New payment to help people pay their energy bills over winter

Households on low incomes in Bridgend County Borough will soon be able to claim a one-off £100 cash payment to help pay their energy bills this winter after Welsh Government announced a new fund.

More than £38 million is being made available through a Winter Fuel Support Scheme for households across Wales where at least one person is in receipt of working age means-tested benefit:

•           Income support

•           Income-based job seekers allowance

•           Income related employment and support allowance

•           Universal credit

•           Working tax credits

The one-off £100 cash payment for each eligible household will be available to all energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment or a credit meter.

Within Bridgend County Borough, individuals who qualify for this support can apply for the grant between 13 December 2021 and 18 February 2022. More details on how to apply will follow.

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, said: “We are very worried the cost-of-living crisis, coming so close to Christmas, will force families to turn to high-cost lenders or illegal loan sharks to help make ends meet

“This fund will help raise awareness of the alternatives out there which can help.

“More than £1.1m has also been provided to support and bolster foodbanks, community food partnerships and community hubs. This will help them address food poverty, food insecurity and provide a wider range of services to help people and families maximise their income.”    

Welsh Government announced the fund following the removal of the £20 uplift of Universal Credit.

Rebecca Evans, Minster for Finance and Local Government, said: “Families across Wales are facing a real cost-of-living crisis thanks to rising prices and cuts to key benefit payments.

“To help tackle these unprecedented challenges, we are making £51 million available to develop our own bespoke Household Support Fund to help with some of the costs families are facing.”

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “With rising energy prices and warning signs over inflation, this one-off payment being funded by Welsh Government will be a real help to our residents on low incomes, helping households with their living costs during these unprecedented times.”