Cost of living with CF
Our Your Life and CF report told us that 85% of people with cystic fibrosis are worried about the cost of living, and we know this will be a growing concern for many in our community over the coming months.
Here you can find the latest help, information and support available. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or need more immediate support please contact our Helpline.
Find out more about our cost of living with CF report, how CF can affect someone’s finances, why there is a cost of living crisis and what we’re calling on the Government to do here.
How we can help you
- Our grants for people with cystic fibrosis can help protect the health of people with CF at times of financial hardship and support access to goods and services needed to stay well with CF.
- Our information on prescription charges can help you find out if you can get help with the costs of prescriptions.
- Our benefits advice service can support you to find your way through the welfare benefits system and check you’re getting the right benefits
- Our income maximisation service can support you to check you’re getting all the financial support available to you and help you make the most out of your money.
- Our Helpline can:
- provide information about any aspect of cystic fibrosis
- offer a listening ear. We understand things can get tough; our friendly team are here to talk it through
- translate and help you to understand any overwhelming or complex information
- signpost to help and assistance available through the Trust, other organisations, and other avenues of support which may be appropriate
- provide information and guidance about other support and programmes ran here at Cystic Fibrosis Trust including our welfare and grants support.
Help with energy bills
UK Government support
Governments across the UK have information and support on cost of living issues:
Other UK Government support
- The Warm Home Discount Scheme can provide a one-off discount on electricity bills for those on a low income. The discount comes directly off your electricity bill, credited between November and March. The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. This year’s scheme opens on 16 October 2023.
- The Cold Weather Payment is a £25 payment for every week when the average temperature for a postcode area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero or below, between November and March. This year’s scheme will start on 1 November 2022. You’ll be able to check if your area is due a payment from November 2023. The Cold Weather Payment is available to people on certain benefits. If you're eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment you'll get it automatically.
Help with household bills
- Household Support Fund - The Government has provided extra money to local councils to help those struggling with costs and fill gaps in support.
- Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are provided by your local authority (or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive website) and can provide extra money for help with your rent.
- Support for mortgage interest (SMI) is a loan from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and can help with mortgage costs, if you are on a means-tested benefit.
- If you are struggling with the cost of Council Tax, check if your local authority has a discretionary Council Tax scheme and whether you are entitled to any discounts.
- Council Tax Reduction, sometimes called Council Tax Support - You could be eligible if you’re on low income or claim benefits. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
- Local welfare assistance schemes - Many councils have a scheme offering financial assistance to low-income families in need. This may take the form of a grant, a loan or assistance in kind. This can be food, fuel vouchers, furniture, and white goods –in a few places this can be a cash payment.
- In England, some councils have a Local Welfare Assistance Scheme to help people with emergency support, providing vouchers or a pre-paid card to pay for food, fuel or furniture. The type of help available and who qualifies varies from council to council. Check with your local council to see what support is offered locally.
- Food banks - Most foodbanks need a referral from a charity or a professional. You can check online to see if there are any independent foodbanks that you can go to without a referral, or ask the CF team if they can refer you.
- Our information about Disability Living Allowance
- Our information about Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Our information about Universal Credit
- We provide support with applying for benefits, such as DLA, PIP or Universal Credit.
Request a benefit check
Every year people in the UK miss out on billions of pounds worth of benefits. Whether you’re claiming benefits or not, it’s a good idea to check you are receiving all that you are entitled to. There are a few different ways to check this, you could:
Mental health and money
How we can help
- Our Helpline is available to anyone looking for information or support with any aspect of cystic fibrosis, a listening ear, or just to talk things through. Our friendly team are here if you need us.
- Our Forum is a safe space to seek information, access support and chat with others who understand. All adults in the CF community are welcome to join, for free.
Eating on a budget
- How to meal plan to save money and waste - Planning before your food shop can be really important if you want to stick to a budget and reduce waste. We have some ideas to help you plan your meals and shopping lists effectively.
- How you can reduce the cost of cooking - If we want to eat healthily and cheaply, cooking is hard to avoid. But with many people’s thoughts turning to rising energy bills, we may be thinking twice about how we’re using energy when in the kitchen. Check out our five ways you can save energy while cooking – and still enjoy tasty and nutritious meals.
Five top tips for eating well on a budget - Katie Marsden is a specialist CF dietitian at the West Midlands Adult CF Centre. Here she provides some top tips to help people with CF eat well on a budget.
Budget-friendly recipes for people with cystic fibrosis - Each recipe includes an estimated cost, based on November 2022 price points.
For general information about a range of issues relating to diet, nutrition and CF, we have a series of leaflets that have been written by CF dietitians.
If you have CF, damp and mould can affect your health, or a lack of space may mean that you don’t have space to do your physiotherapy or store your medications.
Our information gives guidance about how to get help from your local council, paying rent, and other organisations that can support you, such as Shelter.
Here to help
Our friendly Helpline team are here if you need us - whether you're looking for information, support, or just someone to talk to
Find out more about the information and services we offer to help people with CF live a life unlimited.
Campaigning for cost of living support
We're campaigning to reduce the impact of the cost of living crisis on people with CF.
We provide a range of grants for people with cystic fibrosis and their families, support for those applying for benefits and information about prescription charges.