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Cold weather payments

As we are looking out the window at snowy scenes I thought I would break from my theme of care and look at cold weather payments. These are important for our elderly and vulnerable communities as they provide extra funds to help with increased heating costs during our coldest times. We all know that at the moment they will not deal totally with the increased heating costs but there is extra help available.

These fuel related payments do not include the cost of living payments which have been introduced by the Government, which are in addition to the help available for fuel costs.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were both before 26 September 1956 you may be eligible for a winter fuel payment. The winter fuel payment is paid to those living in the UK, but there are some circumstances where the payment is made to those living abroad. If you are living in your own home or in a care home you should receive this payment. There may be some exemptions if you live in a care home and are receiving certain benefits, so it is important you check eligibility.

To qualify for the payment this year you need to have been living in the UK during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022. This is called the qualifying week. If you are eligible a letter should have been sent by the DWP in October or November telling you the amount you should receive. This year payments will range between £250 and £600 depending upon your personal circumstances. This increased amount will take into account the additional pensioner's cost of living payment of between £150 and £300 announced by the Government. If you have not received a letter but think you might be eligible check by telephone on 0800 731 0160 which is the number for the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

Cold Weather payment

If you receive pension credit, income support, income based job seekers allowance, income based employment support allowance, universal credit or support for your mortgage interest you may be able to receive a cold weather payment.

For every 7 day period of cold weather between 1 November and 31 March you will receive a payment of £25. This should be credited to your bank (the same one as your pension or benefits) within 14 days.

Warm Home Discount

If you receive the guarantee credit element of pension creditor are on a low income and have high energy costs you may be able to claim the warm home discount. This is a one off discount on your electricity bill for the year. Funds are not paid to you. A discount is applied to your electricity bill between October 2022 and March 2023. If you have a pay as you go meter or live in a park home there is a slightly different way of claiming the discount available under the scheme.

Energy Bill Support Scheme

This scheme provides a £400 non repayment discount to eligible households to help with the payment of energy bills for the 2022/2023 year. All households with a domestic electricity supply in England are eligible for the discount. You do not need to do anything to claim this support other than check your electricity bill. The discount will be applied to your monthly household electricity bill for 6 months starting in October 2022. You will receive £66 in October and November and £67 in December, January, February and March. If you pay by direct debit this payment will be deducted from your monthly payment or credited to your bank account.

Different arrangements are made for those who use prepayment meters, payment cards or pay your electricity as part of your rent.

Household Support Fund

If you are struggling with your heating costs each local authority has a household support fund which can provide further assistance with hearing costs. This has to be claimed via the local authority covering your home.

If you have any difficult with any of these payments or know someone you think should be able to claim but isn't please give us a call as our team can help to make sure those who need this help the most can benefit. Our number is 01622 843729.

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