You may be eligible for £140 off your winter heating bill - here's how to apply

Households who may struggle to pay their heating bills during the cold winter months could be eligible for a payment of up to £140.

The Warm Home Discount is a one-off discount that is open to people on certain state benefits and other vulnerable people, such as pensioners.

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Who is eligible?

Run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the discount can save people £140 off their bills and it is now open for applications for this winter.

The discount will either be automatically deducted from heating bills between September and March, or it may be given as an energy rebate, received by April 2021.

There are two kinds of people who are eligible for the scheme:

Those who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension credit (Core group)Those who are on low incomes and meet their energy supplier's criteria for the scheme (Broader group)

You belong to the Core group if, on 5 July 2020, yours or your partner's name was on the energy bill and you received the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.

You should have already received a letter from the DWP telling you that you're eligible. This letter will let you know if you need to provide further information, or it will confirm that you are eligible for the discount and don't need to take further action.

If you think you belong to this group but haven't received a letter, you can contact the Warm Home Discount helpline.

Your eligibility for the discount within the Broader group varies between providers.

Usually eligibility depends on you, your partner or another member of your home being the account holder and in receipt of the following benefits:

Income SupportIncome based Jobseekers’ AllowanceIncome related Employment and Support AllowanceUniversal Credit

Some providers will have a first-come, first-served window for applicants, so it's better to apply sooner rather than later.

If you're in receipt of a Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment, the Warm Home Discount won't affect either.

How to apply

You can apply for the scheme now. If you're in the Core group, your letter from the DWP will outline how to apply.

If you're in the Broader group, you can apply for discount through your energy provider.

You'll have to apply each year to continue receiving the discount.

If you think you qualify but haven't had any word about it, you can call the DWP's Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214 from 8.30am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.