Welsh Government Winter Fuel Support Scheme to open on Monday
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt has announced the Winter Fuel Support Scheme will open on Monday 13 December.
Eligible people in Wales may be able to claim a one-off £100 payment from their local authority to provide support towards paying their winter fuel bills.
Announcing the funding package, Jane Hutt said: “Households in Wales are under unprecedented financial pressure, compounded by the cost-of-living crisis and the cruel decision by the UK Government to end the uplift to Universal Credit, which has plunged many more adults and children into poverty.
“Today builds on our previous announcements on the Household Support Fund as well as the Cold Weather Resilience plan, which sets out the actions we are taking, in collaboration with our partners, to safeguard vulnerable and lower income households during periods of cold weather.”
“So, I’m delighted to announce that from Monday 13 December, the Winter Fuel Support Scheme will open. Local Authorities will be contacting eligible households across Wales where they can identify potential eligibility for the scheme to invite applications for the payment.
“Anyone who is not contacted by their Authority who believes they are eligible for the payment, can submit a claim via their local authority’s website on Monday.
“It will be available to all eligible energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment or a credit meter.”
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford indicated in August that Welsh households on universal credit and other working-age benefits would be offered a £100 one-off payment this winter to help with fuel bills.
The Welsh government said then that it expected 350,000 households to benefit from the £38m winter fuel support scheme after UK Government figures showed that 168,600 children in Wales were in families hit by the £20 reversal of the Universal Credit uplift.
Mark Drakeford contrasted the UK Government which “decided to rip up the social fund, the final safety net of the welfare state” with the Welsh Government which had “decided to invest in a Welsh scheme that is the same across the whole of Wales”.
At the time, Sioned Williams of Plaid Cymru had warned that the cut, along with end of furlough meant: “Low-income families are facing the perfect storm this winter of financial insecurity and being pushed further into poverty.”
Further assistance may be available to those experiencing financial hardship through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and the Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme offers a range of free, impartial advice.
Subject to eligibility, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating or insulation may be available to lower energy bills and benefit health and wellbeing. For more information, call freephone 0808 808 2244 or visit nest.gov.wales
For debt and money advice and further information on any additional financial support which maybe available contact Advicelink Cymru on 0800 702 2020 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or to access information and/or talk to adviser online, please click here
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