Cost of living help

Last reviewed: Friday 4 August

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

On Tuesday 1 August, the council launched a consultation asking residents for their views on the options for how low-income households in Bristol will be supported to pay their council tax.

Bristol City Council currently provides a Council Tax Reduction scheme that helps people on a low income with up to 100% of their Council Tax costs. The Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation has now launched, in line with a Budget commitment to review the scheme for 2024/25. It will run until midnight on Monday 25 September 2023.

Last reviewed: Wednesday 5th July

Government cost of living payments guidance

GOV.UK has put together a helpful guide to help you understand the payments you may be eligible for and how you will receive these.
You may be able to get payments to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits, including:

  • Low-income benefits and tax credits Cost of Living Payment
  • Disability Cost of Living Payment
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

The page also provides an update on how to report missing cost of living payments to ensure you are receiving the correct support.
Find out more on the GOV.UK site:

Cost of Living payments 2023-24

Update: Energy bill support portal

The online application portal to apply for £400 of non-repayable help with your fuel bills is now closed.

You can contact the helpline team to get help with an existing application.


Contact the helpline team

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0808 175 3287
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges


What you need to know

If you applied before the service closed, you’ll be told about the progress of your application by email or letter. You should get a response within 6 weeks.

Your local council will check you live at the address you applied for.

If you’re eligible, your council will arrange a one-off payment. You do not need to repay this money.

Update: Friday 29 July

Energy Bill Grant

The UK government is offering a £400 energy bill grant from October 2022 to all households with a domestic electricity connection. Households without a domestic supply contract are therefore not eligible for this scheme.

Many housing associations, like Brunelcare, hold the supply contract with the energy supplier, which means their customers are not eligible. We understand that this news is disappointing and the rising energy costs are concerning.

The government does recognise that some households do not benefit from the same consumer protections as households with a direct domestic supply contract, and we are urging them to review this.

Brunelcare is working with the National Housing Federation on a national campaign urging the government to provide targeted financial support for tenants without a domestic supply contract so they receive the same protection and support as domestic energy customers.

We are encouraging all our customers to write to their local MP to highlight the need for urgent support for those without a domestic supply contract.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024, you will get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023.

The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment (including the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment) you will get for winter 2023 to 2024 depends on when you were born and your circumstances during the qualifying dates.

You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 if you were born before 25 September 1957.

This guidance will be updated with the qualifying dates for the payment when they are published.

You will be sent a letter in October or November telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you’ll get if you’re eligible.

Cost of Living payments scam

There are people attempting to get personal information from customers by sending out texts suggesting that customers are eligible for Cost of Living payments.

If you’ve had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.

If you’re eligible for Cost of Living payments:

  • you’ll be paid automatically
  • you do not need to apply for payment
  • you do not need to call or speak to anyone

The payment is automatic. DWP will never ask for personal details by text or email.

Visit the government website:

for information on Cost of Living payments 

to report internet scams and phishing

Other help

Find out what other benefits and financial support you might be able to get to help with your living costs.

Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what benefits you could get.

You may be able to get other kinds of support, including:

Pension credit

You may be eligible for pension credit, even if you own a home or have savings. Find out more at gov.uk/pension-credit.