The cost of living support is available through the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
Thousands of energy customers could receive a £150 discount on their energy bills from next week.
Eligibility and the process of applying for the payment vary depending on whether someone lives in England, Wales or Scotland.
The Warm Home Discount scheme is a one-off discount on one’s electricity bill worth £150.
The money will automatically be taken off of one’s energy bills between October 2023 and March 2024.
The Government expanded and reformed the scheme in England and Wales last year, aiming to “better target fuel poverty” and to provide the “vast majority” of rebates automatically.
People must be on specific low-income benefits and living in a property that has high energy costs, based on its age, type and size.
Last year, the scheme was totally revamped and this saw the list of qualifying benefits rewritten, with disability allowances such Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Attendance Allowance removed, excluding around 210,000 people on disability benefits, according to Disability Rights UK.
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However, Housing Benefit was added for the first time.
If someone lived in either Wales or England, they qualified for the scheme if they either:
- received the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit – known as ‘core group 1’
- were on a low income and had high energy costs – known as ‘core group 2’
Others who may be eligible are in Core Group 2. They would need to be receiving any of the following eight types of low-income benefits:
- Universal Credit
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Savings Credit element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
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Those living in Scotland were eligible if they either:
- received the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit – known as the ‘core group’
- were on a low income and met their energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme – known as the ‘broader group’
The Scheme this winter will open on October 16, 2023.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero says there are two changes to the Warm Home Discount for 2023/2024. In a new eligibility statement, it says the first rule change will lower the threshold for a property to be considered as having high energy costs, so that “more households will ultimately turn out to be eligible.”
The second change relates to cases where a household previously requested that alternative information on their property (in the form of an Energy Performance Certificate or Land Registry data) be used to work out its energy costs and were then found to be eligible for the discount. This revised information can now be carried forward and used to decide eligibility in future years.
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