Warm Home Discount scheme reopens for people living in England and Wales - here's how to check if you're eligible
Households on certain benefits living in England and Wales can get £150 off their energy bills this winter under the Warm Home Discount after the scheme reopened this week. However, unlike previous years, you won't be able to apply for it as you should get it automatically - here's how to check if you're eligible.
Previously, the scheme paid £140 to vulnerable people to help towards their energy bills and was available on a first-come-first-serve basis to those claiming both means-tested and non means-tested benefits.
However, from this week the payment will increase to £150 but only those with high energy costs who claim a qualifying means-tested benefit - where your eligibility to claim (and how much money you then receive) depends on your income and savings - will receive it.
Those with disabilities, who only claim personal independence payments, attendance allowance, or disability living allowance, which are not means-tested, will no longer get the warm home discount - impacting 290,000 existing claimants.
See our Housing and energy grants guide for full details on the Warm Home Discount, as well for info on other help you may be able to get.
You should receive the Warm Home Discount automatically, but you can check if you're eligible online
Under the new rules, those in receipt of the guaranteed element of pension credit will continue to get the warm home discount.
Everyone else who may be eligible will receive a letter by mid-January 2023 telling them that they will either receive the payment automatically and therefore don't need to do anything, or that they need to call a dedicated helpline to provide further evidence of eligibility. Payments will be made automatically through energy suppliers by March 2023.
You can also check if you're eligible by using the Government's online eligibility checker, which will ask you to answer some questions about your electricity supply, the benefits you receive and the characteristics of your property. You'll then be told if your home meets the high energy cost criteria.
If you think you're eligible but don't receive the letter by mid-January, you can also contact a Government helpline on 0800 107 8002 (available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).
If you live in Scotland you will need to apply for the discount - and applications are now open for some
In Scotland, the warm home discount scheme works in the same way as it did last year in England and Wales.
This means if you're on the guarantees element of pension credit, you'll get the payment automatically. If you're on certain other benefits, you may qualify, but you MUST APPLY as it won't be paid automatically.
See our Warm Home Discount Scotland MSE News story for full details on how to check if you're eligible, what you'll need to do to get the discount, and our round-up of which suppliers are currently accepting applications.