Getting help this winter
With temperatures dropping and concerns about paying for bills and food, we’ve put together a list of help and support that’s available.
If you’re struggling to pay bills
(or caring for someone who is), contact your energy supplier, water company and network operator to see if you (or they) can be included on their Priority Services Register.
These suppliers will have a department to help customers who are struggling with paying their bills and have a customer duty to work with you to help. For instance, they could set up a more manageable payment plan.
British Gas Energy Fund
You don’t have to be a British Gas customer to apply.
To be eligible you must not have savings above £1,000, not have received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust within the last 2 years and be seeking a grant to clear an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account in your name or be a member of that household.
If you are a disabled person or care for a disabled person you could look into applying for a grant – Disability Rights UK has useful information here: disabilityrightsuk.org/help-heating
Scope runs a Disability Energy Support Service. Find out more here: scope.org.uk/disability-energy-support.
Telford Energy Advice (TEA)
offers support including the best deals on gas/electricity, accessing grants for home energy/heating/insulation improvements and advice about keeping warm at home. Contact 0800 677 1952 or email: email@example.com
LEAP Energy Advice supports people receiving certain benefits https://applyforleap.org.uk/
Call tel: 0800 060 7567
Visit Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cost of Living Hub for a wide range of help, support and advice.
Download Age UK’s Winter Wrapped Up Guide.
If you’re struggling to buy food
Contact Telford Crisis Support tel 01952 380400 for food support, including food parcel deliveries. (Call 01952 586 646 for general enquiries.)
Help with Benefits
Telford & Wrekin Council Welfare Support 01952 380400 can offer financial help and support, where they will be able to check eligibility for benefits, such as, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Free School Meals, Blue Badge, Concessionary Travel, Discretionary Housing Payment, Emergency Welfare Assistance.
Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin tel 01743 233123 and Citizens Advice Telford, tel 01952 567193 also offer benefits advice and help with filling in forms.
Contact Citizens Advice Telford, tel 01952 567193.
Government guidelines – Help for Households
See Age UK’s helpful guide on how we can ‘Look after each other’.
Benefits – what am I entitled to?
Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. It’s based on how much money you have coming in.
Call Telephone: 0800 99 1234 or apply online https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim.
Personal Independence Payment is extra money to help you with everyday life if you’re below state pension age and have an illness, disability or mental health condition. You can get it on top of Employment and Support Allowance or other benefits. Your income, savings, and whether you’re working or not don’t affect your eligibility. To claim tel: 0800 917 2222.
Attendance Allowance can be claimed if you: have reached State Pension age. need care or supervision because you have an illness or disability. have needed care or supervision for at least 6 months because of your illness or disability. Phone for a form 0800 731 0122 or download one from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form
Carers Allowance is a benefit for people who are giving regular and substantial care to disabled people. Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit and forms part of your taxable income. Tel 0800 731 0297 or claim online at https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim
Winter Fuel Payments are automatically paid to those in receipt of State Pension. You need to make a claim if you’re under State Pension age but on certain benefits. Call 0800 731 0160 to check eligibility.
Cold Weather Payments run from the start of November to the end of March. If you’re receiving certain benefits, you will automatically get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 for each week between 1 November and 31 March, where the average temperature in your local area is at or below freezing over seven consecutive days.
Warm Home Discount applies if you are on a low income or receive certain means-tested benefits you could benefit from a one-off payment of £150 (for winter 2022/23) to reduce your electricity bill. The scheme is likely to open in November, but you may be able to pre-register with some providers sooner.
To check if you qualify for this discount visit gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme or contact your energy provider.
Cost of Living Support Payments
· The Energy Bills Support Scheme provides all households with a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023.
· Households receiving means-tested benefits, including Pension Credit, will get an additional cost of living payment of £650 – in two instalments, in July and the second later this year. You need to have received, or begun a claim for the benefits by 25 May.
· Those who will have reached state pension age by 19 – 25 September 2022, will be entitled to a £300 payment, in November or December.
· A disability payment of £150 will be made in September to those who received/made a claim for, non-means-tested disability benefits by 25 May.
CONTACT US for help with finding support. Let us know if you are concerned about neighbours, family members and friends.
Tel 07932 828333 or 07552 075676.