For those who have difficulty in accessing or viewing the web site you can contact the Winter Help Advice Line for all of the following information on: +44 1624 686262
The rising cost of living can be particularly worrying for older people. Among the groups hardest hit by the crisis are older people, who are often on a fixed income and tend to spend more on home energy bills than other households. Ensuring you are receiving everything you are entitled to is very important.
On this page:
- Benefits & financial support
- Charity support
- Staying warm & well
- Worried about energy bills?
- Managing your money and debt advice
Benefits and Financial support
There are a range of benefits and financial support in place for those who may need it. View the various types of support and benefits available.
If you’re struggling to meet the increases in the cost of living you may be entitled to income support. Income support is an income-related benefit for people who have a relatively low income.
Whether you’re entitled to income support depends on your circumstances, how much housing costs you have to pay, what money you have coming in already and how much savings you have (note that the first £13,000 of any savings you have is ignored when deciding whether you’re entitled to income support). If you have a husband, wife or partner living with you only one of you should claim income support - allowances will be made for you jointly as a couple.
For help and advice contact the income support for pensioners team at social security:
phone +44 1624 687020
or email ISP@gov.im
If you’re a pensioner under age 75 and you’re entitled to income support you may be eligible for a payment each year equal to the cost of your TV licence.
If you’re aged 75 or over you’re normally eligible for a free TV licence from the BBC each year.
View more information or contact the pensions team at social security:
phone +44 1624 685176
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need a significant amount of help with your daily living activities, such as getting into or out of bed, going to the toilet, washing, dressing or preparing or eating meals you may be entitled to attendance allowance.
Attendance allowance is not means tested and you don’t have to have paid national insurance contributions or income tax to be eligible. Attendance allowance is worth either £58.60 or £87.40 a week depending on the level of care you need.
For help and advice contact the disability benefits team at social security:
phone +44 1624 685104
or email email@example.com
Energy support payments
If you’re entitled to income support and you’re responsible for paying the rent or other housing costs for your home (such as the housing rates) you should get these lumps-sum payments automatically. They’re usually worth £300 per household and are paid with your state pension or another social security benefit you get.
A further round of energy support payments is being paid in December.
If you get income support and you think you may not have received an energy support payment contact the income support for pensioners team at social security:
phone +44 1624 687020
or email ISP@gov.im
Long-term benefits support payments
If you’re not eligible for energy support payments (see above) you will most likely be eligible for long-term benefits support payments.
A payment of £150 was made in June 2022 and another payment - this time worth £300 - will be paid in late January/early February 2023. You won’t get a long-term benefits support payments if you’re entitled to an energy support payment, but if you have a husband, wife or partner living with you they may be eligible. Payments of long-term benefits support payments are normally paid automatically to people who receive their state pension or another benefit from the IOM Government.
But if you think you’re eligible and haven’t received one contact the income support for pensioners team at social security:
phone +44 1624 687020
or email ISP@gov.im
To speak to someone about financial support
Social Security General Enquiries:
+44 1624 685656
Income Support Pensioner’s Team:
+44 1624 687020
Live at Home
Information and advice, befriending and regular social activities.616571/497603
Promotes health and well-being, support and lifelong learning and regular social activities. Also provides support to people through Hardship funds - read the criteria before applying.631740
Support for carers and people with care needs673103
Supports older people who feel lonely and isolated by providing regular, one-to-one companionship by dedicated befrienders or in weekly social activities.833025
Support for families, older people, budget and debt advice.627742
Free impartial advice including housing issues, benefits advice, relationships breakdown, employment issues, and food bank referrals.626863
Royal British Legion
Support, advice, wellbeing and connections.0808 802 8080
Douglas Coal Fund
Vouchers that can be used towards paying fuel bills.675564/493314
A directory of disability related information to inform, ease stress and empower.721977
Giving telephone support for anyone who has concerns about their memory.
Hard copies of leaflets or information can be provided locally on 613181 or through our Dementia Connect Support Line 0333 150 3456
Anyone can access information directly from:
- The Alzheimer’s Society website
- The repository of factsheets about all forms of dementia
- community support from our talking point group
Manx Blind Welfare/Sight Matters
Sight Matters offers a wide range of services, including: a talking book library, a recording studio producing a weekly audio news service, computer training, specialist equipment room and resource centre and weekly social groups.
It also provide home and hospital visits and additional social events off premises throughout the year.674727
Manx Deaf Society
Support, courses, regular events and activitiesCall: 613059 Call/text: 202875
Post: The Manx Deaf Society, 3 Somerset Road, Douglas IM2 5AD
Staying warm and well
Did you know that heart attacks and strokes are more common in the winter? For those of a certain age it is crucial to stay warm. Whilst most of us are worried about our bills, we must prioritise our health.
If you are concerned about someone who is struggling to stay warm please reach out to us or one of our charity partners.
Why it is important to stay warm?
Cold weather can affect your body’s ability to fight off viruses and infections. You're at greater risk of illness in cold weather if you:
- are aged over 65
- are on a low income (and are concerned about heating costs)
- have a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease
- have a disability
You should heat your main living room to around 18-21ºC (64-70ºF). It’s best to keep your house at a stable temperature rather than turning the heating up and down. Sudden changes in temperature can cause health problems. It’s always worth contacting Social Security and/or Age Concern to check if you’re eligible for any financial help. There might be more financial support available than you think.
Keep your bedroom warm and close bedroom windows. Breathing in cold air overnight lowers your body temperature and raises your risk of chest infections – and even heart attacks and strokes.
There are many warm and welcoming events in the community this winter to help you stay active and keep your spirits up.
Find a list of warm spaces and events or call +44 1624 686262 to ask about warm spaces in your area.
Several of the warm spaces also offer free warm clothing for you to take away.
If you’re feeling lonely and would like some telephone contact or help in accessing the warm spaces, contact Age Concern, Live at Home or Southern Befrienders to find out about their local services.
Staying active isn’t just good for your general wellbeing and fitness – it also generates heat and helps to keep you warm. Attending some of the community warm spaces will help you to keep moving and enhance your social life.
When you’re indoors, try to move about every hour or so. If walking is difficult, you can do chair-based exercises while sitting or holding on to the back of a chair. Even moving your arms and legs and wiggling your toes can help you keep warm and well. Some exercises for older people.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to keeping moving. It’s just important to do what you can as often as you can – and that it’s something you enjoy!
If you’ve been feeling out of sorts for a while, or you’re lacking energy or feeling down, it might be time to have a chat with your doctor, Wellbeing Partnership or someone you trust. Find out more about mental health.
The Wellbeing Partnership is a single point of contact for people to help them stay well in their own community. It incorporates government and third sector organisations working together and consists of locally-based health professionals who provide co-ordinated support for people.
Worried about energy bills?
Talking to your suppliers is important if you are worried about energy bills. Remember it is vital to stay warm during winter, especially if you are aged 65+ and/or have underlying health conditions. Our island’s energy companies are keen to help customers who are struggling to pay their bills so don’t be afraid to speak to them.
You are encouraged to keep warm when at home and should not be afraid to put your heating on, with the added reminder to look out for vulnerable neighbours and family members who may be worried about energy costs.
Earlier this year, the Government directed Manx Utilities to freeze electricity prices until 31 March 2023, which means that the Isle of Man has one of the lowest domestic electricity prices in the British Isles this winter at 22 pence per unit.
EVF have payment plans available and also accept Coal Fund vouchers
Manx Petroleums are available to speak to customers who are worried about the cost of their oil.
Northern Fuels also accepts coal fund vouchers, and other charity payments, and offers a payment plan for customers.
Tel: +44 1624 897941
Energy efficiency advice
If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient and save money on bills, the Isle of Man Government have put in place a range of funding and support to help
Small changes make a big difference
Rising living costs are a growing concern for many households across the Island. This is primarily due to the increased costs of fossil fuels over the past few months, notably gas, stretching finances to their limit.
With a large part of our household budget spent on energy bills, we’re all feeling the pinch. However, we can save money and energy by introducing a few small changes into our everyday lives. We're here to help you reduce your bills and save energy, whilst keeping warm this winter.
Looking for tips to reduce your bills & your carbon footprint?
Managing your money and debt advice
Debt can take a toll on your mental health and relationships. There are many resources and services available to help you through this.
It may feel like an impossible situation, but there are many debt advice services that you can access. As difficult as it is, it’s important to talk to your creditors and they will help you to find a solution. Your bank, energy company, or other creditors will be able to help you if you talk to them, so don’t be discouraged from seeking support.