As we head into Winter, the colder temperatures and the rising price of energy bills put a strain on our cost of living. In April 2022, the Government announced The Energy Bills Support Scheme, providing a £400 non-repayable discount on energy bills for all households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales. With the increased rise in the cost of living, it is understandable that this payment might not be enough, and you may be searching for other financial aid that is available to you. To help, we have outlined all the financial support available below.
The Cost of Living package
To begin with the fundamentals, the government is offering a package of non-repayable payments. These are additional measures that have been put in place to target people who need more help managing financial pressures.
- Low-income Cost of Living Payment – if you are on a lower income and/or means-tested benefits, you will receive a payment of £650 in 2 instalments of £326 and £324
- Disability Cost of Living Payment – if you are a disabled person, in receipt of non-means tested benefits, you will receive a payment of £150
- Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – if you are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023, you will receive an additional £300 from November 2022.
Please note that these discounts are automatically applied to your energy bills. If you receive a message asking for your details, be aware that it could be a scam.
So, what is the Winter Fuel Payment?
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual payment that assists households with heating costs during the Winter months. It is tax-free and applies to households that include someone born on or before 25 September 1956. If eligible, your household will receive between £100 to £300 to help with your bills, with the amount dependent on who you live with, your age, and if you receive benefits.
As mentioned above, this Winter (2022 – 2023) you may receive up to an additional £300.
If you receive a state pension or another social security benefit, this payment will automatically apply. If you do not receive these, you may need to make a claim. Please be aware of alternative communications that ask for your details as they may be a scam.
Council Tax Rebate and Discretionary Support
For households that are in council tax bands A to D, if you are eligible, you will receive a £150 non-repayable payment from your local authority.
As this is being delivered by local councils, if you want to check your eligibility or are waiting on your payment, it is a good idea to get in touch with your council as soon as possible.
All rebate payments must be claimed by November 30th when this scheme ends, so act quickly!
Cold Weather Payment Scheme
For those eligible (older people and those on certain benefits), for each seven-day period of freezing weather (if the average weather plummets below – or is forecast to be – 0°C or below for seven days in a row between 1 November and 31 March), you could receive £25. It should be an automatic payment if you receive benefits, pension credits or universal credit. Check out this handy guide to find out more.
Get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible, if you feel that you are struggling to pay your bills, under rules set by Ofgem, your supplier has to offer you support. Whether that be by creating a payment plan or offering you access to hardship funds, it is likely that they can help if you are finding things difficult right now. The support offered will be down to your supplier and your circumstances.
For more information about NEP’s services, click here.
For further help, call us on 0115 985 3009 and we can give you a helping hand.
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