Struggling to cope with the current cost of living crisis? Here are seven ways to get free financial support.

As previously reported by ourselves, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is giving out cash to Universal Credit and other benefits claimants and more to help tide them over with the Cost of Living.

Also, some major energy firms have set up grants worth several thousand amid soaring energy bills.

The energy crisis has led British Gas - one of Britain's main suppliers - to offer grants worth up to £2000 while households with Scottish Power can get up to £750.

Below are the details of all the energy help and bills aid you can get amid the ongoing financial crisis. 

Household support fund - up to £1,000

Local councils are giving out cash to help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.

On 17 November 2022, as part of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, the government announced an additional £1 billion of funding to help households with the cost of essentials.

The Household Support Fund was extended from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

Cash for rent - up to £965

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is money from your council to help if you're struggling to pay for rent. Anyone claiming housing benefits or the housing element of Universal Credit could qualify.

Cost of living payment - worth £299

Millions of households across the UK will start to receive a £299 Cost of Living Payment this month as part of the Government’s £104 billion Cost of Living support package.

The payment will be sent out automatically and recipients do not need to apply to receive it. This includes tax credits-only customers who will receive the payment from HMRC between 16 and 22 February.

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Warm home discount - worth £150

The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme supports those on low income and vulnerable to cold-related illness or living wholly or mainly in fuel poverty and came into effect in April 2011. The government has extended the scheme through to March 2026.

The scheme requires domestic energy suppliers with over 1000 customers to provide an annual discount on customer bills.

Some smaller suppliers that are not obligated under WHD also voluntarily participate in part of the scheme, this is explained in the scheme overview below.

Cold weather payment - £25 a week

A Cold Weather Payment is money to help with fuel costs during periods of very cold weather. The temperature in the area where you live must be zero degrees Celsius or below, for at least seven days in a row, between 1 November and 31 March.

A Cold Weather Payment will be paid directly into your Bank or Building Society or through the Payment Exception Service if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account. After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days.

Fuel vouchers - worth £50

If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher. You'll get the voucher as a code in a letter, text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one.

Your local council might be able to help you get a fuel voucher - find your local council on GOV.UK.

Energy grants - up to £2,000

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity, funded by British Gas. To access the help, you need to have an energy debt of up to £2,000 and you must have previously received help from a money advice agency in the past three months.

The grants will go to people looking to clear an outstanding debt on their current energy account, but cannot get help from their energy supplier. Suppliers that run their own support fund include Boost, Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power, Ovo, Octopus, SSE and Utilita.

You won't be eligible if you have already received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust within the last two years. If you're a British Gas customer, your balance will be verified with British Gas as part of the application process.