What is the cost of living crisis? 

The cost of essential things like food, gas, electricity and petrol are going up quickly. Some people are being asked to pay more for their care as well. 

As wages and benefits aren’t going up as quickly, paying for the things you need might become much more difficult. 

How might it affect me?  Top Facts
  • Your money from wages or benefits may not cover as much as usual.  

  • You might find it harder to pay for food. 

  • Your weekly shopping might cost more than usual. This might mean you have to buy less 

  • You may find the cost of energy to light and heat your home becomes more expensive. 

  • In October the energy price cap changes. This means that energy companies will charge you more for gas and electricity during the winter. This is when most of us need to use more energy to keep our homes warm, or to cook hot food. 

Finding it difficult to pay for essentials?

We have created some easy read information about the cost of living crisis. We also have information about the other organisations that can help. 

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Advice and support

The Mencap helpline provides free advice and information for people with a learning disability, as well as where you can find help locally

The Mencap helpline
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Advice about your energy bills 

Reduce the amount of energy you use
photo of the first page of the easy read doc about tips to save energy
Find out if you can claim benefits
Screenshot of the Turn2Us Benefits Calculator

What to do if you can’t afford to pay

If you can’t afford to pay your energy bills, your energy supplier can give you emergency credit, but you must tell them you need help.  

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Couple eating

Help with food 

Food banks can give people food in an emergency and sometimes share fuel vouchers to help pay for gas and electricity. You usually need a referral to use a food bank - visit the Citizens Advice website for details.

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The Priority Services Register

Ask to be added to the free Priorities Services Register - a list that energy and water companies use to make sure they offer help to people who need it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there help for those living in their own home who pay care charges?

If you pay charges for care in your own home, your council should check that you have enough money to live on.

If you think that there are costs that were not looked at when your income was checked, you can ask for your council to look again. 

Find out more

Can I get support to pay my bills?

The Government has made money available to local councils to support people with their bills. This is called the ‘Household Support Grant’.

Contact your local council to see if there is any help for you. 

What is the energy price cap?

The energy price cap is about how much energy companies can charge for gas and electricity.

It changes two times a year.

It went up in April 2022 and it will go up again in October 2022. This means that electricity and gas will be more expensive over the winter when most of us need to use more energy to keep our homes warm, or to cook hot food.

What can I do to make a difference?

If you'd like to become a Mencap e-campaigner and make a difference - register today!

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