Help with heating costs

Staying warm and cosy in cold weather is important, but rising energy bills mean that the cost of heating the home can sometimes be a worry.

For older people, people on low incomes or in receipt of certain benefits, there are ways to get help with the cost of heating, particularly in the winter months when it's needed most.

Winter fuel payments

Winter Fuel Payments (formerly called the Winter Fuel Allowance) are payments made towards the cost of heating bills to older people in the winter months.

You will normally qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5 January 1952, and are resident in the UK. The amount you will receive will depend on your personal circumstances, including your age, which other benefits you are claiming and whether you live alone or with someone else. Find out more about how much you may receive.

Claiming your winter fuel payment

If you receive a State Pension, you don't need to do anything to claim your Winter Fuel Payment. It will be automatically paid to you along with your pension in November or December.

If you don't receive a State Pension, you will need to apply for your Winter Fuel Payment. You can also apply if you were eligible for Winter Fuel Payments in previous years but did not receive them.

Warm Home Discount scheme

The Warm Home Discount scheme provides those who are eligible with a one off discount on their energy bills during the winter. This payment doesn't affect any other payments you're eligible for to help with your energy bills.

You will qualify for a Warm Home Discount if you are over 75 and you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (regardless of whether you also get savings credit) or if you are under 75 and only get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit and you don't get Savings Credit.

Cold weather payment

If you receive pension credit, income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, universal credit or income-related employment and support allowance and you meet certain eligibility criteria you may be entitled to cold weather payments. This is a set payment given for each block of 7 days during the winter where the temperature is recorded or forecasted at an average of 0 degrees Celsius or below.

Local advice and support

Staywell provides a specialist advice and information service to anyone aged 60 years and over living in the Borough of Kingston upon Thames and/or their family or carers. Get in touch on 020 8408 8170 or [email protected].

Kingston Carers' Network provides information, advice and support services for carers, including in relation to benefits and other financial issues. Find out more about the support they can offer you by getting in touch on 020 30312757 or [email protected].

Kingston Citizens Advice Bureau provides information and advice around finances (including benefits, debt and other financial matters). Find out more about the support the Kingston CAB can offer you by getting in touch on
020 3166 0953 or their online help.

Kingston Centre for Independent Living is an independent user-led organisation providing a range of infdromation, advice and support services to make sure disabled people living in Kingston are supported to lead independent lives. Contact them on 020 8546 9603 or [email protected].