Hertfordshire - Cost of living

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The resources below offer advice, and practical help in managing finances and making savings.

To support with the cost of living, Hertfordshire has been provided with funding from the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF). This funding will be used to help people in need with things like the cost of energy and food. We are working with a range of partners across the county to make sure we can get the right help to those who need it.

Residents are not able to apply directly for the Household Support Fund, however, if you need help or support you can call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 who may be able to help. If support is available, it will be based on your current situation and we may ask a few questions about your financial situation.

Also, you can visit the Hertfordshire website to find out more about the other resources available: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/news-archive/help-to-manage-the-cost-of-living

Supermarket vouchers can be provided to families receiving benefit related free school meals during the school holidays. Schools will contact parents and carers who are already in receipt of free school meals directly.

Check here if your eligible for free school meals: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/schools-and-education/at-school/free-school-meals/free-school-meals.aspx


Happy Camps

This is being funded this Christmas to help families when they need it most. If your child is eligible, make sure you have your code which is available through your school. For more information visit https://sportinherts.org.uk/booking


If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. We’ll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk based on cow’s milk


You can also use your card to collect:

Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding

vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

Previous voucher recipients must reapply to continue getting help. For more information and to check your eligibility and apply, visit https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/frequently-asked-questions/the-new-healthy-start-scheme/

HertsHelp is a countywide service that offers advice and practical support to people across Hertfordshire. They may be able to help with essentials like the cost of food and energy bills. They can also help if you're worried about finances and with emotional support and wellbeing.

If you need help, regardless of whether you qualify for benefits, call 0300 123 4044, email info@hertshelp.net or visit www.hertshelp.net

Your district or borough council may also contact you to offer support with the cost of energy directly.

Assistance with housing costs may be offered to people in crisis. This will be managed locally when a district or borough council identify a need for a resident.

If you're struggling to pay your rent and live in accommodation provided by a district or borough council, speak directly to your local housing office or link worker.

As part of the Household Support Fund, we're looking to provide financial support to those in receipt of pension credits. Letters will be delivered before the end of September. They'll explain how and where to collect a cash payment. It’s vital that this information is kept safe and not thrown away, we want everyone who's eligible to claim this payment.

Only the person the letter is addressed to can claim the voucher. If you or a family member can't get to the post office to cash your voucher, call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 and we'll try to help. To find out if you are eligible for pension credits, visit https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/eligibility.

Community groups, organisations and charities who work to reduce or improve food and energy poverty locally can apply for grants from our partnership with Hertfordshire Community Foundation at: https://www.hertscf.org.uk/householdsupport

HertsHelp can provide advice and put you in touch with a range of local services that can support you and your family. They can make referrals for the following;

emotional health and wellbeing safe and well visits from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service connecting you to local activities and groups volunteering opportunities.

If you need help, regardless of whether you qualify for benefits, call 0300 123 4044, email info@hertshelp.net or visit www.hertshelp.net.

Contact your district or borough council for help with Council Tax discounts, benefits, exemptions and for information on the £150 rebate scheme for some households

District and borough councils also deal with housing benefit for people over pension age who need some help with rent.

The £150 rebate scheme does not have to be repaid and will be paid into your bank account if you pay by direct debit or as a credit to your council tax account, for more information visit: gov.uk/guidance/council-tax-rebate-factsheet

StepChange is a charity that helps thousands of people overcome debt every week. They provide:

60-second debt test - answer a few simple questions to find out if you need debt advice, and what your next steps could be.

Debt Remedy tool - answer questions about your financial situation to understand what to do next, where to get further support and guidance and how to start to take control of your money.

Guide to the Breathing Space Scheme - this is a guide to the government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt.


Citizens Advice 

Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems. There are offices in every district across Hertfordshire and they can help with issues including: Benefits, Work, Debt and money, Consumer, Housing, Family, Law and courts, Immigration and Health and Social Care.

Contact them via email, telephone or request a face to face appointment: https://hertscitizensadvice.org.uk/contact-us/


Citizens Advice services available across Hertfordshire:

Crisis Intervention including Energy Advice

  • Welfare Benefit Appeals Support and representation
  • HERT Debt Advice
  • Universal Credit Support
  • Information and advice about issues with claiming Universal Credit
  • One-to-one help with budgeting advice
  • Help with managing an online Universal Credit account
  • Pension Wise
  • Employment Advice and Representation
  • Advice via British Sign Language
  • Help for Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas

Food banks are community organisations that can help if you can’t afford the food you need. You’ll usually need to get a referral to a food bank before you can use it.

A good place to ask for a referral is your nearest Citizens Advice. Tell them you need the food bank - they'll probably make you an appointment to discuss your situation with an adviser.  You can ask for a referral from an organisation that’s already supporting you - for example, a charity, school or children’s centre.

For more information on using food banks, visit: Using a food bank - Citizens Advice or visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/foodsupport

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