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Struggling with your energy costs

If you are struggling with rising energy bills particularly during these cold winter months there is some support that could be available to you.

If you have reached Pension Credit age you may qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100-£300 to help you pay your heating bills. You might also be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if the weather in your area falls to zero degrees Celsius or below for seven days in a row and you are getting certain benefits.

You could be eligible for help under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if your energy supplier belongs to the scheme and you are getting  Guarantee Pension Credit . If eligible you would get an annual discount of £140 off your electricity bill. Energy suppliers when notified may also offer discounts to low income and vulnerable people.

Energy efficiency advice and free or subsidised energy efficiency schemes are also offered by the majority of energy suppliers. For Further information see our Turn2us Energy Schemes guide
If you are in debt to your energy supplier, you might also be able to get a grant from their charitable trust to help pay off the debt.

Further help

Find out what other financial help may be available to you by checking your entitlement to benefits and grants by using the free Turn2us Benefits and Grant search tool.

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.