Cost of living crisis help guide

With the rising cost of living many are struggling to make ends meet. At The Mall we know this will affect many of our guests and want to highlight things that may help.

£150 council tax rebate
If you live in council tax bands A to D you are entitled to a £150 tax rebate to help pay for energy costs. If you pay by direct debit, this will be paid to your bank automatically. If you don’t then the Council will get in touch with you.

Benefits calculator
Check to see if you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to by using a benefits calculator. You can also check if you can get a council reduction or discount.

Help from local council or charities
Your local council or community groups may be able to give you support or help with essentials like food or fuel. For Maidstone please visit here  

Check you’re being paid the right wage
On 1st April the minimum wage was increased. Check that you are being paid the correct amount.
23+ - £9.50
21 – 22 - £9.18
18 – 20 - £6.83
Under 18 - £4.81
Apprentice - £4.81
If you are not being paid minimum wage, you should speak to your employer first. If that doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable speak to Citizens Advice on 0808 2505704.

 Help with school costs
School uniforms, school equipment and school meals can all really add up. If you are struggling to provide everything your child needs for school click here for support.
You may also be entitled to free school meals which you can apply for on the Government website.

 Agreeing a payment plan with your energy supplier
If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills you should speak to your energy provider and ask to be put on a payment plan.
You’ll pay fixed amounts over a set period of time so you can pay what you can afford.

Grants to help energy debts
If you are in debt with your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay off the debts. Even if your supplier doesn’t offer grants, you may be able to get one from the British Gas Energy Trust.

Local Foodbank
If you can’t afford food, you can arrange an assessment to find out whether you qualify for a food voucher. You can get in touch with Kent Foodbank who will be able to assess your situation and arrange food parcels where appropriate. 

Citizens Advice
If you are struggling and need more assistance, then do contact your local Citizens Advice. For Maidstone you can visit them here: Maidstone Bureau, 2 Bower Terrace, Tonbridge Road, Maidstone ME16 8RY, click here or contact them on 0808 2505704.