Cheshire East are working with their partners to offer a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winterand are urging residents to be aware of benefits that they could be entitled to and to take advantage.
Thousands of Cheshire East residents could be missing out on extra financial support that they are entitled to – with benefits available to help people during the colder months.
This is the time of the year when temperatures drop, which makes everyone reliant on central heating. For those with older systems and boilers, this can cause problems and worry. However, in some circumstances, the council can access funding for gas safety checks, heating repairs and replacement boilers. This winter, help is available to install first-time gas central heating systems.
There are a number of ways you may qualify, including some welfare benefits, a combination of low income and high heating costs or certain health conditions, which are made worse by the cold. For more information visit the heating your home section.
For free and impartial advice about ways you can take control of your fuel bills so you can afford to heat your home, contact the Cheshire Green Doctor on 0808 168 3547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For help with insulating your home, some of the major energy suppliers offer free or discounted loft and cavity wall insulation. Visit the simple energy advice website. One in 10 older people cut back on their winter heating to make ends meet but, if you were born on or before 5 April 1954, a tax-free winter fuel payment of between £100 and £300 is available to help you pay your heating bills. Any money you get will not affect your other benefits.
Most payments are made automatically between November and December, if you get the state pension or another social security benefit (not Universal Credit). You should get your money by 13 January 2020.
If you qualify, but don’t get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim by calling the office that pays your benefits before 31 March 2020. Their contact details are on any letters they sent you.
A cold weather payment may also be available to you if you receive certain benefits.Payments are made automatically when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of 0C or below over seven consecutive days. This scheme runs from 1 November 2019 to 31 March 2020.
Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “Making your home more energy efficient will save you money on your fuel bills and will also improve your health, by making your home warmer.
“There is support available to help you cover the costs of winter, so make sure you are accessing the relevant benefits and payments. If you think you may be eligible for schemes, don’t delay making an enquiry.”
For further winter wellbeing advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Further information about winter-related benefits can be found under the ‘stay warm’ tab.
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