Worcestershire Household Support Fund Phase 4

Help is available to support your energy needs – bills, debt and heating.

April 2023 – March 2024

The scheme is administered and managed by Act on Energy on behalf of Worcestershire County Council. This funding is made available through the Department of Work and Pensions to support people through the cost-of-living crisis.

 

Please only submit one application form online. Duplicate applications will not be actioned and will delay your original application date. We operate a priority order for all applications, as detailed below.

  • If this is your first application and applicants that have not received support from previous rounds of HSF funding
  • Applicants that received support in HSF1 (October 2021-March 2022)
  • Applicants that received support in HSF2 (April 2022-September 2022)
  • Applicants that received support in HSF3 (October 2022-March 2023)
  • Applicants that received support in HSF4 but over 6 months ago.

Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for our support again if you have applied and received support in the previous 6 months.

All evidence requested below & during your online application must be submitted for your application to be processed and approved. We will let you know if your application is successful, this may take a few weeks due to the high number or applications we receive. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide application status updates over the phone.

Please note, this is not an emergency service, if you require urgent energy support please contact your energy supplier, your district council or seek advice through your local advice services.

 

Who can apply?

This scheme is only available to Worcestershire residents. You must live in Malvern, Worcester, Wychavon, Bromsgrove, Redditch, or Wyre Forest.

To check this applies to you, please visit gov.uk/find-local-council. (Worcestershire County Council must be listed)

In addition to being a Worcestershire resident, you must also

  1. Have an overall gross (before tax) household income of £31,000 or less a year, including non-means tested benefits

 (You will need to submit evidence of 3 consecutive months bank statements for each adult occupier as proof)

OR

Be in receipt of a means-tested benefit

(All applications that tick this box will be submitted to Worcestershire County Council to search your DWP benefit record, you must ensure the application is completed in the name of the benefit recipient with their national insurance number).

  1. Have no household savings

(Exception of £5,000 in savings for each household occupier of state pension age)

  1. You or a household occupier must meet the following vulnerability criteria
  • In receipt of one or more of the following DWP benefits:
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Carers Allowance
    • Personal Independence Payment
    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Health Allowance (included within your Universal Credit breakdown)
  • Engaging with one of the following support services:
    • Accommodation/Homelessness support
    • Addiction Support
    • Carers Support
    • Children & Families Support
    • Debt Management Support
    • Domestic Abuse Support
    • Education/School Support
    • Local Welfare Provision Support
    • Disability Support
    • Older Adults Support
    • Employment Support
    • Food Bank/Food Provision Support
    • Immigration/Refugee support
    • Mental Health/Counselling Support
  • Engaged with any of the following advice or support services in the last calendar month:
    • Citizens Advice
    • Age UK
    • StepChange or a national debt support or advice service
    • Community Centre
    • Local Charity
    • Your GP Social Prescribing Team
    • Worcestershire County Council Adult Front Door Team
  • Long-term diagnosed health condition or registered disabled
  • A household of state pension age
  • A household with young children of pre-school age (4years old or under)

Income & vulnerability evidence is required for all applications. Details of what evidence is required and how to submit your evidence can be found below. Failure to send the necessary evidence will result in your application being cancelled.

Please see the evidence section below for the evidence we will accept.

 

What support is available?

1. Help with current energy and water costs

This is open to the following utility types:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Oil
  • LPG
  • Solid Fuel (e.g. Coal or Wood)

In addition to the evidence to meet the criteria mentioned above, you will need to supply evidence of your customer account with your energy or water provider.

Your energy or water bill evidence must show your:

  • Name and Address
  • Customer account number

If all evidence has been supplied, you may receive the following support depending on your household type:

  1. Households with children under the age of 18, or young adults up to the age of 21 in full time education, can receive up to £500.
  2. Households with adults only, aged between 18 & 66can receive up to £300
  3. Households with one adult or a couple of pensionable agecan receive up to £300

Depending on the billing method for your energy account, energy payments will either be made by direct bank transfer to your energy supplier for your energy account, via an online portal for your energy supplier to credit your energy account or via Post Office vouchers for pre-payment to-ups.

Pre-payment meter vouchers can only be redeemed as credit directly onto your key or card. No vouchers can be redeemed as cash.

Please see the evidence section below for the evidence we will accept.

2. Help with energy and/or water debts

This is open to the following utility types:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water

Debt is an amount owing that is not your usual monthly payment e.g., if you usually pay £300 per month and that is the amount showing on your most recent bill, this is not classed as debt. If, however your usual monthly payment is £300 but you have fallen behind with payments and owe £600 in addition to the monthly payment this is classed as debt.

The level of financial assistance for your accrued debt will be calculated once evidence has been submitted with your application form. There is a maximum capped level of financial support for energy and water debts available for each household.

You will need to supply proof of energy and water debts from your energy or water debt online accounts or letters from your supplier. If you request this support on your online application, a separate application form will be posted or emailed to you. This must be completed and returned with the necessary evidence requested on the form.

Please see the evidence section below for the evidence we will accept.

All debt cases must agree to support from a debt advisory organisation either Step Change or your local Citizen Advice. You must engage with the debt advice service before any financial support is paid to your energy or water account.

3. Help with repairing, servicing, or replacing your heating system

Support is available for heating system repairs, replacements, and servicing.

If you tick help with repairing or replacing your boiler on your initial online application this will automatically trigger us to send you an application form which will include full details of how to apply, you don’t need to do anything else at this stage.

Owner Occupiers

  • Must have owned the property for a minimum of 12 months
  • The property must not be on the market for sale or due to go on the market

Shared Ownership Households who have a contracted duty to repair

  • Must have owned the property for a minimum of 12 months
  • The property must not be on the market for sale or due to go on the market

Support Available

  • Replacement of Boilers ( all fuel types) beyond economic repair/ or replacement of parts/repair
  • Replacement or repair of other types of heating system
  • Installation of first time heating systems where a gas supply is present
  • Replacement of broken warm air systems to gas fired wet systems
  • Repair/Replacement/installation of standard/smart heating controls
  • Servicing

 

Evidence

You must supply evidence of the following information and submit by post or email,

Income evidence to show overall household income below £31,000:

You must live in a low-income household to qualify for any support. You can supply this evidence in either or the below options:

  1. If there is a means-tested benefit recipient in your household, you will need the following details of the benefit recipient on your application form,
    • Name
    • Address
    • National Insurance number

These details will be passed to Worcestershire County Council to conduct a search on the DWP benefit records and confirm your eligibility.

  1. If you do not have a means-tested benefit recipient in the household, you will need to supply evidence of:
  • 3 consecutive months bank statements of each adult
  • 3 consecutive months payslips of each adult
  • P60 of each working adult

Evidence required for: Help with current energy and water costs

In addition to the income evidence requested above you must supply evidence of your energy account details. This must include,

  • Energy/water bill – showing name, address, and customer account number

This can be

  • A photo, screenshot, or paper copy of a recent utility bill (must show your account number, name, and address).
  • A photo or screenshot of your online account with your utility provider (must show your account number, name, and address).

Evidence required for: Help with energy and/or water debts

Once you have completed your online application and submitted your income evidence or supplied your means-benefit recipient details, you will be posted or emailed a separate application form requesting the necessary evidence for this support. This must be completed and returned with the requested supporting evidence within 28 days. If we receive no response within 28 days your claim will be closed and you will need to re-apply, causing further delay.

Evidence required for: Help with repairing, servicing, or replacing your heating system

Once you have completed your online application and submitted your income evidence or supplied your means-benefit recipient details, you will be posted or emailed a separate application form requesting the necessary evidence for this support. This must be completed and returned with the requested supporting evidence within 28 days. If we receive no response within 28 days your claim will be closed, and you will need to re-apply, causing further delay.

Submitting the evidence requested above:

Digital evidence to be emailed to: worcestershirehsf@actonenergy.org.uk

Paper evidence to be posted to: Act on Energy, Unit 2, Lauriston Business Park, Salford Priors, Warwickshire WR11 8SN

Your application WILL NOT be processed until the supporting evidence has been provided.

 

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HOW TO APPLY

Before registering your interest, please note:

1. There is no guarantee of support.

2. This is not an emergency scheme.

3. If you were successful in receiving support through the previous Worcestershire Household Support Fund, you can apply again provided you received help prior to 30th September 2022. If you received help more recently your application will be ignored. Priority will be given to households that have made no previous application.

 

REFERRALS

We accept referrals from both Professional Referrers and friends or family members.

To register your interest in Worcestershire Household Support Scheme – Phase 4, please complete and submit the ‘Online Self Certification Application form’ available by clicking this link or the button below.

 

APPLY HERE

 

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TERMS OF THE SCHEME

If you are applying for Energy Payment support 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 and if applicable income evidence to worcestershirehsf@actonenergy.org.uk please include in the email heading your name and postcode, this information is essential to process the payment. If you are having trouble providing a copy of your bill, please don’t worry and call us on 0800 988 2881.

To replace a broken heating system or boiler you will be emailed or posted a separate application form. You will need to complete it and return it alongside your supporting evidence before your application can be considered.

We reserve the right to ask each applicant applying for assistance 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 worcestershirehsf@actonenergy.org.uk or sent to:
Worcestershire Household Support Fund, FREEPOST RUAY-JCSS-GLCC, Act on Energy, Unit 2, Lauriston Business Park, Pitchill, EVESHAM, WR11 8SN

 

How long will it be before I receive help?

Fuel Payments and Fuel Vouchers
The Household Support Fund is not an emergency service. We will endeavour to make fuel payments once the coucnil have approved your case after they have run the DWP check or upon receipt of the correctly completed form and supply of evidence. 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 when a payment has been made. These schemes are very admin-heavy so help is not always available immediately and it may take up to ten working days for the fuel payments to appear on your energy accounts.

Fuel Debt
Once we receive your completed application, with the correct supporting evidence, if approved, your case will then be referred to Step Change or Citizens Advice, you must engage with these services before any payments can be released.

Physical Interventions
Applicants will be required to complete application forms and return these with evidence. Installations of boilers, etc., are subject to quotations and approval. Unfortunately, work is not guaranteed to take place but once approved, this process can take some time, 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 our staff – they 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.

 

 

 

This webpage has been last updated on 12.01.2024 at 14:00 (GMT+1)