Bridgend Council welcomes extension of Winter Fuel Payment support

copyright Lisa Baker 2021

More households in Bridgend County Borough will soon be eligible to claim a one-off £200 cash payment to help pay their energy bills this autumn and winter, after Welsh Government announced the fund would be extended to reach more eligible people.

Previously, around 166,000 households on universal credit, legacy means-tested benefit and working tax credits benefitted from the £200 Winter Fuel Payment. The extension of the fuel support scheme will mean nearly 200,000 more households on child tax credits, pension credits, disability benefits, carers allowance and contributory benefits will now be eligible.

The scheme is being extended in response to the impact the current cost-of-living crisis is having on low-income households and to allow more households on benefits to be eligible.

Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt, said: “We know a lot of families are feeling anxious and worried about the winter months with rising energy bills, so we hope this announcement provides some comfort to them ahead of the winter.”

It follows the announcement earlier this year that the 2021/22 Winter Fuel Support Scheme payment would be doubled to £200 as the cost-of-living crisis intensified and to support eligible households with rising energy bills.

Eligible households can claim a one-off £200 payment from their local authority to be used towards paying fuel bills. This payment will be available to all eligible energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly and regardless of whether they are using on or off-grid fuel.

In Bridgend County Borough, individuals who qualify for this support will be able to apply for the grant from the 26 September 2022, when applications open, with the first payments expected to be made in October 2022.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Hywel Williams, said: “We welcome the news that Welsh Government will be extending the Winter Fuel Payment scheme to include more people. With the rising costs of fuel and energy charges compounded by warning signs over inflation, this one-off payment will bring some welcome relief to residents on low incomes, helping households with their living costs during these extremely challenging times.”

More details on how to apply for the Welsh Government scheme will be available soon.