Help with winter fuel and cost of living crisis

Welsh Government

Benefits

Many people are unaware they may be entitled to benefits that could offer them the support they need. If you are unsure about what benefits you can claim, Advicelink Cymru can help you check and claim what’s yours. Call the free helpline on 0808 250 5700

Find out more here: https://gov.wales/claim-whats-yours

Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) 

The Welsh Government with this fund is providing two grants.  

(1) Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) 

A grant to help pay for essential costs, such as food, gas, electricity, clothing or emergency travel if you: 

  • are experiencing extreme financial hardship 
  • have lost your job 
  • have applied for benefits and are waiting for your first payment 
  • You cannot use it to pay for ongoing bills that you cannot afford to pay. 

(2) Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) 

A grant to help you or someone you care for live independently in their home or a property that you or they are moving into. 

Use the grant to pay for:  

  • a fridge, cooker or washing machine and other ‘white goods’  
  • home furniture such as beds, sofas and chairs 

https://gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf  

 

Winter Fuel Support Payments

The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter. You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 26 September 1955.

Check how much Winter Fuel payment you can get and how to claim it on GOV.UK.

Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold.

You’ll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time.

You’ll only be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you already get:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit

If you’re eligible, you’ll get paid automatically. Find out more about Cold Weather Payment on GOV.UK.

Nest: Get help with household energy efficiency 

The Nest scheme offers a range of free, impartial advice and, if you are eligible, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating, insulation, or solar panels. This can lower your energy bills and benefit your health and wellbeing. https://nest.gov.wales

Warm Wales Cymru

Warm Wales is Wales’ oldest CIC working to tackle fuel poverty by offering free advice and support to ensure people across Wales and South-West England have warm and safe homes.

They have a team of trained energy advisors and community workers to help provide advice, referrals, and access to grants such as gas connection grants to ensure no one is living in unsafe and cold homes. Their Healthy Homes Healthy People project and HHHP+ project are available to everyone to help support people in reducing their energy bills, apply for schemes and support those affected mentally by fuel poverty.

For more information or advice please contact their community workers.

https://www.warmwales.org.uk/

Fuel Voucher Scheme

The Welsh Government announced on Friday 10/6/22, a £4m fuel voucher scheme to help people with soaring fuel costs. The extra help will be targeted towards people with pre-payment meters and households not connected to mains gas. https://gov.wales/4m-help-people-soaring-fuel-costs
 
People who are struggling as a result of the cost of living crisis can speak to Advice Link Cymru to ensure they are receiving all the financial support to which they are entitled.

Water 

If you are having difficulty paying your water bill, you should contact your supplier immediately. If you are with Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water, they have outlined the support they can provide, which includes payment plans and water rate reductions.

Gas and electricity 

You may be able to  get help if you are struggling to pay for your energy bill or topping up your pre-payment meter by speaking to your energy supplier.  Also, Charis manages the energy grant and scheme offered by energy companies through Ofgem, check if there are any active schemes in your area and their eligibility criteria. E-On Energy Fund, E-On Next Energy Fund, British Gas, OVO Energy, SSE and others. 

https://charisgrants.com/individuals/  

Affordable credit or debt support

If you are struggling financially and looking to borrow you should always make sure it is from an ethical lender.

Credit unions will only lend what you can afford to repay, helping to avoid further unmanageable debt. They are particularly good for those who find it difficult to borrow from banks due to having a poor credit history.

StepChange

Step Change, the Debt charity have a page dedicated to information and support around the Cost-of-living Crisis and can provide free debt help. 

https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/rising-cost-of-living.aspx   

Breathing Space scheme 

Breathing Space (sometimes called the ‘Debt Respite Scheme’) is a free government scheme that could give you up to 60 days’ space from creditors to focus on getting debt advice and setting up a debt solution. 

If you apply and are eligible, all creditors are informed and must stop any collection or enforcement activity. You’ll still need to keep making your regular payments if you can afford to. 

StepChange can help with applications: https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/breathing-space-scheme.aspx  

 

Other Resources available

Carers

£500 Support payment for Unpaid Carers 

The Welsh Government has announced a one-off payment of £500 for unpaid carers in receipt of carers allowance. Please find out more and the links to apply at your local council at the link below. 

https://www.bridgend.gov.uk/residents/benefits-and-support/support-payment-for-unpaid-carers/

 

Cost Of Living Support Fund for Unpaid Carers 

The Welsh Government has launched a new fund to support unpaid carers in Wales during the cost-of-living crisis. Carers, who provide care for an adult or disabled child, will be able to apply for grants of up to £300 to pay for food, household items and electronic items. 

Support services, such as counselling, financial advice, well-being and peer support will also be available. It comes as part of a £4.5m Welsh Government investment in the Carers Support Fund over the next three financial years, made up of £1.5m each year. We will share on our platforms the details of how to apply for the fund as soon as they are published. 

https://www.bridgend.gov.uk/residents/benefits-and-support/support-payment-for-unpaid-carers/

 

Money Matters Hub

Carers Wales has created a new hub filled with resources to help support you with finances. It includes information on grants and benefits, as well as money and debt management tools and support with energy bills.

https://www.carersuk.org/wales/help-and-advice/money-matters-hub

 

Older people

Care and Repair

Helping older people to live independently in warm, safe, accessible homes. They run a service which offers free Home Energy Assessments for people aged 60 and above in Wales.  

https://www.careandrepair.org.uk/en/your-area/ 

 

Cancer Patients
If you have cancer there may be help to  assist with any relief of poverty. Please visit: https://www.costofcancer.org.uk/

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