Cost of Living Support in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney
Cost of Living Support in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney
A welcome message from Gerald Jones MP
A welcome message from Gerald Jones MP

Energy and Household Bills

Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation working to address the climate emergency. They are a respected and trusted voice on energy efficiency and work to empower householders to make better energy choices. For more information visit:

Heat the Human, not the Home

There are ways of keeping yourself warm, without having to go straight to turning the heating on. From hot water bottles to electric blankets to USB hand warmers – there are ways out there to keep yourself warm without turning up the thermostat. For more information visit:

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water – Get Water Fit

Interested in free water efficiency products and information? Sign up to Get Water Fit, claim your water-saving devices and start saving. For more information visit:

Winter Fuel Support Scheme – Welsh Government

Funding has been made available as part of a package of support to help with living costs. Eligible households can claim a one-off £200 payment from their local council to support towards winter fuel bills. For more information visit:

British Gas Energy Trust

An independent charitable trust funded by British Gas to help families struggling with money and energy debt. Providing free support to make sure you’re getting the support and benefits you’re entitled to and running a direct access energy debt programme. For more information visit:

Council Tax Discounts, Exemptions & Reductions

You may be entitled to a Council Tax discount, exemption or reduction depending on your circumstances. There are a few different schemes available. For more information visit: and

Broadband ‘social tariffs’

If you are on certain benefits, you may be entitled to cheaper broadband. Many companies offer these social tariffs, but they are not well advertised. For more information visit:

Help with your energy bills – UK Government

Millions of the most vulnerable households will get £1,200 of one-off support in total this year to help with the cost of living and their energy bills, with all domestic electricity customers receiving at least £400. Find out more, visit:


There are several different railcards available, they usually cut a third off the bill and most cost £30 a year. For more information visit:

Benefits, Tax and Grants

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a tax-free means-tested benefit aimed at retired people on low incomes. If eligible you could be entitled to access other benefits such as council tax discounts and free TV licenses for the over-75s. Around 850,000 eligible households aren’t claiming this benefit that they are entitled to. For more information visit:

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs which is paid monthly. You may be eligible to apply if you are working but on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.  Claim online at:

For those who cannot use digital services, applications can be made over the phone:

Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 328 5644

Welsh language: 0800 328 1744.

If you need help to make a claim for Universal Credit Citizen’s Advice can help you. Call free on 08000 241 220 (Croesawir galwadau yn Gymraeg / Calls are welcomed in Welsh) or visit:


Entitledto helps people determine what they can claim from national and local government via their self-serve calculators. They provide a reliable estimate of benefit entitlements based on our in-depth knowledge of the UK’s social security system. For more information visit:

Marriage Tax Allowance

You can benefit from Marriage Allowance if all the following apply: you’re married or in a civil partnership; you do not pay Income Tax or your income is below your Personal Allowance (usually £12,570); and, your partner pays Income Tax at the  basic rate, which usually means their income is between £12,571 and £50,270, before they receive Marriage Allowance. For more information visit:

Tax Relief for Employees

You may be able to claim tax relief if you use your own money for things you must buy for your job and you only use these things for work. There are several different tax relief schemes available. For more information visit:

Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) – Welsh Government

The Discretionary Assistance Fund provides two types of grants that you do not need to pay back, The Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) and the Individual Assistance Payment (IAP). These can help pay for essential costs if you are experiencing extreme financial hardship. For more information visit:

Tax Help for Older People

Tax Help for Older People is a charity service providing free, independent and expert help and advice for older people on lower incomes who cannot afford to pay for professional tax advice. With over 420 volunteers and a national call centre, we can help you, wherever you are in the UK.  Visit: or call 01308 488066

Housing Support

Nest – making Wales cosy

The Nest scheme offers a range of free, impartial advice, and if you are eligible, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating, insulation, or solar panels. This can lower your energy bills and benefit your health and wellbeing. For more information visit: or call 0808 808 2244

Care and Repair Cymru

Care and Repair helps older people in Wales live independently in their own homes. As a charity working across Wales, they deliver practical help to create safe, warm and accessible homes. For more information visit:

Shelter Cymru

Shelter Cymru helps thousands of people each year across Wales who are affected by the housing emergency by offering free, confidential, and independent advice. When necessary, they constructively challenge on behalf of people to ensure they are properly assisted and to improve practice and learning. For more information visit: or call 08000 495 495

Health & Food

Trussell Trust Foodbanks

Part of the Trussell Trust’s network of 428 foodbanks, working to tackle food poverty and hunger. They provide a three-day emergency food parcel. For more information visit: or call 07944 354 175 or call 07427 537 437 or call 01443 450 832

Better Health, healthier families (formally Change4Life)

Better Health exists to motivate and enable the nation to lead active and healthy lives. It’s there to support and encourage all of us in taking steps to improve our physical and mental health. Change4Life has now become part of Better Health and has a brand-new look. For more information visit:

Help me Quit

Help and support to quit smoking. For more information visit:  or call 0800 085 2219


GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms. They operate the National Gambling Helpline, provide treatment for anyone who is harmed by gambling, create awareness about safer gambling and treatment, and encourage an effective approach to safer gambling within the gambling industry. For more information visit:  or call 0808 8020 133

Wales Drug & Alcohol Helpline

The Wales Drug & Alcohol Helpline, also known as DAN 24/7 is a free and bilingual telephone helpline providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information and / or help relating to drugs and / or alcohol. For more information visit:  or call 0808 808 2234 or text DAN to 81066

Mental Health Support

The C.A.L.L. Helpline A dedicated mental health helpline for Wales, it can provide you with confidential listening and emotional support, and help you contact support that may be available in your local area. For more information visit: or call 0800 132 737 or text ‘help’ to 81066.

Mind Cymru Infoline

For information on types of mental health problems, where to get help, medication, alternative treatments and advocacy. For more information visit: or call 0300 123 3393 or email or text 86463

Samaritans Cymru

Offering a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. For more information visit: or call for free on 116 123 or email


Young suicide prevention society. For more information visit: or call HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays).


Support for children and young people up to 25 years old open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. For more information visit: or call 080880 23456 or text 84001.

Children and Families

Healthy Start Scheme

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help buy healthy food and milk. You’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops to buy items such as: milk; fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables; instant formula milk; Healthy Start vitamins. For more information visit:

Tax Free Childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. For every £8 you pay into this account, the government will pay in £2 to use to pay your provider. You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare if you’re eligible for both. For more information visit:

Pupil Development Grant – Welsh Government

Learners currently eligible for free school meals can apply for the grant of £125 per learner, and £200 for those learners entering year 7. All school years from reception to year 11 are now eligible. For more information visit:

Childcare Offer for Wales – Welsh Government

Under the Childcare Offer for Wales, you could claim 30 hours of early education and childcare in Wales a week, for up to 48 weeks of the year. It aims to make life a bit easier for parents by offering help with childcare costs. For more information visit:

Discounts and offers

Find out what offers are available from businesses to help with the cost of living.

Debt Advice and Support

Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

Christians Against Poverty provides free debt help and local community groups across the UK. Their free services, run with local churches, provide practical and emotional support. For more information visit: or call 0800 328 0006

Step Change Debt Charity

Step Change has helped hundreds of thousands of people a year to deal with their debt problems. With nearly 30 years’ experience they can provide the advice and support people need to achieve long-term financial control. For more information visit: or call 0800 138 1111


MoneyHelper is here to help, so you can move on with life. Here to cut through the jargon and complexity, explain what you need to do and how you can do it. Here to put you in control, with free, impartial help that’s quick to find, easy to use and backed by government. For more information visit: or call 0800 011 3797


Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. They have a Benefits Calculator, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and it will tell you which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to, a Grant Search and a Helpline. For more information visit:

Money Saving Expert

For hints, tips and guides on all money related activities. Tips on how to spend less and make the most of any deals and offers. For more information visit:

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice gives people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem. The national charity and network of local charities offer confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. For more information visit: or call 0800 702 2020

CISWO – The Coal Mining Charity

CISWO, the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation, a UK wide charity providing free support to former coal miners and their families. Providing for former mineworkers and their families most in need through their personal welfare service, helping people with practical and emotional support, benefits advice, advice about coping with ill-health and immobility and providing access to financial support. For more information visit:

Support at Work

Trade Union Congress (TUC)

On average union members get higher pay, better sickness and pension benefits, more paid holiday and more control over things like shifts and working hours. This is because workers join together to negotiate pay and conditions rather than leaving it up to managers. Union members may also be entitled to additional benefits such as cheaper car insurance or health insurance. For more information visit:

GMB Union

GMB is a trade union that represents all workers. They have over 500,000 members who work in every type of job imaginable across public services and in private companies too. Their members work in full-time jobs, part-time jobs or are working while they study. For more information visit:


UNISON is the UK’s largest union, serving more than 1.3 million members. They represent full-time and part-time staff who provide public services, although they may be employed in both the public and private sectors. For more information visit:

Unite the Union

Unite’s vision is of a prosperous society in which employers and employees work together to build successful businesses and safe, healthy working environments. All those who contribute to our success receive the rewards, respect and recognition they deserve. For more information visit:


USDAW is the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. They provide advice and representation to workers in many different workplaces, including in the following: all major retailers, road transport, warehouses and distribution, food manufacturing, dairies, pharmaceuticals, home shopping, and a range of other industries. For more information visit:

WorkSmart from the TUC

WorkSmart is here to help you get ahead at work. We’re a new kind of job advice app, here for everyone – whether you’re starting out in work, looking to build a career, or just want to improve your current situation at work. We’re actually just starting out ourselves, and we want to be able to help you more and more as we grow. For more information visit:

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