Cold Weather Payment eligibility explained as energy bills set to rise by £372 this month
Martin Lewis warns This Morning viewers about energy price hike
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Energy bills are set to rise by millions as August comes to a close, as 112 fixed deals come to an end. New research from Uswitch.com showed more than 700,000 households could see their bills rise by £275 on average as they are moved automatically onto a Standard Variable Tariff (SVT), which are typically among the worst value deals on the market.
Uswitch.com warned some customers could even see their bills rise by as much as £371.92.
This could exacerbate existing energy price cap plans, with a rise of £139 due to hit consumers on October 1 as a result of Ofgems decisions.
Sarah Broomfield, an energy expert at Uswitch.com, commented: “Customers with fixed deals ending this month need to act quickly if they don’t want to be hit by the second increase to the price cap this year.
“The cost of not switching to a new plan when your deal comes to an end can be huge.
“People could soon be spending as much as £372 more a year on their energy if they don’t take action.
“If your plan is coming to an end, it’s probably time that you switch suppliers.
“The good news is that it is simple to do, and the process can take as little as ten minutes.”
With rising energy costs, many families may find the winter months unaffordable and become reliant on state benefits to cover their bills.
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This can include Cold Weather Payments, which are awarded to people on a range of benefits.
Cold Weather Payments provide eligible claimants with a £25 payment for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
To be eligible for Cold Weather Payments, claimants must be getting one of the following:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)
Usually, if an applicant is claiming through Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, they will need to be getting additional support for certain disabilities or raising children.
For Universal Credit claimants, they will need to not be employed or self-employed and have one of the following apply:
- They have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work (with or without work-related activity)
- They have a child under five living with them
Those claiming through SMI will also usually need to be getting support for certain disabilities or raising children.
Where recipients are eligible for Cold Weather Payments, they will not need to apply and will be paid automatically.
Should a person not get Cold Weather Payments but feel they were entitled to them, they can contact the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus.
Universal Credit claimants will need to sign into their online account and add a note to their journal if they haven’t been paid.
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