You or your family may be entitled to certain payments to help with bills, rent or household finances. Discover what schemes are available for rent and mortgages, independent living, renovations and energy and water bills.
Rent, mortgages and payments
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. It must be repaid but usually only when you sell your home or give it to someone else. The DWP charge interest on the loan, meaning you’ll pay back more than you borrowed; however, it could be cheaper than other ways of borrowing money.
Disability Reduction on Council Tax/rates: if there is a room in your home (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) which is mainly used for the treatment or care of the person with CF you can apply, and your council tax band may be reduced. In England you can check if you can get a reduction by using the ‘Apply for a Council Tax discount’ tool on GOV.UK. In Wales read this website and contact your local authority Council Tax department. For Scotland, more information is on this website. In Northen Ireland, ratepayers may be able to get a 25 per cent discount in their rates if they’ve suitably changed a property to meet the needs of an adult or child with permanent disabilities who lives in the household.
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. You can also ask your local authority to spread the cost of your Council Tax over 12 months instead of 10 months.
Independent living and renovations
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to getting funding to help make your house a home, the Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) can ease a lot of the worry. HIAs are locally commissioned services that ensure people can stay safe, secure and warm while retaining independence in their own home.
A Disabled Facilities Grant is provided by your local authority for essential renovations to your home to help a disabled person live an independent life, such as installing ramps or widening doors.
Independence at Home may be able to help you if you or a family member have a long-term illness or disability, and need financial help towards the cost of independent living. This can include equipment, home adaptations or other essential items to improve your independence, comfort, safety and quality of life at home.
The Renovation Grant in Northern Ireland is for homes that have been found unfit to live in and pose a risk to the occupant(s)’ health.
The DLF have a range of factsheets around independent living, including detailed information on how to source funding and grants as well as making choices about home adaptations. Their online self-help guide ‘AskSARA’ also provides advice, support and products that make daily living easier.
Don’t forget to claim VAT relief. If you’re disabled, any building work you do to adapt your home may be zero-rated for VAT. Find out if you have a VAT exemptions on building work.
Energy and water
Eating well is vital for people with cystic fibrosis (CF). Good nutrition and a healthy body weight have been directly linked to having better lung function and a reduced frequency of chest infections. You can read more about diet and cystic fibrosis at https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/cystic-fibrosis-care/diet
Trolley.co.uk is a free supermarket comparison website to help you find the best prices for your everyday items. Updated daily with all the latest prices from each supermarket, including promotional and multibuy offers – Using the App on a smart phone also has a barcode scanner.
Supermarket Shopping Tips by Money Saving Expert has 27 tools & tricks to help slash food bills. These include never shopping when you’re hungry, cashback, food waste, writing a shopping list, coupons and promo codes and more.
If you are finding it difficult to afford food, there is information on foodbanks on our Emergency financial support page, We understand that the nutritious quality of food offered at foodbanks may not be appropriate for people with CF but it may help family members. You can also contact us to find out about our emergency grants.
Home care grants
Funded by a generous donation, Edward W Joseph Home Care grants are one-off grants of up to £500 to help support people living with CF to be at home safely and comfortably.
Other financial support
We support people with cystic fibrosis and their families every step of the way, from welfare grants, support applying for benefits and information and advice for times in financial need.
Our confidential Helpline offers a listening ear, as well as information and support on any aspect of cystic fibrosis, including financial support such as benefits and our welfare grants.