THOUSANDS of struggling households can get up to £2,400 in free cash to help pay for the rising cost of living.
There are a number of charities dishing out help for households for the soaring cost of food, energy and essentials.
1Here’s how to get cash to help with the rising cost of livingCredit: Getty
The Royal British Legion has today launched a new scheme for veterans and their families.
The charity will give out emergency grants of up to £2,400 a year – which works out at £200 a month – to help those eligible pay for energy bills.
There around around 2million veterans in the UK, but the charity has not confirmed how many people are eligible for the help.
To get the help, you must have served, or are serving, in the armed forces, which includes roles in:
Royal Air Force
As there are a large number of roles covered by the Royal British Legion’s, its best to check whether you are eligible by checking on its website.
Families, dependents and carers of those who have served in the armed forces can also get the help.
It said that there are a number of people more likely to qualify for the help.
This includes households with children and those with long-term illness and disabilities.
Grants are means-tested, but those who are in financial need should explain how they are struggling.
For more information and if you want to apply, head to the charity’s website.
The Royal British Legion’s Executive director of services Antony Baines said: “Over the last year we have issued 20% more grants to some members of the Armed Forces community who simply cannot make ends meet.
“We sadly expect these figures to rise further, particularly over the winter months.”
What other charities give out grants?
The Royal Legion isn’t the only charity handing out grants.
Cancer charity Macmillan has made cash grants available to those living with cancer, with a £3.5million pot of cash on offer.
Anyone living with cancer and who needs help with bills and other essentials can apply for the grant.
It’s worth up to £350 and is a one-off payment that is means-tested.
To apply you can call 0808 808 00 00 or you can speak to one of your healthcare team, like a district nurse or Macmillan nurse, care professional or benefits adviser who can fill in the form with you online.
The Fuel Bank Foundation is offering support as well.
Families can get £49 worth of fuel vouchers in the winter months, and £30 from April 1 to October 31.
To apply for the help, you’ll need to contact Citizens Advice, a social worker or a GP to refer you to a foodbank.
Charity Charis manages energy funds and grants on behalf of a number of big energy companies.
The Charis Let’s Talk Energy Fund means you can get help paying your bills as well as replacing pricey appliances like boilers.
You can register your interest for the fund when it reopens here.
What other help can I get?
If you’re not eligible for help from charities or your application was rejected, you might be able to get help from other schemes.
If you’re specifically struggling with energy bills then there’s help available, whether you’re facing cancer or not.
In the first instance it’s best to speak to your supplier directly if you are struggling to pay your bill or are worried about falling behind.
It’s best to do this sooner rather than later as failed direct debit payments could cost you extra and affect your credit score.
Many suppliers run their own schemes offering help, or have charitable trusts to help pay arrears.
British Gas Energy Trust, for example, runs a scheme where anyone can apply for a grant, and you don’t even have to be a customer.
Other firms that offer grants just to their customers include:
Your local council may also be able to help with cash and grants if you are struggling with bills through the Household Support Scheme
The winter fuel payment scheme, where those getting the state pension can get between £100 and £300 to offset the cost of keeping their homes warm.
Low income households can get £25 a week to help with energy bills during the winter thanks to the cold weather payment scheme too.
The warm home discount scheme means you can get a £150 payment that goes toward your heating costs – but you need to act quick as this scheme has already closed at most energy suppliers.
You could be eligible for a budgeting loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for six months.
But while this can help cover some costs like if your boiler breaks down and you need to replace it, or you need to buy new energy appliances, like a washing machine or tumble dryer, you will need to pay the money back.
So check the other non-repayable help you could get first.
If you’re worried about paying bills, falling behind or are in debt, there are plenty of organisations where you can seek advice for free, including: