Are you entitled to any Winter Fuel Payments
Did you know that recent figures show that around 78% of people on low-income say they are very concerned about heating their home during the winter. In fact around 26% of these people say they could not heat their home due to the high costs of heating.
For some families money is very tight and below are some benefits which you (or a family member) may be entitled to and could help with the Winter Fuel Bills.
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual tax-free payment which is to help towards your heating costs. Generally the payments are made between November and December.
How much could you get?
For the financial year April 2017 to March 2018 the payments are as follows
If under 80 – £200
If over 80 – £300
That sounds great but can I make a claim for Winter Fuel Payment?
You may be eligible for Winter Fuel Payment if you meet all the following criteria:
Were you born were on or before 5 August 1953 (to be eligible for the financial year April 2017 to March 2018 – the eligibility birth date changes every financial year).
Have you lived in the UK throughout the qualifying week (for the financial year 2017–2018, this is 18–24 September 2017)
I get benefits will I still be able to claim?
You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you receive the State Pension or another benefit, such as Pension Credit (but not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support or Universal Credit).
If you qualify, but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.
So how can I claim Winter Fuel Payment?
If this is the first time you are claim or have never claimed before please call the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0345 915 1515
You will only need to claim once as after this each year you will automatically receive a payment each year as long as your circumstances do not change.
More information is available on the Government website
Additional payment – Warm Homes Discount Scheme
Did you know you could be in line for also £140 reduction in your electricity bill? This is under the Warm Homes Discount Scheme. This is run by the energy companies. So if you get the Guaranteed Credit element of the Pension Credit you will get the payment automatically. However, if you are on a low-income (which the Government states is £16, 190 pa) and you also meet your energy suppliers other criteria you could also qualify. Please contact your local supplier directly for further information.
Cold Weather Payments
Another benefit that you could be entitled to is the Cold Weather Payment (applicable if you are getting certain benefits)
You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive days.
The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March. Check if you can get a payment in your area.
You’ll get a payment of £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
Cold Weather Payments are different to Winter Fuel Payments.
Please check the following website for further information.
Additional help – potential grant to help pay your energy debts
We all know how expensive Winter Fuel Bills can be and for some people they have to decide between heating and eating. If you are in debt to any of your energy suppliers you may be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off.
Below are some energy companies who do offer grants and schemes and currently available to anyone and you do not even have to be a customer.
British Gas Energy Trust
EDF Energy Trust
EON Energy Fund
Tips to help save energy
The website below offers some great tips to help save energy.
I hope these blog post will prove helpful – make sure you stay warm this winter.