Households are experiencing a 27 percent increase in their annual energy bills as of this month. This was expected to be higher but the Government’s £2,500 energy price guarantee is set to cap costs for households with average usage. Outside of this initiative, other cost of living payments are available to pensioners which could see them reduce their gas and electricity bill significantly.
Notably, this £750 in financial aid comes in the form of the Winter Fuel Payment, Warm Home Discount and Government’s cost of living support for pensioners.
Both the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Home Discount have been accessible to older people for many years.
However, the Government recently rolled out a payment of £300 exclusively for pensioners amid the cost of living crisis.
The maximum amount offered by the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Home Discount combined with this £300 comes to £750 in energy bill support.
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What is the Warm Home Discount?
This concession is a single payment which goes towards reducing someone’s energy bill over the winter months.
It is not paid directly to claimants. Instead, it’s a one-off discount worth £150 which is available between October 2022 and March 2023.
Claimants in England and Wales qualify for this support if they are on the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
The latter is a benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which helps top-up the income of state pensioners on low income.
Older households qualify for this support if by August 21, 2022, their energy bill was enrolled on the scheme, their name is on gas and electricity bills, and they claim Pension Credit.
The Warm Home Discount scheme opens on November 14, 2022 and those who are eligible will receive a letter informing them of that fact.
Most eligible pensioners will receive an automatic discount but the letter will say whether more details need to be confirmed for this to be processed.
Gas and electricity suppliers will apply the discount to someones’ energy bill by March 31, 2023.
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Who can claim the Winter Fuel Payment?
This support is available to households depending on how old they occupants are, who they live with and what benefit payments they claim.
Through the Winter Fuel Payment alone, households can claim between £100 to £300 to reduce their energy costs.
These payments are made sometime between November and December but claimants need to be on specific DWP benefit claimants to receive this support.
Among the qualifying benefit for the Winter Fuel Payment include:
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
- Child Benefit
- Universal Credit
- Adult Disability Payment.
How to get the £300 cost of living payment?
Earlier this year, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed this support as a means of assisting pensioners during a time of soaring energy bills and inflation.
Households do not need to apply directly for this latest cost of living support as it will be added to their Winter Fuel Payment.
It should be noted that claimants must have been of state pension age by the qualifying week of September 19 to 25, 2022.
Added to the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Home Discount, millions of pensioners should be in receipt of around £750 to pay for their energy bills this winter.