With temperatures set to plummet in the weeks ahead and the festive season almost over for another year, many of us will be feeling the financial pinch of keeping warm this winter.
As the country continues to retrieve from the coronavirus pandemic and thousands affected after the £20 Universal Credit uplift was cut last month, it is important to know there is government sustain obtainable if you are struggling financially.
Last month, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) expected some 3.8 million households on low incomes are estimated to be in arrears with household bills.
The JRF said the findings show clear signs that the pandemic has dragged families who were before just about managing into arrears on basic bills.
Here is a list of government sustain obtainable by the winter months ahead.
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home discount will not see money physically additional to your bank account however could see you save up to £140 on your energy bills between October 2021 and March 2022.
Two groups of people will qualify for the discount: a “chief group” and the “broader group”.
The chief group is made of people who claim the Guarantee Credit component of Pension Credit. Those who get the assistance or their partner who is on the bill will be able to get the discount if their energy supplier has signed up to the scheme.
Those who qualify will get a letter in the post after the discount application period opened in October.
Those in the broader group are people who are not on the Guarantee Credit component of Pension Credit but are on a low income, get method tested and use an energy supplier signed up to the scheme.
Your energy supplier will make a decision so it’s recommended you speak to them as early as possible to see if you qualify for the discount.
Here is a list of energy suppliers signed up for the Warm Home Discount scheme.
- Affect Energy – Octopus energy
- Atlantic – SSE
- Bristol Energy
- British Gas
- British Gas Evolve
- Bulb Energy
- Co-Op Energy
- E.On Next
- EDF Energy
- ESB Energy
- GEUK (Green Energy UK)
- London strength
- M&S Energy
- Nabuh Energy
- Octopus Energy
- Outfox the Market
- Rebel Energy
- Sainsbury’s Energy
- Scottish Gas
- Scottish Hydro
- Shell Energy Retail
- So Energy
- Southern Electric
- Together Energy
- Utility Warehouse
Household sustain fund
As part of the government’s £500 million Household sustain Fund, local councils and devolved administrations are receiving money to provide additional financial sustain as the country continues to retrieve from the coronavirus pandemic.
The sustain fund is there for families who need financial sustain for essentials such as food and clothing.
The money you can claim will depend on what it is for and how your local authority plans to use the money locally. Some authorities are handing out supermarket vouchers instead of cash for example.
You can contact your local authority via the government website.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments are grants by the national government designed to help local authorities sustain people with rent and housing costs.
To be eligible applicants must be receiving the housing component of Universal Credit or House assistance.
The grant is there to help with costs of rent, rental deposits or costs in the time of action of moving house and you can apply by your local authority the government website.
Cold Weather Payment
The Met Office has expected temperatures will plummet throughout the UK in the weeks ahead with some areas forecast snow.
If the average temperature in your local area is forecasted or recorded as zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days then you could qualify for a Cold Weather Payment.
The scheme opened on Monday (November 1) and will run by until the end of March 2022.
Those eligible for the payment will receive £25 for each seven-day period.
Those who could get a payment are those who are on benefits including Pension Credit, Income sustain, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-based Employment and sustain Allowance, Universal Credit and sustain for Mortgage Interest.
Winter Fuel Allowance
Anyone born on or before September 26, 1955, could get payments ranging from £100 to £300.
Those who get a state pension or another social security assistance that isn’t Housing assistance, Housing Tax Reduction, Child assistance or Universal Credit will get the payment automatically.
Those who don’t automatically qualify can claim via the government website.
Universal credit sustain
A range of financial sustain is obtainable for people receiving Universal Credit.
For those who are newly claiming Universal Credit, the Department of Work and Pensions can provide backdated or improvement payment.
The sustain is there to help you get by until your first payment but it will have to be paid back to the government.
Hardship payment is obtainable for people struggling to pay for everyday essentials. It generally applies to people who have had their benefits stopped or reduced.
It will usually be around 60% of your usual Universal Credit payment and you will need to repay the money by your usual UC payments.
different Payment Arrangement (APA)
If you are renting, you or your landlord can apply for APA if you are struggling to to keep up with rent payments.
Fund can be paid straight to your landlord as part of the scheme.
Claimants can claim up to £812 to help with emergency costs like replacing a broken fridge.
Any money you claim will need to be paid back with the smallest claim being £100.
To qualify for the sustain, you will need to be a UC claimant or on other benefits and earned less than £2,600 in the last six months (£3,600 if you are a associate).
You will also have to have paid back any money you were before given as part of a Budgeting improvement Payment.
Further details can be found on the government website.
Bereavement sustain Fund
If your husband, wife or civil partner has passed away withing the last 21 months you may also be entitles to government sustain by the Bereavement sustain Fund.
To get a complete payment you must apply within three months of their death put you could nevertheless receive a reduced payment if you apply for sustain after this period.
To claim for the money your partner must have paid National Insurance contributions for at the minimum 25 weeks in one tax year since April 6, 1975 or have died as a consequence of an accident at work or by disease caused by work.
Your partner must have died below the State Pension age or living in the UK at the time.
The amount you can get will depend on whether you’re in higher rate or lower rate band. Further details can be found on the government website.
Homelessness Prevention Grant
The government has announced a further £65 million to the Homelessness Prevention Grant bringing the complete allocated amount to £375 million.
The money is being allocated to local authorities to prevent people from being evicted or getting into arrears.
The funding is to help people recovering amid the coronavirus pandemic who are on a lower income.
You may not see the money yourself as the payments ae likely to go directly to your landlord.
More information can be found on the government website.
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