HOUSEHOLDS are just realising there's been a big change to a £150 energy bill payment which could leave them missing out.
The free cash is available to help those on the lowest incomes struggling with the rising costs of energy.
Through the Warm Home Discount, households get £150 off their electricity bill each winter.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they were receiving certain benefits on or before Sunday, August 21.
But the government flipped the rules last year which means hundreds of thousands of people will no longer qualify.
Some people have already posted on Facebook to say they're confused about the new rules.
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One person wrote: "Has anyone had their payment yet? I know you use to have to apply, but now automatically paid."
Another person asked: "What do I need to do to claim this please?"
While a third person wrote: "No, I got it last year but I have heard nothing."
Energy suppliers will automatically dish out the discount, which is £150 this year, as long as you were receiving certain benefits on or before Sunday, August 21.
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However, if you later launch a successful claim for backdated benefits, you may still be able to qualify after this date.
Here, we rounded up all the loopholes affecting recipients and how you could potentially avoid them.
Who qualifies for the Warm Home Discount?
You'll need to be a recipient of one or more of the following benefits to qualify:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker's allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
If you weren't claiming any of the above benefits on August 21, 2022, you won't be eligible for the payment.
But thousands of pensioners could backdate successful claims for pension credit and still qualify for the Warm Home Discount now.
Pension credit rules all allow first-time claimants to backdate their benefit entitlement by three months.
So you'll need to have launched your claim by Friday, November 18 and then successfully get it backdated to cover the August 21 Warm Home Discount qualifying date.
How do I apply for the discount?
People living in England and Wales don't need to apply for the Warm Home Discount as of this year.
You get the payment automatically if your electricity supplier is part of the scheme and you qualify.
Though energy regulator Ofgem says some people may be asked to contact a Government helpline to confirm their eligibility.
The money won't be paid to you directly – it'll be added as credit to your electricity account. This usually happens between October and April.
Visit the Government website for more information.
How do I secure the discount in Scotland?
The Scottish Government has refused to renew their Warm Home Discount scheme in-line with England and Wales' new application-free scheme.
Households in Scotland will have to follow the rules set out in the legacy scheme.
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This means they'll likely still be a "core group" that'll receive an automatic payment and a "broader group" who'll have to apply for the scheme with their energy provider.
You'll need to check with your energy supplier directly to see the eligibility requirement and details on how to apply.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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