I hope you're all well and managing to keep warm on this freezing February day. I'm getting lots of calls about heating and help with heating costs at the moment so here's a reminder of the heating payments and grants available.
Winter Fuel payments - A Winter Fuel payment is a payment for people born on or before 5 January 1953. It is paid automatically between November and December. If you don’t receive this automatically, and are eligible, you can make a claim on the Gov.uk website. Winter fuel payments do not depend on how cold the weather gets.
Cold weather payments - This is only paid when the temperature falls to zero degrees Celsius or below for a period of 7 days between 1 November and 31 March. Payments are usually made to people on income-related benefits. You can find out more on the Gov.uk website. There's also a link to see if they are currently being paid in your area, although I had difficulties getting it to load when I tried to use it, possibly because of the volume of enquiries.
Warm Home Discount Scheme - The Warm Home Discount Scheme (WHD) is run with electricity providers and gives a one-off discount on your winter electricity bill. If you qualify for the discount, you'll get a letter in the autumn or winter.
In 2017-2018 winter, you qualified if, on 9 July 2017:
your supplier is part of the scheme, and
your name or your partner’s was on the bill, and
you were getting the guaranteed credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)
You may also be able to claim this rebate under the broader group rules if you are classed as being in a vulnerable group, for example if you have an illness or disability. Electricity providers will have their own criteria for eligibility under the broader group.
See these links for more information. Also, remember you call me on the Helpline if you have any questions.
Biddy - 03000 030 555