Introduction

This document provides information on where to find additional financial assistance in the form of grants, loans and other national schemes.   The content will provide a summary of the type of financial support available and sign post the reader to the relevant website(s) for further information.

Government Grants

This sections will provide information on various grants which are available via various government schemes listed below:

1. Green Homes Grant
From September 2020 homeowners are able to apply for a £5,000 Green Homes Grant voucher to pay for the installation of energy saving home improvements. Refer to https://www.government-grants.co.uk/  for further information.

2. Insulation Grants
Utility funded grants are currently available for loft Insulation, cavity wall insulation and solid wall insulation. Grants of up to 100% covering the whole of the installation costs are available for most areas of England Scotland and Wales regardless of the utility company you use. Refer to https://www.government-grants.co.uk/  for further information.

3. Air Source Heat Pump Grants
Grants are available through the Renewable Heat Incentive to partially or fully cover installation costs. Grants of up to £12,000 are available for new installations. Grants cannot be applied retrospectively towards existing systems. Finance can also be provided for UK residents as well as interest free loans through the Energy Saving Trust (Scotland Only.) Refer to https://www.government-grants.co.uk/  for further information.

4. Ground Source Heat Pump Grant
Grants are available through the Renewable Heat Incentive to partially or fully cover installation costs. Grants of up to £31,500 are available for new installations. Grants cannot be applied retrospectively towards existing systems. Finance can also be provided for UK residents as well as interest free loans through the Energy Saving Trust (Scotland Only.)
Refer to https://www.government-grants.co.uk/  for further information.

5. Attic Room Insulation Grant
If you have an attic room (accessed by a solid staircase) you could be eligible for significant improvements to bring the attic space up to current building regulations. Refer to https://www.government-grants.co.uk/  for further information.

6. Disabled Facilities Grant
You could get a grant from your council if you are disabled and need to make changes to your home, for example to:

- You could get a grant from your council if you are disabled and need to make changes to your home, for example to:
- Widen doors and install ramps
- Improve access to rooms and facilities - e.g.  stair lifts or a downstairs bathroom
- Provide a heating system suitable for your needs
- Adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
A Disabled Facilities Grant will not effect any benefit you get.  Refer to https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants for further information.

7. Free Boiler Grants

Under the Governments ECO Scheme in 2020, qualifying home owners could have their old in-efficient boilers replaced completely free of charge, or heavily subsidised via a new boiler grant. If you qualify, a local, approved company would contact you to complete the installation of your new boiler. This service is free to use. Refer to https://www.boilergrants.org.uk/ for further information.

8. Flexible Support Fund
The Flexible Support Fund is a Government Grant to help you with the cost of getting a job. It is offered by local Jobcentres at the discretion of Jobcentre Plus advisers. The maximum you can receive is £150. The money can be used for clothes, uniforms, training (up to £150), child care or tools for work.
Contact your local Jobcentre or your Jobcentre Plus adviser if you think you could benefit from this grant.
The Sure Start Maternity Grant
This grant is a one off payment which is available for any one already claiming benefits, or expecting their first child, expecting twins or triplets and already have children. You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within six months after the baby is born. 
Refer to https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant for more information.

Universal Credit – Discounts

If you are on Universal Credit or a “low income family” on the old benefit scheme you may be able to get extra discounts to help with day to day costs.

1. Council Tax Discount
Council Tax can account for a significant part of your income, those on low income or on Universal Credit can often get a council tax discount. You can apply for a scheme run by your local council.   Depending on your local council scheme, you may be entitled to a discount as a percentage you pay, receive a set amount or the whole amount.
All you need to do is provide details of your household income; including the benefits you receive, how many children you have, and the number of people living in your home and how long you have lived there. Refer to https://www.gov.uk/apply-council-tax-reduction for further information and eligibility.

2. Capped Water Bills
WaterSure is a scheme that caps water bills of low income customers; charging them the amount of the average household bill for your water company.  Those eligible will not be charged extra if more than the average amount is used.  To qualify for the scheme you need to be in receipt of one or more of the following benefits; Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Tax Credits, Pension Credits or Income –related Employment Support Allowance.
Refer to https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/customer-assistance/watersure/ for further information.
 

3. Healthy Start Food Vouchers
Healthy Start Food Vouchers are vouchers that can be used to buy healthy foods. They are for pregnant people and people who are responsible for children under the age of 4. Healthy Start Food Vouchers can be exchanged for plain cows' milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk.
Refer to https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Healthy-Start-Food-Vouchers/Wh... for further information.
 

4. Free School Meals
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit or Job Seekers allowance you may be entitled to apply for free school meals. You might be able to claim through your school or through your local authority. Refer to https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals for further information.
 

5. Money Towards School Uniforms
Households receiving Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, Child Tax Credits Employment Support Allowance and pension Credit may be entitled to support with buying school uniforms and PE Kit. Those who earn less then £16,190,  may also be eligible. The amount you can receive will vary depending on where you live i.e. England Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Refer to https://www.gov.uk/help-school-clothing-costs for more information on further information. 
 

6. Half Price Bus or Rail Fares
The Job Centre Plus travel card is free and cuts the cost of travelling on public transport by 50 percent for those outside of London. They are accepted by all train operators In England, Scotland and Wales.
Transport for London accepts them, and you can save money by purchasing a weekly or monthly travel card at a child’s rate in London.
They are available for those unemployed but looking for work, and those who claim Job Seekers Allowance.
If you have been claiming Universal Credit for 3 to 9 months and are between 18 and 24 you may be entitled to this travel card.
If you are 25 or older you will need to have been claiming benefits for three months to a year to be eligible.
Refer to   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-to-help-with-the-cost... for further information on help with various transport costs.
 

7. Free School Transport
All children between the ages of five and 16 qualify for free school transport if they attend their nearest suitable school and live at least:
- Two miles from the school if they are under eight
- Three miles from the school if they are eight or older
If there is no safe walking route, they must be given free transport, no matter how far from school they live.
Refer to https://www.gov.uk/free-school-transport for further information.

Turn-2-Us

Turn2us supports people in financial need through the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund, Turn2us Response Fund and Turn2us Edinburgh Trust. The Edinburgh Response Fund for Covid-19 is open for people living in the Edinburgh area. Refer to https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Get-support/Turn2us-Funds for more information. 
Please note that the Turn-2-Us Helpline cannot answer any questions about either the Coronavirus Grant Fund or the Edinburgh Response Fund for Covid-19.

The Turn-2-Us website also provides a search tool of charities which offer non-repayable grants to help individuals on low incomes. Refer to https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/ for more information. 

Stay Connected

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Get Online @ Home is an initiative run by Computer Recyclers UK who provide low cost refurbished computers, and they work in partnership with Carphone Warehouse who help you compare the best broadband packages in your area and can help find the right deal for your home.  Refer to https://www.getonlineathome.org/  for information on affordable computers/laptops and broadband deals.


BT – Broadband on Benefits
People receiving Government support can get heavily discounted phone bills with BT Basic. BT Basic is a low-cost package that broadband providers run at a loss, in order to meet their Universal Service commitment.
Basic aims to keep phones ringing in the most vulnerable households by charging just £5.16 a month. This comes with a call allowance of £1.50, plus free weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (lasting up to 60 minutes). There is also a monthly £10 price cap for UK home phones and mobiles.
Refer to https://www.choose.co.uk/guide/bt-basic-broadband-on-benefits.html for further information.