Here’s our regular update on the support to customers on the Cost of Living crisis and the additional financial measures that the government announced in April 2022.
£650 Cost of Living Payment
From today, customers should start to receive their second instalment of payments to help towards the increase in energy bills.
All eligible households will receive two payments totalling £650 with the first instalment of £326 being paid out in July. The second instalment of £324 will be paid between 8 and 23 November and the funds will be paid directly into the same accounts used to receive benefits payments.
Those eligible for the payments include all families claiming one of seven means-tested benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). These are: Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit.
Customers who receive tax credits only, rather than any of the other benefits, will receive their second instalment between 23 and 30 November and this will be paid straight into your bank account.
£400 Energy Bill Payment
The £400 is a government discount which is being administered by your energy supplier and is being paid directly to customers in six instalments. The first instalment of £66 was paid last month and you will receive a second payment of £66 this month, followed by four monthly payments of £67.
Those with a domestic electricity meter point paying for their energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction to their bills over the 6-month period – totalling £400.
Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with Energy Bill discount vouchers from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post, using the customer’s registered contact details. Customers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up point, such as their nearest local PayPoint or Post Office branch.
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
If you were born on or before 25 September 1956, you could get between £250 and £600 to help pay towards your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
The amount you’ll get includes a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’. This is between £150 and £300. You’ll only get this extra amount in winter 2022 to 2023. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits.
Disability Cost of Living Payment
Eligible customers who receive a qualifying disability benefit like Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance (for either yourself or your child), should have received a £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment. This would have been paid to you between September and October.
Energy Price Guarantee
Since our last update on 10 October, there has been a change to the Energy Price Guarantee, which came into effect on 1 October.
The government announced an energy price guarantee, which limits a typical dual-fuel household’s annual energy bill to £2,500. It was initially designed to last for two years, but the government has since changed this to six months and will now end in April 2023. It is still unclear what will happen after this date and if there will be any more support from the government.
Remember, this is not a cap on how much you will actually pay – your bill depends on how much energy you actually use. The more energy you use, the more you’ll pay – use less energy, the less you’ll pay.
Beware of scams and fraudulent calls and emails
As always, we advise customers to stay alert of potential scams.
In all cases, no household should be asked for bank details at any point. Do not give your bank details over the telephone or on email.
If you are contacted and think it’s a potential scam, please report this to our freephone number 0800 533 5442 to report it so we can alert other customers.
For free, independent support, call the Tenancy Sustainment Team on 0800 533 5442 or email email@example.com