Do you qualify for government cash towards your heating bills?
With a snowy November forecast, but raging energy prices, there might just be a few people this year who are more worried about keeping warm, than paying for Christmas. However, things might not be so dire as they seem.
Most people have heard of the winter fuel payment, which was introduced to stop pensioners freezing, and everyone old enough can get between £100 and £300 tax free to help them put the heating on. Interestingly, however, you can claim winter fuel allowance for 2013/14 if you were born on or before 5 January 1952, which means you could only be 61 and get the free money. If you are over 65 (or slightly younger in the case of women) you will automatically receive the payment, usually by Christmas. However, if you are not receiving state pension (or some other benefits) you can still get the cash provided you normally live (and were not in prison or long-term hospital care) during the week of 16-22 September and you make a claim. No claim, could mean no cash.
However, if you aren’t lucky enough to be over 60, you could still get some help towards those enormous bills. Where the average temperature drops, or is forecast to be freezing or below for seven consecutive days between 1 November and 31 March, eligible people can claim £25 per week. Those eligible for this cold weather payment are normally those claiming certain benefits, including income support or pension credit and again, will normally be paid along with any benefits receivable. If you do qualify but are not currently receiving money you may need to make a claim.
There is also a handy checking tool which will tell you if you can expect any £25 bonuses based on the weather in your postcode. November hasn’t been cold enough yet (even in northern Aberdeen), but as the month goes on, this may very well be a welcome (warm) helping hand for families.
Just imagine if you were one of the 500 FlyBe staff imminently losing their jobs- you or someone you know might be very glad to know those receiving jobseekers or ESA will also qualify.