How can I get help with heating costs?
If you live with a lung condition, you’ll know how important it is to stay warm in the winter. Help with your heating costs is available.
Winter Fuel payments
A Winter Fuel payment is a tax-free payment for people born on or before 5 April 1954 to help pay heating costs. It is usually paid automatically every year between November and December. If you don’t receive this automatically and are eligible, you can make a claim on the gov.uk website. Winter fuel payments do not depend on how cold the weather gets.
The deadline to claim for winter 2020/2021 is 31 March 2021.
Cold weather payments
Cold weather payments are only paid when the temperature in your area falls to zero degrees celsius or below for a period of seven days between 1 November and 31 March. These payments are usually made to people on the following income-related benefits:
- Income support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance because you are aged 60 or over
- Income support or Income-based Employment and Support Allowance and have a child under five or are responsible for a disabled child
- Income support if you are long-term sick or disabled
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
Warm Home Discount Scheme
The Warm Home Discount Scheme (WHD) is run with electricity providers and gives a one-off discount on your winter electricity bill. If you qualify for the discount, you’ll get a letter in the autumn or winter. Find out more about WHD on the gov.uk website.
There are two ways to qualify for the WHD:
- as part of the ‘core group’, or
- as part of the ‘broader group’.
In 2020-21 winter, you qualified as part of the core group if, on 5 July 2020:
- your supplier is part of the scheme, and
- your name or your partner’s name was on the bill, and
- you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well) or you’re on a low income.
If you qualify, you’ll get a letter between October and December 2020 telling you how to claim the discount. Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31 March 2021.
If you don’t get a letter, but think you qualify for the WHD as part of the core group, contact the Warm Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214. Lines are open 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
You might be able to claim the WHD as part of the broader group if you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme.
You might be able to apply directly to your electricity supplier for help if you’re not part of the core group, but:
- you’re on a low income
- you get certain means-tested benefits
- your energy supplier is part of the scheme.
Your electricity supplier decides who can get the discount. Get in touch with your supplier to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.
For more information about the WHD and other benefits that can help you pay your energy bills this winter, go to the Citizen’s Advice website.
For advice on saving energy in your home go to the Energy Saving Trust website.
Your lung condition may change, so you should review your situation regularly to ensure you’re claiming everything you're entitled to.
Give us a call on 03000 030 555 for general advice on welfare benefits.
Benefits and support for carers
If you're caring for someone living with a lung condition, you might be entitled to financial support. Find out what's available and who might qualify.