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People who reach the state pension age, which is currently 66, are entitled to multiple freebie benefits in the UK. Some of these benefits help people towards the costs of their energy bills, which have increased substantially in the last couple of months. As a result of said benefits, older Britons could claim as much as £475 in energy support payments.
What energy support are pensioners eligible for?
Among the benefits which state pensioners can access are Cold Weather Payments, Winter Fuel Payments and Warm Home Discount.
These payments and concessions were created to assist those with the cost of living, specifically when it came to energy bills.
If someone were to receive the full amount of each payment in one instalment, they would be in receipt of £475 in support.
It should be noted that pensioners are receiving an additional £300 cost of living payment this year, however, this will likely not be continued once the state pension age rises in 2028.
What are Cold Weather Payments?
Any home which has to deal with sub-zero temperatures in their local area over a seven-day period will receive financial support from the Government.
For every seven-day period, affected families get £25 via the Cold Weather Payment which is made accessible November 1 and March 31 every year.
In order to get his support, people need to be in receipt of certain qualifying payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The main way pensioners can be eligible is by claiming Pension Credit but other benefits include Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Support for Mortgage Interest.
What are Winter Fuel Payments?
Over 60s who were before September 26, 1956 can usually get between £250 and £300 to cover their energy bills.
This is through the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment to help people born prior to this date who are residents in the UK.
Notably, the £300 pensioner cost of living payment is being paid through the Winter Fuel Payment this year which means older claimants will get a sizable boost.
Despite this, it is unknown if this rate hike will be applied when the state pension age next rises but claimants will receive a letter in October or November of each year telling them how much they will get.
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What is the Warm Home Discount?
Anyone eligible for this energy support scheme can get £150 off their energy bill during the winter months of the year.
This sum is not paid directly to claimants but it is handed out to energy suppliers who will then apply it to a family’s eventual bill.
Older people living in England and Wales are entitled if they claim the Guarantee element of Pension Credit and are on low income.
However, pensioners in Scotland are eligible if they receive the same benefit and are on low income but they need to meet their supplier’s specific criteria.
On the struggles faced by pensioners, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Older people are struggling to get by now, and that’s before another energy price increase comes their way in a few months’ time.
“Many will simply not be able to cope with further price rises and we’re extremely concerned their health and wellbeing will pay the price.
“There needs to be much more protection for those who have no other means of paying such extortionate energy costs.
“The Government must introduce a social tariff for the energy market whilst prices are so high, and ensure we never face a crisis like this again.”
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