Citizens Advice Edenbridge & Westerham

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Prices are rising, and with winter fast approaching, you may be concerned or anxious over how you’re going to pay your bills.  Whilst price rises are inevitable, there are a number of things you can do to try and reduce the impact of these price hikes.

1: Check your eligibility for benefits

Whilst you may think you don’t qualify for any benefits, it’s still worth investigating.  Low income workers, carers, those responsible for children and disabled or sick people can all claim benefits.  Pensioners on a low income can get their State Pension topped up with Pension Credit as well as getting help to pay their Council Tax.  For those of you who are already on benefits, it’s still worth checking to see if there’s something you might have missed.  You can check whether you are entitled to claim using one of our benefits calculators at:

2: Get your benefits paid early

If you’re in need of money at short notice, you can ask the DWP office concerned with your benefits to pay these early in what’s called a ‘short term benefit advance’.  This does have the downside that it will need to be repaid by reducing your future payments, however, this is normally structured over 12 weeks so it’s not a big immediate loss. Only certain benefits can be paid early, but it’s still worth looking into if you need money at short notice.

3: Check if you’re eligible for Sevenoaks District Council’s Household Support Fund

You’ll want to move quickly with this one as the cut-off for payments is at the end of September.  That being said, if you’re are a low income pensioner or part of a low income household, you could be eligible for payments from Sevenoaks Council through the Household Support Fund.  This could give you £100 per household for help with energy, water or other essentials, as well as food vouchers worth £20 for children under 11, and £40 for adults and children over 11.  You can contact to claim or for more information about eligibility.

4: Check your eligibility for other Cost of Living payments

Every household should receive £400 off their electricity bill.  You don’t have to do anything to claim this as it should be automatically added to your energy account over 6 months from October 2022.

There are also 3 different types of additional payments depending on your circumstances.  Those on certain low income benefits and tax credits should receive £650 in the form of two lump sum payments, whilst those on a qualifying disability benefit should receive a one-off lump sum of £150.  Finally, pensioners who get a winter fuel payment should receive an extra £300 on top of their normal payment. Details of all of these payments can be found on the Government website:

If you need advice or guidance in relation to your eligibility for any of these payments or help to claim them, please contact us for free on 0808 278 7962 or email