.gov.uk or call: 01444 477574 or visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/housing-council-tax/housing-support/

Financial Support

If you are struggling to pay your bills or rent, visit our benefits pages where you can find details of a range of support available.

Council Tax support

Help may be available with Council Tax payments in two ways, firstly for those on low incomes or via a second adult rebate based on the income of certain adults in your household. You can find further information, help and advice about the support scheme on our Benefits and Council Tax Support pages

Pension credit

Find out if you or someone you know could get Pension Credit to top up your weekly income if you are over state pension age. Receiving pension credit can also give you access to additional help, such as help with heating bills, housing costs and a free TV licence if you’re over 75.

Visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/pension-credit/

Health and Wellbeing Support

The Mid Sussex Wellbeing service is a joint initiative provided by both Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council. The Wellbeing service can help you to find local wellbeing information and services.

You can get advice and support on how to make small changes to improve your health and wellbeing such as looking after your mental health, debt and money advice, how to stop smoking, how to become more active or how to make your meals healthier. Free face to face or telephone outreach appointments with the wellbeing team are also available.

Find out more on the Mid Sussex Wellbeing website: www.midsussex.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/      

Disability Support

The Disabled Facilities Grant

The Disabled Facilities Grant is a grant of up to £30,000 to assist disabled residents live safely and more independently in their own homes. Grants are accessible to homeowners, renters in private or social housing, and mobile home residents. Adaptations can be made for both adults and children, with no means-test for child applications.

There are also additional grants available for eligible home improvements, such as enhancing electrical and gas safety and repairing boilers. It may also apply during palliative care. To find out more: contact the Housing Standards Team on 01444 477300 or email: housingstandards@midsussex.gov.uk.

Useful contacts

There are many organisations and charities locally and nationally that also offer help to those who need it. If you know of an organisation that should be included within this list, please email: comms@midsussex.gov.uk.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice in West Sussex offers advice and assistance to thousands of people every year. They provide help with various problems such as managing debt, understanding rights at work, or housing issues. They also offer specialised services in debt, homelessness, and employment.

Call: 0808 278 7969 or visit: www.advicewestsussex.org.uk.

Ofgem (support and guidance with your energy bills and supplier)

Ofgem are the energy regulator for Great Britain. They provide guidance and support for you to understand what help you are entitled to, your energy rights, advice if you need extra help, have difficulties with your supply or if you want to make a complaint. There are also tips on switching suppliers, government grants, benefits and energy efficiency schemes. 

Visit: www.ofgem.gov.uk

Step Change

Step Change debt Charity can provide help and advice if you’re worried about not being able to keep up to date with energy payments or if you already have arrears on your energy bills. You can get debt advice online 24/7 or if you prefer to speak to someone call their debt advice helpline. 

Call 0800 138 1111 or visit: www.stepchange.org

Turn2Us

Turn2Us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. They provide an A-Z on benefits, a benefits calculator, and grants search facility.

Visit: www.turn2us.org.uk/Get-Support    

Sussex Mental Healthline

The Sussex Mental Healthline offers listening support, advice, information, and signposting to anyone experiencing difficulties, or who may be in crisis and in urgent need of help, with their mental health. 

Call 0800 0309 500, 24 hours a day.

Age UK

Age UK offers a free and confidential information and advice service for people over 50, their families and carers. Support for older people in our community is provided via a range of support services such as home help, emergency welfare and safety support, support at home after hospital, doorstep deliveries and telephone befriending. 

A range of activities and community café are available at the Age UK centre in Haywards Heath with further community wide activities on offer.

To find out more visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/westsussexbrightonhove/activities-and-events/mid-sussex/

The Community Connections Directory

The Community Connections Directory of Services for Older People in Mid Sussex has been developed in partnership with organisations working with, and for, older people in Mid Sussex.

It provides easily accessible information about services for older people in the form of a directory available both online and in printed form, covering:

  • Health matters
  • Money Advice
  • Transport
  • Support at Home
  • Support in the Community
  • Staying Safe
  • Dementia Services

Visit: www.community-connections.org.uk/

Carers Support West Sussex

Carers Support West Sussex offer a range of services to help support carers from counselling and access to relaxation therapies to a carer wellbeing fund, support groups and carer response online.  

To talk to one of the team, book into one of their dedicated phone surgeries and chose a date and time suitable to you. Call: 0300 028 8888 or visit: www.carerssupport.org.uk/local-mid-sussex/

 

Last updated: 19 January 2024