Are you aware that there are several sources of funding to help with the cost of keeping your home warm over the winter months? These include-
WINTER FUEL PAYMENT
An extra payment of £200-£300 from the Government on top of your State Retirement Pension, paid by mid-January. It should be paid automatically with the pension, it will not affect other benefits and is tax free. To qualify, you must be born on or before 26th September 1955 & living in the UK during week 20-26 Sept 2021.
If you do not get State Pension but do get Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit you may also eligible, so please check by contacting Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160
WINTER WARMTH FUND
A £150 grant towards heating bills, available from the Cumbria Community Foundation.
The criteria are: you must be 60 years plus, in receipt of State Pension/Pension Credit or struggling to maintain a basic standard of living during the winter due to the cost of heating your home. If this money would help you to stay warm and comfortable this winter, please apply for this Grant, by contacting Age UK who administer the scheme.
Age UK West Cumbria 01900 844670 or 08443 843 843 or Age UK Carlisle and Eden 01228 536673
WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME
This is a £140 payment from the Government, to help you to afford to heat your home over winter. It is paid as a credit to your account with your Energy Supplier.
If you get the ‘Guaranteed Credit’ part of Pension Credit you will automatically be contacted by letter before January and asked to call the Helpline 0800 731 0214 before 26th February 2021, to confirm your details.
Even if you do not get Pension Credit but are on a low income, you can claim as long as your Supplier is a part of this scheme and you get a means-tested benefit. Those on Pre-pay and Pay as You Go meters can apply too
A full list of suppliers plus further details, can be found on https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
COLD WEATHER PAYMENT
From 1st Nov 2021 to 31st March 2022, people on Pension Credit, Universal Credit (& some income-based benefits if you or your child has a disability) may get a Cold Weather Payment from the Government of £25/week for every 7-day period that the average weather in your area is below freezing
PRIORITY SERVICES REGISTER – OFGEM
A free service from Energy Suppliers for elderly, disabled, hearing/visually impaired or vulnerable people or those with pre-school children.
You will get: Advanced Notice of Power Cuts, Priority Support in an emergency (e.g. alternative heating/cooking facilities or electrical supply for medical equipment), password protection for Energy Supply Workers to contact you safely, meter readings done if you cannot do them yourself and you can nominate someone to act on your behalf in dealings with the supplier. To register, contact your own Energy Supplier.
If you live in the Northern Fells parishes of Caldbeck, Castle Sowerby, Ireby and Uldale, Mungrisdale, Sebergham and Welton, The Boltons, Westward and Rosley I am able to support you with any of these schemes. For those living outside our area, I hope that this information will prompt you to find out more about these grants and benefits and to apply if eligible.
Age UK West Cumbria 01900 844670 or 08443 843 843 or Age UK Carlisle and Eden 01228 536673 and Citizens Advice Carlisle and Eden 0344 411 1444 can offer support with applying.
Dianne Bowes, Benefits Support and Awareness Service, Northern Fells Group – Tel: 07752 457513