HOUSHOLDS struggling to keep their home warm during the winter may be able to benefit from a helping hand via the warm home discount scheme.

It is a Government scheme that pays £140 towards your electricity bills. Here is all the important info.

 Winter weather can leave people stranded in their homes - so a discount on electricity bills to help with heating is vital

SWNS:South West News Service

Winter weather can leave people stranded in their homes – so a discount on electricity bills to help with heating is vital

What is the warm home discount?

The warm home discount is a one-off payment worth £140 that goes towards your electricity bill.

It is usually paid directly to your energy supplier which will take the £140 off your bill.

If you have a pre-payment meter, you’ll likely be sent a £140 voucher that you can use to top up your account.

The discount applies between September and March and can also be used towards a gas bill if you have the same supplier for both gas and electricity.

There are two ways you can be eligible for the payment:

  • if you get the guarantee credit element of pension credit
  • or if you’re on a low income and meet your supplier’s criteria

How do I know if I am eligible for the discount?

If you’re in a “core” group of people who get the discount, on July 8, 2018 all of the following must have applied:

This is known as being in the ‘core group’.

You should have received a letter by December 7, 2018 telling you how to get the discount if you qualify.

Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by the end of March 2019.

If you didn’t get a letter, contact the warm home discount team on 0800 731 0214 by February 28, 2019.

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If you’re on a low income and get certain means-tested benefits, known as the “broader group”, you could still be eligible.

Here, your electricity supplier decides who gets the discount – so you will need to check with your supplier to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.

Do this as early as possible as the number of discounts suppliers can give are limited.

You’re likely to qualify if:

Is it different from cold weather payments?

Yes. You may still be able to get a cold weather payment or the winter fuel payment.

The cold weather payment is a payout to benefits claimants when temperatures in their area are below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days in winter.

You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically.

But you can check to see if you can get a payment in your area.

What is the DWP winter fuel payment?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has a fund for elderly people to claim money towards heating costs in winter.

The winter fuel payment is worth between £100 and £300 depending on your circumstances.

You only need to apply if you have never received it or don’t get a state pension or benefits. You can check that you are eligible on Gov.uk.

Check out the Department for Work and Pensions website for more details.

How much has been paid out in winter support?

The Government says it paid more than £40million in winter support across the UK last winter.

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Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said: “It’s important that older people keep their homes warm during the cold snap and we provide a range of financial support including winter fuel and cold weather payments to enable them to do so.

“We urge pensioners across the UK to check that they and their relatives, friends and neighbours are keeping warm and receiving the support they are entitled to.”

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