The Cost of Living Crisis- Help and Resources

21
December 2022

Are you interested in using your lived experience and voice to help us shape the future pulmonary fibrosis research?

Sky News reported: “The End Fuel Poverty Coalition calculates the unit cost of gas has increased by between 153% and 165% since winter 2021, while the unit cost of electricity has increased 63-68%.” 

We know this is hitting our community hard, and the approach of winter and colder weather is only causing greater concern. We want to remind you – we’re here to help. Our support line team is here to listen, advise and signpost you to services that can help during this difficult time. We also have support groups across the UK for emotional support, practical guidance and information.   

We’ve pulled together a list of cost of living related resources to help guide you through this time.  We will be regularly updating this page.  

Lived Experiences

Asthma and Lung UK recently released the results of their cost-of-living survey*, which included responses from 84 people living with pulmonary fibrosis. Their responses painted a stark picture of the current situation. 

  • 45.2% said the cost-of-living crisis had made their lung condition symptoms worse 
  • 44.1% said it had affected their mental health 
  • 78.7% said they will heat their house less due to the cost of living 

Political update

APF recently signed a joint letter to the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, to highlight the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on people with long-term health conditions and to ask for more targeted support.  

We will continue to do everything we can to those affected by pulmonary fibrosis and the care and support needed during this incredibly challenging time.  

“I am more worried about autumn and winter when I would normally use the heating more. I will have to keep it to a minimum. My condition is constantly worsening so I am very concerned.” {Asthma and Lung UK Survey respondent)

Help and resources

“What if I can’t pay my bills?”

“Are there any grants available?”

  • Citizens Advice have listed the different grants and benefits available , which includes a list of the support funds offered by energy suppliers, to help you pay your energy bills if you're struggling – as well as other essentials like rent and health costs. If you book an appointment with them directly, they can answer questions about your personal situation. 
  • Entitled To have put together a calculator to show you which benefits  you could qualify for. It can be a difficult task working out exactly what benefits you’re eligible for so this tool is super handy.

  • The Good Law Project have also written an article with a helpful overview of the benefits available. 

"Can the Government help?" 

The Energy Price Guarantee came into effect on 1 October, replacing the Ofgem energy price cap. Martin Lewis explains that this results in roughly a 27% increase – taking a typical annual bill from £1,971 to £2,500. We learned in the Autumn Statement that this will then rise to £3,000 a year from April 2023. This is based on “typical use” and is not illustrative of every household’s situation.  

Money Saving Expert explains: “It's important to note that £2,500/year figure is based on what a 'typical' household would pay over a year. If you use more than that, you pay more (use less, you'll pay less).” 

Read the full article to learn more about what this means for your bills.  

The Help for Households website usefully breakdown the government support available into different categories. This includes: 

  • Households will get £400 of support with their energy bills, paid over the course of six months starting from October. This discount will be automatically added to your bill. 
  • £150 council tax rebate 
  • One-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment 
  • £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits (these were scheduled to be paid between the 8th and 23rd of November) 
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment 

There is also further support for energy bills via the following Government schemes: 

For those affected by pulmonary fibrosis and reliant on support from oxygen concentrators take a look at the specific information and advice we have pulled together in this article.

* Asthma + Lung UK Cost of Living Survey 2022. This survey received 3,657 responses in total, including 84 from people with pulmonary fibrosis, and was open between 9 August and 26 August 2022. *