Thousands have just weeks left to claim £300 energy bill help – here's how to get it
THOUSANDS have just weeks left to claim cash help for their rocketing energy bills.
Some pensioners are entitled to £300 worth of help that can go towards their energy bills during the coldest months of the year – but the scheme is due to close very soon.
The tax-free payments, that eligible elderly people can claim, start at £100, with the most anyone can receive being £300.
The allowance you can get depends on your age and income as well as other benefits you might receive and who else lives with you.
It's all part of the Winter Fuel Payments, and for some, the financial help is a lifeline, especially as Brits face a cost of living crisis.
Most will get their payment automatically, but some have to go through the process to claim.
And if that's the case, they've only got until March 31 to do so, which is only four weeks away.
Miss the deadline and you'll have to wait until the scheme opens up again later in the year to claim for next winter's energy costs.
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Who is eligible for Winter Fuel Payments?
To be eligible for Winter Fuel Payments you need to have been born on or before September 26, 1955.
Or youneed to have lived in the UK for at least one day of the "qualifying week", which is between September 20 to 26, 2021 for this year's payments.
Some Brits who've been outside of the country could still be eligible too.
You may still be eligible if you lived in Switzerland or another EEA country in that period, but you won't get the payment automatically and will have to apply.
If you lived and worked here, or have family here, but were not living here in the qualifying week, you might still be able to apply too.
But you won't get the payment if you live in the following countries: Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain – that's down to the fact that temperatures are typically warmer throughout the year.
You can find more about when you're not eligible on gov.uk.
How can I get the payment?
Most people who are eligible for it get it automatically – for instance, if you receive the state pension or benefits.
If that's the case you may have already received your payment back in November or December.
But you won't qualify just because you claim housing benefit, council tax reduction, child benefit or Universal Credit.
So if you meet the criteria but don't automatically get the payment, you will need to apply – there's still time, but applications won't be accepted past March 31.
You'll be able to claim by phone on 0800 731 0160 or by post, with the details listed on the government website.
You'll need to make sure you have details to hand like your National Insurance number and bank details too.
Other help you can get with energy bills
If you don't get the winter fuel payment, or you do, but you still find yourself struggling with energy bills, then there is other help you can apply for.
Brits on low incomes can get £25 payment when temperatures fall- warmer months are starting to arrive so it's not as likely you'll be able to claim this one but if the temperature does dip you could cash-in.
You can see if you've got one of the cold weather payments with the postcode checker.
Households on pension credit or low incomes may qualify for the warm home discount scheme worth £140 each year – but almost all of these schemes have now closed.
If you are still looking for something to help out, your local council may also be able to help with grants.
Some offers are still open under the Household Support Scheme, for example, but your energy supplier themselves may be able to offer grants and help too.
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