One-off £100 payment to alleviate winter fuel costs opens in Wales

A one-off payment of £100 to help with winter fuel costs has opened in Wales.

The payment is available for families in receipt of working-age benefits such as Universal Credit and comes as fuel prices increase and the £20 uplift of Universal Credit was removed by the UK Government in the autumn.

The payment will allow eligible households to claim the cash payment to provide support towards energy bills.

Eligible people will be able to claim a one-off £100 payment from their local authority.

What benefits qualify for the payment?

Claimants must be in receipt of any one of the following benefits between December 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022:

  • Income support

  • Income-based job seekers allowance

  • Employment and support allowance

  • Universal credit

  • Working tax credits

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Announcing the funding package, minister for social justice 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 lowerincome households during periods of cold weather.

“So I’m delighted to announce that from Monday 13th 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. 

The minister continued: “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.

“We know that people across Wales are facing unprecedented challenges, that’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to relieve financial pressures and help households with their living costs – supporting families, businesses and communities through these unprecedented times.”

The means-tested benefit will be available to people regardless of whether they pay for their energy on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit, or whether they pay quarterly.

The cash will be paid straight into bank accounts and will not affect any other benefits or be subject to tax.

Local authorities will write to eligible households to enable the payment, but individuals can also submit a claim via their local council’s website from December 13.