This blog answers the question “Is there a disability Discount on Utility Bills?”There are not many disability discounts available on utility bills but there are other low income discounts and schemes which can help cover the cost of utility bills including gas and electricity charges (in winter months).

Is there a disability discount on Utility Bills?

No, there is generally no special reduction on Utility Bill Payments for people who are registered disabled or to care for their specific needs in winter. A person living with a disability will have to rely on the income of other occupants of the property to cover utility bill charges.

Energy bill discounts are generally open to everyone and are granted on the basis of living in extremely cold weather conditions. So most people who are disabled can also claim these discounts to help cover their winter fuel expenses or heating costs.

You can get the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Weather Discount to help with your energy bills. The energy bills rebate also provides support for bearing high energy costs. There are no disability related discounts on utility bills being offered. 

There is also a payment of between £250 and £600 known as the winter fuel pay, for citizens born before 25th September 1956. These monthly payments are quite reasonable payments to meet your excess bill payment charges. There are also some fuel vouchers available to cover utility bills instead.

How large a reduction does the Winter Fuel Payment provide on my energy bills in winter?

The Winter Fuel Payment allowance helps you to reduce your energy bills by £300 a month in winter.

The winter fuel payment provides you with payments ranging from £100 to £300 to help cover fuel costs in winter. This offer applies to people who were born on 25th September 1956 or earlier. Your personal winter fuel allowance may vary depending on your exact age and the number of other occupants of your household eligible for the assistance.

You will be granted a lower allowance than the average amount if you are living in a care home and also don’t get any of these benefits:

  •  Pension Support
  • the income based JobSeeker’s allowance
  • the Employment Allowance
  • Income support 

Even if you claim any of these benefits and are residing in a care home, you will not be provided with the Winter Fuel Payment.

Qualifying week for the WInter Fuel Payment is the one beginning from the 3rd Monday in September

What is a fuel voucher?

You can receive a fuel voucher to cover the cost of your Utility Bills. You can receive a fuel voucher under the following circumstances:

  • You pay your bills at a prepayment counter
  • you are not using gas or electricity supplies for heating purposes
  • You cannot add funds to your prepayment meter.

A fuel voucher is a code which you are sent by your energy supplier through an SMS, email or by post. The voucher enables you to increase the credit on your electricity or gas key.

A fuel voucher can be used through the following utility bill payment services:

  • An outlet which is registered with PayPoint
  • An outlet or post office registered with Payzone

To use your voucher, you must bring the following with you to the payment outlet:

  • The fuel voucher alongwith its instructions
  • A proof of identity document such as a passport. Any document with your name and address on it will qualify

A fuel voucher has to be redeemed within 3 months 

You can also be awarded a fuel voucher even if you don’t use electricity or heating appliances. This is applicable in case:

  • You are relying on petrol, LPG, coal or wood for providing heat energy to your home.
  • You are not connected to the gas network
  • You are able to prove that you don’t heat your home in winter because your income does not suffice for you to cover fuel expenses. You can also try to prove that you are soon going to be in such a situation where your income will be insufficient for financing heating appliances
  • In case you were born on 25th September 1956 or earlier than this date you can be provided an allowance of between £250 and £600 known as the “Winter Fuel Payment” to cover your heating expenses (on utility bills)

The amount which you will be paid includes your “life allowance for retirees”. This allowance is between £150 and £ 300. You will only receive this extra money in the winter of 2022-23. 

You will automatically get “Winter Fuel Payments” (no need to request it) if you are eligible and:

  • get the state pension
  • Are also claiming a different social security benefit (other than the housing benefit, working tax credit or universal credit)

The deadline for submitting the application to get Winter Fuel Payments for the winter of 2022-23 is March 31, 2023. Most payments for Winter Fuel Payments are made automatically in November or December. These automatic Winter Fuel Payments are a result of the temperature in your area being below ) 0 C for more than a week.

The Winter Fuel Payment must be made no later than January 13, 2023.

If you have not received your payment you need to contact the Winter Fuel Payment Center.

The money you get will not affect claims for other benefits. .

Can I order a reconsideration for my decision on Winter Fuel Payments?

In case you don’t accept the decision on your Winter Fuel Payments, you can have the decision checked. A mandatory review of the disputed Winter Fuel payments decision will be carried out at your request:

You can request a mandatory review if any of the following conditions apply: 

  • If you believe that the office dealing with your request has made an error in processing it or has lost important evidence relating to your case
  • You disagree with the reasons given for the “Winter Fuel Payments” decision
  • You want the Winter Fuel Payments decision to be reviewed

Some cases of refusing Winter Fuel Payments cannot be reviewed because of failing to qualify for basic eligibility requirements. The DWP’s  original decision letter will mention if your case cannot be appealed.

 Your mandatory review must be requested within one month from the date of the decision.

What is the £400 bn energy bills discount for households in the UK?

Business and Energy Secretary for the UK, Kwasai Kwarteng announced on 29th July that a £400bn worth discount on energy bill costs for customers will be effective from October 2022. This reduction will be applied in the form of a £66 discount on the total energy bill for October, the same amount shall be reduced in November (£66). For the winter months of December, January, February and March this reduction will be worth £67.

This latest initiative announced under the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) in the words of Greg Hands, Energy Minister UK “will deliver discounts to help 29 million households” this winter (2022-23). Customers using Direct Debit to pay their utility bills will avail the discount automatically. Customers using Standard Credit will also see the discount applied automatically (applied as a credit amount to their bill).

Traditional prepaid meter customers will be given redeemable EBSS discount coupons or send Special Action Messages (SAMs) every week. These messages may be communicated via text messages, email messages or by post.

The people in households with the greatest need will be granted a £650 cost of living payment(this cost of living payment will cover 8 million people). A £300 one time pensioner cost of living payment for 8 million pension age customers to be given along with their Winter Fuel Payments. 

Extra handouts only to households in the greatest need also included a £150 one off disability cost of living payment designed to support 6 million people claiming certain disability benefits 

An extension of the Household Support Fund which will be worth £500 to support people with their essential costs of food and clothing. The total value of the Energy discount adds up to 400 over the winter period (£66+£66+£67+£67+£67+£67).

What is the Help to Heat Scheme?

The help to heat scheme uses state benefits as qualifying criteria for selecting recipients for payouts. for Benefits such as Guaranteed Pension Credit, Income Support, Income related Employment and Support Allowance as well as the Income based Jobseekers Allowance will be accepted. 

For rules relating to benefits with an income threshold such as the Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit, now also take into account the number of people residing on the property.

Heating measures such as Central Heating Boilers, Electric Storage Heaters and first time central heating systems of any type.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “Is there a disability discount on Utility Bills?” Extreme Weather conditions can raise utility bills and the Warm Weather Discount and Winter Fuel Payments help to cover these extra energy costs. These payments are meant for almost everyone who needs help for paying their utility bills regardless of their disability status.

 The £150 per household cost of living disability payment, recently announced in the Energy Bills Support Scheme will help out 6 million people claiming disability benefits(it is a one-off bill discount initiative)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Is There A Disability Discount on Utility bills?

What are Cold Weather Payments?

Cold Weather Payments are payments designed to cover heating costs in winter. They apply to extreme weather conditions automatically. You can be automatically eligible to claim Cold Weather Payments if the average temperature expected for your area is expected to remain below 0 C for a period of 7 consecutive days.

You will receive £ 25 during any 7 day period of very cold weather if you are on the following benefits

  • Pension Support
  • Income Support
  • The Income-based Job Seeker Allowance
  • Universal credit payments
  • Assistance with mortgage interest deduction

How Do I report a change of circumstances or cancel my Winter Fuel Payment?

You need to call the hotline of the Winter Fuel Payment Center in order to report a change of circumstances or to cancel your “Winter Fuel Payment”

If you’ve already requested “Winter Fuel Payments” and want to make the following changes to your offer:

  • You want to have a change in circumstances reported
  • Edit your personal details
  • You have decided to cancel all future winter fuel payments completely

You have to call the Winter Fuel Payments Center to inform them of your choice of cancellation of further payments if this is the case.

Phone: 0800 731 0160

Telephone from outside the UK: +44 (0) 191 218 7777

Citations

The Social Fund Cold Weather Payments (General ) Regulations 1988

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations 2022 Determination of Grant Applications

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations 2022 Right of Review

The Social Fund Winter Fuel Payments Regulations 1988

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