HOUSEHOLDS have just weeks left to claim up to £200 free cash to go towards energy bills.
The support comes from the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme.
It’s for 2million people across the UK who are off grid.
This means you don’t use mains gas and instead use alternative sources such as heating oil, biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The scheme was extended last month to allow more people to claim the cash.
Many will have received the payment automatically in February.
People on a direct debit should have had the cash into their account and those paying by standard credit should have had £200 added to their energy account.
But for those who didn’t and therefore need to apply have until May 31 so you need to be quick.
The amount will be £200 for everyone who receives it.
Eligible people include those:
- in a residential park home
- on a boat on a permanent residential mooring
- on a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site
- in social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
- off the mains electricity or gas grid
- part of a business property (such as a farm or a flat above a shop)
You can apply via the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-alternative-fuel-bill-support-if-not-automatic.
You can also call the government on 0808 175 3287.
To apply, make sure you have the following to hand:
- an email address or phone number
- your bank details
- alternative fuel receipts or other proof that you’ve been using it within the allotted time period
You can submit up to 10 receipts when applying for the cash.
After applying you should be sent either an email or letter within six weeks confirming if you’re going to get the £200.
If you do qualify you’ll receive the money directly into your bank account – we’ve asked how long this takes after receiving the letter and will update the piece once we know more.
What other help can I get?
If you’re entitled to this payment, you might be entitled to some others.
We’ve listed a few for you here.
Cost of living payment
Millions of eligible people have already been paid the first £301 cost of living payment.
A further two will be made – one of £300 in the Autumn and then one of £299 in Spring next year.
The £900 payment will be going to millions on means-tested benefits – you’ll only be able to get it if you are claiming one of these benefits below.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
- Universal Credit
For the previous payments, you had to be entitled, or later found to be entitled to one of these benefits by a certain date.
If you aren’t sure if you’re eligible then you have just days to check.
£150 disability cost of living payment
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in May that six million disabled Brits will receive £150 from 20 September.
The money is to help cover the costs of running energy intensive equipment at home.
For many disability benefit recipients who receive means tested benefits, the £150 will come on top of the £650 they will receive separately.
The automatic payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
£150 Council Tax rebate
In February, the government announced it would be offering a council tax rebate to combat rising energy bills.
The £150 payment is for people whose homes fall under council tax bands A-D and local councils are responsible for deciding who is eligible and making payments.
The government set a deadline of September 30 for all payments to be made, and payments started back in April.
Many people who pay their council tax bill by direct debit have already had the cash paid directly into their bank accounts.
But thousands who don’t must apply for the £150 from their local authority.
You can find your local authority by using the government’s handy tool.
Some households are yet to receive payments, but councils have given updates on when residents in those areas should expect to receive them.
£150 from £144 million discretionary fund
Thousands of people who are not eligible for a council tax rebate could still get up to £150 free cash to help with the rising cost of living.
A separate £144 million fund has also been launched, which local councils can dish out to vulnerable and low income households in their area.
An estimated 4.7million households are in council tax bands E-H, so will not get the rebate automatically, but could still qualify for a discretionary payment.
Local authorities are giving out the cash in different ways and the amount you get and who qualifies can vary depending on where you live.
You can find your local council on the government’s website.
£300 Pensioner cost of living payment
In November or December this year, a £300 one-off Pensioner cost of living payment will be dished out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
The extra £300 will be paid directly and is on top of this support which means some eligible households will see their payments double this winter.
You can check out if you are eligible for the Winter Fuel payment in this handy explainer.
£200 Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund programme aims to help those struggling with their finances and can’t cover the essentials.
The Scheme is part of the Government’s Household Support Fund which was first introduced in October 2021.
It has recently been extended until September 30, 2022 as millions of people face the ongoing cost of living crisis.
In May of this year Chancellor Rishi Sunak pumped an extra £500million into the scheme. In total, £1.5 billion has been made available.
The money is being dispersed between local councils to help those who need it locally.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]