Financial Support in Winter for Carers

Keeping warm in winter is particularly important if we are caring for an older person or someone with a long term health condition or disability. When the weather turns chilly we might be concerned about the cost. Here, we take a look at the three main heating benefits in the UK.

  • Warm Home Discount Scheme

  • Cold Weather Payment

  • Winter Fuel Payments

Receiving these payments will not impact other benefits and they don’t impact each other. Each has different criteria for eligibility but if we or the person we care for are on a low income or over 65 find out more below.


1. Warm Home Discount Scheme


What is it?

A one-off discount of £140 on our electricity bill between September and March each year.


Who is it for?

There are two ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme. We also need to be with an energy supplier who is part of the scheme. We can check here.

  1. If we were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit on the 5th of July 2020

  2. If we're on a low income and meet our energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme


How can I apply?

If we get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, we’ll get a letter between October and December 2021 telling us how to get the discount.

If we’re on a low income, we'll need to contact our energy supplier to see if we’re eligible and how to apply. Do check with your supplier as early as possible. The number of discounts suppliers can give are limited.

It might not be too late to get it for this year, do check. Also make a note in your diary to sign up in October each year as discounts are available on a first come first served basis

When will it be paid?

Our electricity supplier will apply the discount to our bill by 31st March 2022.

Further Information

Don't forget to check if your electricity supplier is part of the scheme. Read the full guidance on the government website here.


2. Cold Weather Payment

What is it?

A payment of £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1st November 2021 and 31st March 2022.


Who is it for?

We’ll usually get a Cold Weather Payment if we get Pension Credit. We may get a Cold Weather Payment if we’re getting one of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Universal Credit

  • Support for Mortgage Interest

Check full details of eligibility here.


This may be particularly relevant if we're caring for someone with a health condition, or disability or supporting someone with an application who has a health condition or disability.


How can I apply?

We do not need to apply. If we are eligible we’ll be paid automatically. The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1st November 2021 to 31st March 2022. Check if we can get a payment in our area here.


When will it be paid?

After each period of very cold weather in our area, we should get a payment within 14 working days. It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as our benefit payments.

We’ll get a payment if the average temperature in our area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

Further Information

Read the full guidance on the government website here.



3. Winter Fuel Payments


What is it?

An annual payment of between £100 and £300 to help pay our heating bills.

Who is it for?

If we were born on or before 5 October 1954. There are some further eligibility criteria that will affect how much we get. For example people over 80 will get a higher amount and if two people live in the same household only one person will be paid. Find out more here.


How can I apply?

Most people will get their Winter Fuel Payment automatically so we do not need to claim. If we don’t receive a State Pension, other benefits or live abroad, we will need to contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.


When will it be paid?

Most payments are made in November and December. The money should be in our account by 31st March. If not contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.


Further Information

Read the full guidance on the government website here.