|Winter Fuel Support Scheme|
|As part of a wider support package of over £50m to address immediate pressures on living costs, Welsh Government has made available a Winter Fuel Support Scheme.
On the 1st of February 2022 the Minister for Social Justice extended support to households by doubling the Winter Fuel Support Scheme, increasing the payment from £100 to £200. This will be available to new applicants and retrospectively paid to those who have applied already.
|About the fund
Eligible households can claim a one-off £200 payment from their local council to provide support towards paying their on-grid winter fuel bills. The payment will be available to all eligible households regardless of how they pay for their on-grid fuel, whether that is, for example, on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly.
The scheme is open to households where one member is in receipt of certain welfare benefits.
An applicant meets this condition if they (or their partner) are in receipt of one of the qualifying working-age means tested benefits at any time during the qualifying period 1 December 2021 to 31 January 2022.
These qualifying benefits are:
· Income Support, or
· Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance, or
· Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance, or
· Universal Credit, or
Applicants must also be responsible for paying the energy bills for the property.
An applicant meets this condition if they (or their partner) are responsible for paying on-grid fuel bills to their energy provider for a property in Wales and this property is considered their primary residence. This condition is satisfied regardless of whether on-grid fuel is paid for through a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or via quarterly bill. This condition is not satisfied if an applicant (or their partner) pays for their fuel off-grid.
Anyone who requires financial assistance with off-grid fuel costs (such as oil, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or coal) can consider applying to the Discretionary Assistance Fund for help.
Local councils will be contacting households to invite applications where they can identify potential eligibility for the winter fuel payment.
However, anyone who believes they are eligible for the payment can submit a claim via their local council’s website from 13 December 2021. All applications must be received before the closing date of the scheme on 28 February 2022. Payments for successful applications will be made from January through to end of April 2022.
The Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have confirmed that this payment will not affect an individual’s current benefits or be subject to tax.
Discretionary Assistance Fund
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for support through the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF). You can apply to the DAF via the website https://gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf/how-apply or by Freephone telephone on 0800 859 5924
Warm Homes Scheme
The Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme offers a range of free, impartial advice and, if you are eligible, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating or insulation. This can lower your energy bills and benefit your health and wellbeing. For more information, call freephone 0808 808 2244 or visit nest.gov.wales.
For debt and money advice and further information on any additional financial support you may be entitled to, you may wish to contact Advicelink Cymru. Please call Freephone 0800 702 2020 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or to access information and/or talk to adviser online, please click here