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Heating bills often rise as people try to keep warm at home during the colder months of the year. This year has been particularly unprecedented, and households will be spending more time at home than perhaps ever before. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recognised the difficulties many households are likely to be facing at this time of year.
The government department has continued to provide a series of support measures which are intended to provide help.
As the UK heads into colder months, and households plans their budgets for the Christmas period, there are a number of measures likely to assist.
Approximately one million pensioners right across the country will get a discount of £140 on their fuel bills.
The deduction, known as the Warm Home Discount Scheme, will be taken automatically from energy bills before March 2021.
And it is expected most pensioners will receive their discounts before January to provide immediate support.
People eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme will be those in receipt of the Guarantee Credit of Pension Credit, or individuals on a low income.
On top of these payments, many Britons could also receive Cold Weather Payments.
Individuals will be entitled to receive this payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below, over seven consecutive days.
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People will receive £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November and March, which could be a significant help.
But Britons must take action if they wish to receive the payment, and this can be done by checking eligibility.
Those receiving the following benefits and support are likely to be eligible to receive Cold Weather Payments:
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)
Cold Weather Payments should be received automatically, however, Britons can take action if they do not receive it.
This can be done by reaching out to a local pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office.
In addition to the cold weather sum, Winter Fuel Payments are being made to pensioners who were born on or before October 5, 1954.
To be eligible, these Britons must have lived in the UK for at least one day during the qualifying week of September 21 to 27.
These individuals could receive between £100 and £300 dependent on their circumstances to help with their heating bills.
Baroness Stedman-Scott, DWP minister commented on the plans.
She said: “It’s important that everyone does everything they can to keep safe and warm this winter.
“From Cold Weather Payments to the Warm Home Discount Scheme, we have a number of schemes in place to help.
“You may have already received a boost to your bank balance to pay for those heating bills.
“If not, and you think you are eligible, then check that you are receiving what you need to keep you and your family warm this winter.”
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