WE ARE NOT A NATIONWIDE ORGANISATION AND ARE UNABLE TO HELP YOU OBTAIN ASSISTANCE IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF OUR AREA – YOU NEED TO CALL YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY WHO WILL HELP YOU WITH THIS

13/01/22 – WE ARE CURRENTLY DEALING WITH A HIGH LEVEL OF APPLICATIONS ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS & IT IS TAKING LONGER TO GET HELP TO YOU – PLEASE BE PATIENT.

HOW TO APPLY FOR ASSISTANCE – Please read through before submitting your application.

The winter 2021/2022 Household Support Fund offers qualifying residents across the county of Worcestershire support with their energy costs, fuel debt and where required assistance to replace broken boilers and heating systems.

So what help is available?

1. WINTER FUEL PAYMENT – Available to homeowners, private rented tenants and housing association/council tenants

A one-off payment of £500 paid directly onto your water, gas or electricity account or you can get a tank top up for your oil or LPG refill/ bottled gas.

  • Available for families who meet the income and vulnerability criteria.
    Families are qualified as households with children under the age of 18 and, or with young adults up to the age of 21 who are living at home and in full time education. Please note, households with multiple adult occupants that don’t meet the above criteria through this scheme are considered as Couples, please see information below.

See ‘How to Apply’ section for further details below

2. WINTER FUEL PAYMENT – Available to homeowners, private rented tenants and housing association/council tenants

A one-off payment of £300 or less to be paid directly onto your water, gas or electricity account or you can get a tank top up for your oil or LPG refill/ bottled gas.

  • Available for single or couple households who meet the income and vulnerability criteria. *Please note that households already in receipt of the Government Winter Fuel Payment may be considered for a top-up payment e.g. if they already receive £200 we will pay £100 onto their energy account/s.

See ‘How to Apply’ section for details.

3. PRE-PAYMENT FUEL VOUCHERS – Available to homeowners, private rented tenants and housing association/council tenants

Fuel vouchers are an alternative to the Winter Fuel Payment, not in addition to the Winter Fuel Payment. Where possible payment will be made direct to your supplier

  • Family Households: 3 instalments of 3 x £49 vouchers each. 4-week period between each instalment.
  • Single/Couple Households: 2 instalments of 3 x £49 vouchers each. 4-week period between each instalment.

See ‘How to Apply’ section for details.

4. DEBT RELIEF  – Available to homeowners, private rented tenants and housing association/council tenants

  • Households who meet the income and vulnerability criteria, can apply for debt relief on their water, electricity, and gas accounts.

See ‘How to Apply’ section for details.

5. PHYSICAL INTERVENTIONS – Private home owners/ shared ownership and private rental tenants who have a  responsibility to repair

Homeowners – your property must not be on the market for sale or at risk of repossession, you must have owned the property for a minimum of 12 months and have no plans to market the property for sale. Private tenancies will be long term tenancies only and subject to their tenancy agreement.

Heating systems (all fuel types) – You can apply for assistance if the following applies:

  1. Replacement of boilers (all fuel types) beyond economic repair / or replacement parts/ repair.
  2. Replacement or repair of other types of heating systems e.g. storage heaters
  3. Installation of first-time heating systems where a gas supply is present
  4. Replacement of broken warm air systems to gas fired wet radiator systems
  5. Repair/ replacement/ installation of standard or smart heating controls
  6. Servicing

How do I qualify for assistance?

1. Eligibility Criteria: You must satisfy criteria 1,2 or 3 below

  1. In receipt of means tested benefits with a gross household income (including benefits) below £30,000 plus a vulnerability from the list shown
  2. Not in receipt of benefits but with a gross household income below £30,000 plus a vulnerability from the list shown
  3. Referral from a recognised source – school/ Foodbank/ recognized partner agency e.g. Citizen’s Advice with a gross household income below £30,000

2. Additional criteria: If you are at this point and believe that you are eligible, the next stage is to meet the additional criteria, shown below

  1. No household savings
  2. Property cannot be on the market for sale or sold and  you must have owned the property for minimum of 12 months (Physical interventions only)
  3. In a rental property – Physical interventions will only be considered where the property is a long term let e.g. sitting tenant who has a responsibility to repair.

3.Vulnerability: You need to be able to show that you are vulnerable for one of the reasons listed below or provide information on why you believe you qualify on the online application form.

  • At least one permanent resident in the home has a long term diagnosed health conditions e.g. COPD
  • You are self-employed and have been unable to work/your income continues to be impacted by Covid 19
  • Households struggling to manage debt/ financially impacted
  • Recently made redundant
  • Pregnant
  • In receipt of DLA or PIP
  • Receive free school meals
  • Other vulnerabilities disclosed by household’s not on the list but accepted at AOE’s discretion.

How do I apply? All applications where possible need to be made online

You can apply online by completing the application form link below.

PLEASE READ ON BELOW BEFORE COMPLETING THE APPLICATION.

APPLICATION FORM – CLICK HERE

PLEASE TAKE PARTICULAR NOTE OF THE TIME FRAMES FOR RECEIVING HELP – PLEASE DO NOT CHASE YOUR APPLICATION – UNLESS A MINIMUM OF 25 WORKING DAYS HAS PASSED.

WE ARE CURRENTLY DEALING WITH OVER A THOUSAND APPLICATIONS FOR HELP ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS SO WE ASK KINDLY THAT YOU DONT CALL CHASING YOUR APPLICATION, THE MORE TIME WE SPEND ON THE PHONE DEALING WITH HOUSEHOLDS CHASING ASSISTANCE THE LONGER IT WILL TAKE US TO DELIVER THE SCHEME. PLEASE BE PATIENT WE WILL GET TO YOU.

TERMS OF THE SCHEME

If you are applying for a Winter Fuel Payment you will need to provide details of your energy and/or water supplier, oil or LPG supplier on the online application including their name and your energy/ water/ account number. In addition you will need to send a copy of your latest bill to support@actonenergy.org.uk please include in the email heading your name and postcode, this information is essential to process the payment as there is no cash alternative. If you are having trouble providing a copy of your bill please don’t worry and call us on 0800 988 2881.

If you are applying for Pre Payment meter Fuel Vouchers you will be issued with 3 x £49 Paypoint or Post Office Vouchers, families can apply for a maximum of nine vouchers, single households/ couples can apply for a maximum of six. You can though only apply for three at a time with at least one month between issues.

Please note that if you are applying for assistance with Fuel Debt or to replace a Broken heating system or boiler you will be emailed or posted a separate application form that you will need to complete and return with evidence before your application can be considered.

We reserve the right to ask each applicant applying for the Winter Fuel Payment and Fuel Vouchers to provide evidence to support their application. If we request evidence this will be made by email or phone, the information you send needs to be emailed to support@actonenergy.org.uk or send to:

Worcestershire Household Support Fund, FREEPOST RUAY-JCSS-GLCC, Act on Energy, Unit 1.4 Lauriston Park, Pitchill, EVESHAM, WR11 8SN

How long will it be before I receive help?

The Household Support Fund is not an emergency service but we will endeavor to make payments winter fuel payments within 20 working days upon of receipt of a correctly completed application and Fuel vouchers within 10 working days.  Please do not call and chase payments within this time period as this will not make the process any quicker, you will be advised by email or telephone when a payment has been made.

Winter fuel payments and fuel vouchers
Applications will be on a first come first served basis – delivery of these schemes is very admin heavy so help is not always available immediately and it may take up to ten working days to make payments onto energy accounts.  We aim to issue fuel vouchers within five to ten working days (not including weekends and bank holidays) where possible.

Physical Interventions and fuel debt
Applicants applying for the above will be required to complete application forms and return these with evidence, this process naturally takes longer but once approved fuel debt payments will be made within ten working days. Installations of boilers, etc., is determined by availability of contractors but usually works are completed within 15 to 20 working days

Please note applications for the replacement of boilers and installation of heating works is subject to quotations and approval, work is not guaranteed to take place but once approved this process can take up to four weeks sometimes longer depending on the measures and availability of contractors.

TOLERANCE

We understand that people may feel frustrated during the application process but if those feelings escalate into verbal abuse and aggression towards our staff, we consider that to be unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Please respect that our staff are here to help and will be doing everything they can to bring your case to a satisfactory conclusion. Please note that funding is discretionary and could be withdrawn if deemed necessary. All applications are on a first come first served basis.