Martin Lewis outlines the Warm Home Discount criteria
The Warm Home Discount scheme can provide important support to people right across the country who need help with keeping warm this winter. With Britons spending more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely costs will increase, and coupled with the cold weather, the financial burden could be significant. Bearing this in mind, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is continuing the Warm Home Discount Scheme to provide a helping hand.
A Warm Home Discount is a one-off discount which is applied to an eligible individual’s electricity bill between September and March each year.
The money is not paid to a person directly, but instead goes straight towards their electricity bill, thus providing a discount.
Some Britons could receive a discount on their gas bill instead, but only if a supplier provides them with both gas and electricity.
However a Warm Home Discount is received, it could be particularly useful to those of state pension age.
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The first way to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme is to be in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
Pension Credit is made available to people of state pension age, resident in England, Scotland or Wales, who have a low income.
These individuals will qualify, if on June 5, 2020, all of the following applied:
- A person’s energy supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme
- A person’s name, or their partner’s name, is on their bill
- A person is in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if also receiving Savings Credit)
This is known as being in the ‘core group’, something which means a person should be automatically entitled.
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These individuals should have already received a letter telling them how to apply, but if not, they are encouraged to contact the Warm Home Discount helpline.
State pension age Britons who qualify should also be told if they need to call a helpline by February 26, 2021 to confirm their details.
However, there are also other ways one might find themselves eligible for a Warm Home Discount.
If a person does not qualify via the core group, they may be able to claim in another form.
People who are on a low income may also be able to receive assistance under the scheme, in what is known as the ‘broader group’.
Like the core group, a person’s supplier must be part of the scheme, but for a person to qualify they should be on a low income and in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.
In this instance, though, it is the electricity supplier who will decide who can get the discount.
As a result, Britons are encouraged to check with their supplier to see if they are entitled, and how to apply.
For the broader group, a Warm Home Discount is handed out on a “first come, first served” basis, and so checking eligibility as early as possible is advised.
Individuals are required to stay with their supplier until the Warm Home Discount is paid.
In both the core and the broader group, if eligible, an electricity supplier should apply the discount to a person’s bill by March 31, 2021.
If a person currently uses a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter, this will not bar them from qualifying for the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
In this instance, an electricity supplier can provide details on how a person can receive the discount, for example, through a voucher.
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