FREE cash is always a possibility when there grants and schemes floating about.

And if you're struggling with the cost of living, there are plenty of those you could be eligible for.

Right now, the Energy Price Guarantee is capped at £2,500, expect to rise by £500 to £3,000 in April.

That means households will need to start forking out more to afford their energy bills.

But if you're on low income, struggling or stressed about paying for essentials in the coming months, there are ways to get support.

Here's a list of cash help you can apply for in March 2023.

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Cold weather payments

The weather is still chilly in some areas of the UK right now, which means you could be entitled to an extra £25 per day.

However, this is only the case if temperatures plummet to below zero degrees celsius in your area.

For each seven-day period of low temperatures, the payment is worth £25 and if you get certain benefits you should get the cash automatically.

The cash is dished out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and lasts until March 31.

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You can browse the full list of eligible post codes in our list here.

Alternatively, you can check if your area is eligible by popping your postcode into the government tool on its website.

You should be receiving certain benefits to get the cash including Pension Credit and Universal Credit, but you can find out more detail on eligibility requirements on the government's website as well.

Warm Home Discount

You'll get an automatic £150 credited to your account if you're on low income to help you pay for electricity bills.

However, you'll only get it during the colder months of the year.

Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.

In Scotland, some customers will need to apply for cash.

Energy suppliers will automatically dish out the payment, worth £150 this year, as long as you were receiving certain benefits on or before August 21, 2022.

As for when you'll get the discount, it may be different for everybody.

Individual energy companies are responsible for when to give out the payment.

You can read a full list of eligible benefits for the payment in our roundup.

And it's worth noting anyone of state pension age is automatically eligible for up to £600 too.

How much you get depends on your age and whether you get certain benefits, and getting the payment won't affect them.

Retirees get it automatically if they receive the state pension or certain other benefits.

The current rates are £200 per eligible household where the oldest person is under 80, and £300 for households with someone aged 80 or over.

Anyone who is eligible but doesn't get it automatically needs to apply by Friday, March 31.

You can make a claim by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment Centre either by post, phone or email.

The contact details will depend on where you live and a full list can be found on the website.

Pensioner cost of living payment

Between November 2022 and March 2023, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" is being paid out to eight million households.

It is being given to those who already get the winter fuel payment, so make sure you read the above information on how to get it.

The £300 should be automatic if you're receiving a winter fuel payment.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

Every household with a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with their provider is currently receiving a £400 energy rebate.

This is paid out in six instalments, and the last £67 of it will be given out this month.

The payments began from October last year in a bid to help households stay afloat during rising inflation.

It'll arrive directly to your bank account.

Martin Lewis' has unveiled a new calculator that can give you an estimation of what your bills might go up to from next month.

Energy supplier grants

Many energy suppliers have their own grants going to help cash-tight customers.

Some of them are actually open to non-customers, like the British Gas Energy Support fund which offers any applicant up to £1,500 in support.

You'll still need to meet a list of criteria though, which we covered in our article.

British Gas, E.ON, Octopus and Ovo all offer grants worth hundreds of pounds.

If you don't know who your supplier is, you can find out using the Ofgem supplier search tool on its website.

You can also just phone up and ask your supplier what help is available – they'll be able to offer options or point you in the direction of someone else who can help.

Pension Credit

If you're a retiree and you're struggling to afford basics at the moment, you might be eligible for Pension Credit.

Pension credit is designed to boost your income if you're over the state pension age and on a low income.

Currently, the benefit could be worth more than £3,300 a year.

However, it'll be rising in line with September's inflation rate of 10.1% next April, so it's important you don't miss out.

To qualify, you'll need to have a weekly income of less than £182.60 for single people or £278.70 for couples.

Pension Credit will rise to £201.05 in April, and for couples, it'll go to £306.85.

You'll also need to be over state pension age.

Applications for pension credit can be made on the government website or by ringing the pension credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

You can get a friend or family member to ring for you, but you'll need to be with them when they do.

Just make sure you have information about benefits, income and savings alongside your National Insurance number when you apply.

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You can start your application up to four months before you reach state pension age.

To find out more about qualifying, read our guide.

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