Help for people struggling to pay heating bills
Treasury will continue to monitor home heating costs over the next ‘few weeks’ to determine whether taxpayers’ money will be used to offer more help to people struggling to pay their bills.
It’s also introducing additional financial assistance – in the form of a Variable Rate Winter Bonus – to assist people who do not receive income-related social security benefit payments.
Payments of £75, £50 or £25 will be made, in light of rising gas and oil prices, to those who fall just outside the existing criteria – claims will be assessed on a person’s means during the week starting 3 January.
To qualify the individual’s income must be ‘just above’ the income support levels and the applicant must be responsible for the payment of housing costs.
Minister David Ashford said: “I’d urge anyone who’s struggling to pay their heating bills and isn’t sure whether they might be entitled to a Variable Rate Winter Bonus to get in touch. Treasury will continue to monitor home-heating costs over the next few weeks and consider whether further help is required.”
Government says it does not know how many people will qualify for this new scheme.
Winter bonuses are already available to people receiving income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance and employed person’s allowance.
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