Wandsworth - Cost of living

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To help with the rising cost of energy bills, the government announced that eligible households will receive a one-off £150 energy rebate payment, which won't have to be repaid. To help with rising energy costs, the Government announced that eligible households in Council Tax Bands A-D (or in band E and qualifying for the disabled band reduction) would receive a one-off £150 'energy rebate payment'. This would be payable to the person liable for Council Tax and would not have to be repaid. This was known as the 'mandatory energy rebate scheme'.

This is not the same as the government £400 energy support scheme, which is administered by your energy supplier and not the local authority. The deadline to apply for the payment to be made direct to a designated bank account has now passed.

Instead, all eligible households in bands A-D who did not apply for their energy rebate payment, have been credited with the £150 directly to their Council Tax account. We are in the process of writing to all those households to let them know.

You will qualify for the £150 energy rebate payment if:

You were liable for Council Tax as one of the persons named on the bill on 1 April 2022

Your property is in Council Tax Bands A to D (or in Band E and qualify for the disabled band reduction) and is occupied as someone's sole or main residence (the energy rebate should not be claimed for unoccupied or second homes)

Your property is not a house in multiple occupation HMO (occupied by multiple households occupying separate, secure bedsits, whilst sharing communal areas), as these do not qualify for the rebate. You are not exempt from paying Council Tax.

  • You do not pay Council Tax due to one of the following exemptions:
  • Your property is occupied solely by students (Class N)
  • Your property is occupied only by a person, or persons under 18 (Class S)
  • Your property is occupied by people who are severely mentally impaired (Class U)
  • Your property is an annexe occupied by a dependant relative (Class W)
  • You do not pay full Council Tax because you are in receipt of means tested Council Tax Reduction

It’s important to make sure you get all the help you are entitled to. You may be able to claim benefits and tax credits if you are working or unemployed, sick or disabled, a parent, a young person, an older person or a veteran.

Website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/

Online benefits calculator: https://cawandsworth.org/get-advice/benefits/#1569247039321-a43c2881-8d4be757-0867

Telephone: 0808 278 7873

Universal credit is a single payment benefit, which replaces several previous benefits. It is designed to help people on low-incomes or out of work with their living costs.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Telephone: 0800 328 5644

For help, you can visit: https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

The MoneyHelper Bill Prioritiser can help you put your bills in the right order and tell you what to do if you are struggling to pay. Website: https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/money-troubles/way-forward/bill-prioritiser

If you receive benefits or tax credits you could be eligible for additional payments from the government. Find out more about https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment

Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. Pension Credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges. You might get extra help if you’re a carer, severely disabled, or responsible for a child or young person.

Pension Credit is separate from your State Pension. You can get Pension Credit even if you have other income, savings or own your own home. Use the Pension Credit Calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator to find out if you are eligible and how much you could get.

Crisis payments are awarded to cover short-term needs which prevent serious risk to the health and safety of a person or their family. The payments are intended to meet one-off needs rather than on-going expenses.

Crisis Assistance provides support by way of supermarket vouchers that can be used for groceries and fuel vouchers for pre-payment meters.

This support can be in the form of:

  • Supermarket vouchers that can be used for groceries
  • Fuel vouchers for pre-payment meters

Find out more and apply for Crisis Assistance: https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/housing/benefits-and-support/discretionary-support-grants/apply-for-crisis-assistance-for-food-and-fuel/

Citizens Advice Wandsworth provide specialist advice on a range of issues such as claiming benefits, employment issues, housing, immigration, debt, tax, advice for EU citizens etc.

Website: https://cawandsworth.org/get-advice/debt-money/

Website: Only Benefits Calculator https://www.entitledto.co.uk/benefits-calculator/Intro/Home?cid=d0d64de9-38ff-4da7-ab89-ae71fb830110

Telephone: 080 8278 7833 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm)


AgeUK Wandsworth

Age UK Wandsworth provide specialist welfare benefits and financial support service for older people; advising them on the types of benefits and grants available to them, support to fill out the applications and making applications on their behalf if necessary. Home visits are offered, if needed.

Website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/wandsworth/ 

Telephone: 020 8877 8940


Crosslight Advice

Crosslight helps people with debt or money worries, including free face-to-face advice, money education and budgeting support.

Telephone: 020 7052 0318

Website: https://www.crosslightadvice.org/

If you're on a low income you may be able to get help with paying your rent and your Council Tax. You may also be eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.


Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are for people receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, including a housing element, who require further financial assistance with housing costs because their benefit does not cover their full rent.

The scheme is not part of normal Housing Benefits or Universal Credit. As the name suggests it is awarded at the discretion of the local authority.

The money comes from a cash limited fund so an award of DHP is usually only paid for a limited period.

Anybody already in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit who requires extra financial assistance with housing costs can apply.

There are no set rules about what reasons make a person eligible to receive DHP. We will look carefully at each request and take into account any special circumstances that contribute to the need for the DHP. You cannot receive DHP to meet a shortfall in your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit because of:

  • Ineligible service charge, for example water rates
  • Increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
  • Certain sanctions and reductions in benefit

Apply in writing and provide as much detail as possible so that we can fully consider your situation. Include any information about your circumstances that make things difficult for you. You should also include any supporting evidence.

Application should be made in writing to:

Discretionary Awards Team
Wandsworth Benefit Service
PO Box 500
SW18 2PN


Financial Inclusion Team

The Financial Inclusion Team provides benefits, budgeting and debt advice to council tenants who are having difficulty paying their rent. They can provide advice to new tenantsbenefit advice, help on dealing with debtbudgeting advice and help understanding your rent charges.



If you are a social housing tenant in a property with more bedrooms than you need, or your are struggling to heat and maintain your home, it could be beneficial to downsize. With the Room to Move scheme, you can get a payment of between £200 and £5000 depending on the size of your property.

Find out more about https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/downsize-your-council-home


Local Assistance Scheme

For residents who receive welfare benefits who are subject to serious hardship, the Crisis Assistance scheme can help with the purchase of food and fuel and a Community Care Grant can help with the purchase of furniture and white goods.

Find out more here: https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/discretionary-housing-payments  https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/apply-for-a-community-care-grant


The Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant is a scheme for homeowners and landlords in England to support the installation of energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to their homes. This could help save up to £600 a year on energy bills and make homes warmer and more comfortable for the people living in them. Find out more about here https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/about-green-homes-grant


Warm Home Discount Scheme

You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter. The money is not paid to you - it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.

You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.

The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.

The 2021/22 scheme is now closed. The 2022/23 scheme is expected to open in October 2022.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme (GOV.UK) https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme


South West London Energy Advice Partnership

SWLEAP provides energy advice across Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton to anyone in fuel poverty. This could be an energy visit to your home but we also provide advice at energy cafes in community settings, over the telephone or by email if you prefer.

Website: https://swleap.org.uk/

Telephone: 08000862706

Email: susan@habitatsandheritage.org.uk


Winter Warmth Home Service

Crisis Support is available by phone including fuel vouchers for those with a prepay meter, emergency heating repairs for homeowners, referrals for insulation and heating grants (via Sustainable Warmth and Warmer Homes 3, and subject to available funding) and support applying to the Household Support Fund (where available).

Standard support is also available by home visit, including:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • LED bulbs and radiator panels
  • Specialist advice on lowering your heating bills whilst keeping warm
  • Advice on energy and water bill tariff discounts including the 50 per cent Water Help discount and the Warm Home Discount (where available)
  • Assessments for grants for insulation and heating works
  • Referrals for benefit checks
  • Advice on health and wellbeing services in the borough
  • Referrals for a free smoke alarm.

Find out more about the https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/public-health/your_health/winter-wellness/winter-warmth-home-service/​​​

Our Work Match employment service offers support, advice, guidance and training to help residents access new and existing jobs in Wandsworth. We can match you with local employers who value local people and can offer a wide range of jobs in different sectors.

Website: https://www.wandsworthworkmatch.org/  

Telephone: 020 8871 5191

Email: wandsworthworkmatch@wandsworth.gov.uk



Jobcentre Plus provides resources to enable job-searchers to find work, through Jobpoints (touch-screen computer terminals), Jobseeker Direct (telephone service) and the Jobcentre Plus website.

Through Job Centre Plus residents may be able to access the Flexible Support Fund which can contribute towards:

  • Childcare for attending training or first few weeks of employment
  • Training courses
  • Travel expenses
  • Clothing for interviews

Job Centre Plus offers information about training opportunities for the chronically unemployed. They also administer claims for benefits such as Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, and Jobseeker's Allowance (currently being phased out in favour of Universal Credit).

Website: https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus  

Telephone: 0800 169 0190


Choice Support Richmond & Wandsworth

Choice Support Richmond and Wandsworth supports residents 18+ with disabilities to find work, including people with learning difficulties, those affected by mental ill health, sensory impairment, physical disability, and autism. They provide pre-employment support and support when you get a job.

Website: https://www.choicesupport.org.uk/find-support/find-support-near-you/richmond-wandsworth

Telephone: 0203 697 7134

Email: randwemployment@choicesupport.org.uk


Constructing South London is a collaboration between the mayor’s construction academy and the South London Partnership to connect people to jobs, training and skills in the construction industry. Its activities and the support available include Wandsworth.

Website: https://www.constructingsouthlondon.co.uk/


Room for Work is a charity that specialises in helping mature job seekers aged 40+ with previous work experience find jobs, ranging from administrative to professional and managerial roles. Their free 12-week course supports learners to understand current job searching methods, write an effective CV, practice competency-based interviews, develop their speaking skills and much more. Interested participants can register for the next course at https://roomforwork.org/


Work and Health Programme

The Work and Health programme works with a range of people including health professionals, employment specialists and local community organisations to create a support package to help people find the right job, at the right time. Find out more https://centrallondonworks.co.uk/


National Careers Service

The National Careers Service offer free telephone and face to face consultations supporting people who are either looking for work (unemployed) or employed but looking to change career and/or upskill by providing careers advise, building CVs, preparation for interview, referring to training and finding jobs. Find more here https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/


Better Working Futures

Better Working Futures gives people who face additional barriers to finding work the best support available. It is part of a wider package of support for jobseekers and people with disabilities and health conditions announced by the government and aims to bring jobseekers, support provision and employers together to provide greater opportunities for those looking for work. They work with range of people including health professionals, employment specialists and local community organisations to create a support package to help people find the right job, at the right time.

Every child in reception, year 1 and year 2 (not nursery) in a government funded school, is automatically entitled to free school meals. 

In addition, free school meals are available to pupils receiving, or whose parents are receiving, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Find out how to apply for free school meals https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/schools-and-admissions/schools/schools-financial-help/apply-for-free-school-meals/


Wandsworth Foodbank

Emergency food, support and advice.

Website: https://wandsworth.foodbank.org.uk/

Telephone: 020 7326 9428

If you are in financial crisis you can also call the free national helpline on 0808 2082138.


Waste Not Want Not

The Battersea-based charity collects surplus food from nearby markets and distributes it through local community and youth centres.

Website: Telephone: 07477 660692

Telephone: 07477 660692


Tooting Community Kitchen

The Tooting Community Kitchen runs a food bank each Friday between 9.30am and 11.30am at Price Close, Upper Tooting Road and Wednesday and Saturday 6 to 6.30pm outside Iceland/Tooting Market, Tooting High Street.

Supermarkets including ASDA, Sainsbury's and Morrisons are offering discounts and offers.

Find out more via: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/discounts-and-offers/

Food waste costs the average London household £60 a month, so reducing your food waste is good for your pocket, not just the environment. And as most food waste is avoidable, most households can do this easily!

Find out more about how to reduce food waste (Love Food Hate Waste) https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

The Be Enriched Tooting Canteen is open every Friday to serve a vegetarian lunch to the local community https://www.be-enriched.org/canteens


This voluntary Dons Local Action Group delivers food parcels and accepts referrals from GPs, social services, schools and other organisations. Find out more here https://donslocalaction.org/


NHS Healthy Start Scheme

If you are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four and are on a low income, you may be entitled to help to buy healthy food and milk from NHS Healthy Start. Find out more here https://www.gov.uk/healthy-start


The Roehampton Community Box

The Roehampton Community Box is available to anyone living within two miles of Roehampton. For a £4 weekly contribution you can select more than £25 worth of groceries including food, toiletries and cleaning products

Email: communitybox@racketscubed.com

Adult Social Care can help people who are elderly or have disabilities. They can also help you connect with local neighbourhood groups, and services such as libraries and health services. They can also help you if you look after someone else.

Telephone: 020 8871 7707

Website: https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/

Wandsworth Carers Centres provides information, advice and advocacy, counselling, support groups and more.

Website: https://carerswandsworth.org.uk/ 

Telephone: 020 8877 1200

If you struggle to pay for your prescriptions, you might be eligible for free NHS prescriptions. Alternatively, if you have to pay for a lot of prescriptions, it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate. Call your GP for advice. There is also support for other NHS costs.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/help-nhs-costs

If you are child has special needs, there is support available from our local SEND provision. Support is available for education, care, transport and finances. Find out more on the Wandsworth SEND Local Offer site https://fis.wandsworth.gov.uk/kb5/wandsworth/fsd/localoffer.page?familychannel=2

Healthy Start vouchers

If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old, and you or your family already receive income support or Universal Credit, you could be eligible for Healthy Start Vouchers.

Telephone: 0345 607 6823 (NHS)


Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you receive certain benefits and expecting your first child, you could also be eligible for a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.

Find out more about the Sure Start Maternity Grant (GOV.UK) here https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant


Tax-Free Childcare

You can get up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every three months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year). Find out more about Tax-Free Childcare (GOV.UK) here https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare


Child Benefit

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16 or under 20 (if they stay in approved education or training). Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. It’s paid every four weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for. You may have to pay back some of your Child Benefit in tax if your (or your partner’s) individual income is over £50,000. Find out more here https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit


Universal Credit childcare costs

If you pay for childcare while you go to work, Universal Credit can pay some of your childcare costs. This includes holiday clubs, after-school clubs and breakfast clubs.

Find out more about https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-childcare-costs


School uniform

If you are in receipt of free school meals and your child is moving into reception or year 7 in September 2022, you are entitled to help towards the cost of a school uniform. Find out more about the School Uniform Support Scheme https://fis.wandsworth.gov.uk/kb5/wandsworth/fsd/advice.page?id=LM7S9VTRNKM


Little Village

Little Village provides equipment, clothes, and toys free of charge to families with children under the age of 5. To receive our help, you need to be referred by a professional, such as a midwife, health visitor, food bank or local mutual support groups. Find out more about https://littlevillagehq.org/get-help/

24/7 mental health support line

If you need mental health and wellbeing support in a crisis you can call the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust 24/7 Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000. The Mental Health Support Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night. It is open to everyone: both children and adults of all ages, and to people who haven’t previously accessed mental health services.

Please only attend A&E if you have an emergency with your physical health. The Mental Health Support Line can help and direct you to the right service for your mental health needs.


Children and young people's mental health support services

A single point of access is available for the Wandsworth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Visit the Wandsworth Family Information Service. Visit the https://fis.wandsworth.gov.uk/kb5/wandsworth/fsd/home.page


Good Thinking

Good Thinking is a digital, free mental wellbeing service provided by Thrive London, Public Health England and the NHS. It promotes proactive self-care for the four most common mental health conditions: anxiety, low mood, sleeping difficulties and stress. Use the clinically validated self-assessment tool to get a better understanding of what you're going through, helpful resources and if necessary, relevant treatment options. Find out more here https://www.good-thinking.uk/



A safe online community where people support each other anonymously.

Website: https://togetherall.com/en-gb/


Talk Wandsworth

Talk Wandsworth offers free confidential talking therapies for stress, worry and low mood. You can refer yourself or be referred by your GP.

Telephone: 020 3513 6264



Samaritans provides a freephone helpline 24 hours a day to support people going through difficult times. Phone 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website https://www.samaritans.org/



Mind in Brent, Wandsworth Westminster provides community-based mental health support, advice and information to anyone who may be experiencing a mental health problem.

Website: https://www.bwwmind.org.uk/


Other sources of help in Wandsworth

The Silver Line is a helpline for older people providing information, friendship and advice. It is open 24 hours a day and you can call on 0800 470 80 90

Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It is a place to go if you are struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Text Shout to 85258


Support and advice

Citizens Advice Wandsworth provides specialist advice on a range of issues such as claiming benefits, employment issues, housing, immigration, debt, tax, advice for EU citizens etc. They offer hardship grants on behalf of other local funders and food vouchers.

Website: https://cawandsworth.org/

Telephone: 0808 278 7833


Age UK Wandsworth

Age UK Wandsworth provides specialist welfare benefits and financial support service for older people; advising them on the types of benefits and grants available to them, support to fill out the applications and making applications on their behalf if necessary. Home visits offered, if needed.

Website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/wandsworth/

Telephone: 020 8877 8940


Thinking Works

Thinking Works manages the Winter Warmth service for Wandsworth borough providing home visits and telephone advice.

Website: https://www.thinkingworks.co.uk/home

Telephone: 0800 118 23 27

Text: 07928 394 482

Email: enquiries@thinkingworks.co.uk



Our libraries act as 'heatbanks' in colder weather and are free to visit all day long. Working or studying at a library can also help reduce your own electric, gas and water usage, as well as commuting costs. Find out more about what our libraries are offering, including the range of free activities available https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/cost-of-living-libraries/


South West London Law Centres

South West London Law Centres offer free and independent legal advice on social welfare issues including housing, debt, immigration and employment.

Website: https://swllc.org/

Telephone: 0208 767 2777


Step Change

Step Change is a national debt charity offering comprehensive non-judgemental debt advice helping people who have debt problems take back control of their finances. Whatever the situation, they look for practical solutions that help to improve it.

Website: https://www.stepchange.org/

Helpline: 0800138 1111 (open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm)


Tenancy support services

Find out more about the services available in Wandsworth https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/housing/council-tenants-and-leaseholders/tenancy-support-services/


Domestic abuse and violence

If you are experience domestic violence or abuse, find out about what support is available, including emergency accommodation. Find out more here https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/community-safety/domestic-abuse/


Wandsworth Carers Centre

Wandsworth Carers Centre provides support for unpaid carers, including help with applying for benefits, housing and advocacy. Find out more information here https://carerswandsworth.org.uk/

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