News & research Blog Staying Warm this Winter We are well and truly into winter and in case you have not done so already, it is best to check if you are receiving all of the financial assistance you may be entitled to during this cold season. What kind of financial assistance can I receive? This ranges from the Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount. Winter Fuel Payment This is a payment between £100 - £300 payable to those born on or before 5 November 1953 to help pay your heating bills. You should automatically receive this payment if you qualify due to your age and if you resided in the UK for a minimum of one day during the week of 17 to 23 September 2018. This week is called the ‘qualifying week.’ Any payment should be paid into directly into your bank account and will not affect any of your current entitlement of benefits. However, beware! There are instances which would disqualify you from receiving this payment including if you were in prison during the ‘qualifying week’ or if you are an inpatient in a hospital for over a year. If you want to check if you can receive this payment call the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160 to find out more. Cold Weather Payments This payment is separate to the Winter Fuel Payment as the Cold Weather Payment is paid according to the average temperature in your area. This means that the average temperature within your area must be recorded or forecasted to be zero degrees Celsius or even below this for seven days in a row. If this happens, you should receive a payment of £25 for each separate period of seven consecutive days of very cold weather and this does not affect any of your benefits. You must be in receipt of one of the following benefits below to receive a Cold Weather Payment: Income Support Universal Credit income-related Employment and Support Allowance income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Pension Credit Support for Mortgage Interest You should automatically receive this payment into your bank account but in case you do not, you should contact your local Jobcentre Plus office to inform them Warm Home Discount If you are on a low income i.e. receiving certain means-tested benefits or receive the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit, you could receive a one-off payment of £140 to help pay towards your electricity bill. You can even receive this payment if you have a pay as you go meter. To check if you qualify for this discount, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible as the discount is only payable between September to March. To check if your energy supplier has signed up to the Warm Home Discount scheme, click on this link to find out. If you have any questions about the above payments, contact the advice service by calling 0300 123 7015 (opening times 9.30am-3.30pm Monday –Friday), email us on: [email protected], contact us via our website or message us privately on our Facebook page. Until then, the advice service will be back again next month with some more handy information.