Dydd Sul 11 Rhagfyr 2022 / Sunday 11th December 2022

Oherwydd gwaith cynnal a chadw hanfodol, ni fydd ein porth taliadau ar-lein ar gael rhwng 6.00am a 10.00am ddydd Sul 11 Rhagfyr 2022. Ymddiheurwn am unrhyw anghyfleustra y gall hyn ei achosi.

Due to essential maintenance our online payments portal will be unavailable between 06:00am and 10:00am on Sunday 11th December 2022.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Winter fuel support scheme 2022/23

To provide eligible households living in the Caerphilly County Borough area with support towards paying their fuel bills, Welsh Government has announced the Fuel Support Scheme.

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Everyone who believes they are eligible will need to apply using our online form which will be available from 9.00am Monday 26 September 2022 until 5.00pm Tuesday 28 February 2023.

Eligible households living in the Caerphilly County Borough can claim a one-off £200 payment from us.

It does not matter how you pay for your fuel, whether that is, for example, on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly and the £200 can be claimed regardless of whether you are using on or off-grid fuel.

Applicants can only claim for a fuel support payment for a property in Wales and only where this property is their primary residence.  

This payment is in addition to the Energy Bill rebate being offered by the UK Government and the Winter Fuel Payment normally paid to pensioners by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions).

Who can claim a Fuel Support Payment?

The rules about eligibility for Fuel Support Payments have been decided by Welsh Government. We do not have any discretion to make payments outside of those rules.

You CAN claim if:

You are directly responsible for paying the fuel bills for the property in which you live. In most cases that means, your name(s), will appear on any bills issued by the supplier. If you are not named on the fuel bill, you will not be eligible for a payment. 

If bills are not issued to a household that is directly responsible for fuel costs, perhaps because you use a pre-payment meter, then you may still be eligible for a Fuel Support Payment but may need to provide proof that you are responsible for the fuel costs.

An applicant meets the condition of being liable for fuel if they (or their partner) are liable for Council Tax as their liability for Council Tax is considered to indicate they would be liable to pay for fuel.

Eligible households

Welsh Government defines an eligible household for this scheme as explained below:

Single person

  • You apply to the scheme by 5.00pm on 28 February 2023
  • You are directly responsible for paying the fuel bills for your home and you are named on the bill or account
  • You are in receipt one of the qualifying benefits listed below at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023:
    • Council Tax Reduction (N.B. A Council Tax Discount e.g. Single person discount is not a qualifying benefit)
    • Income Support
    • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credits
    • Child Tax Credits
    • Pension Credit
    • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
    • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Carers Allowance – this includes those people who are being paid Carers Allowance and also people who have claimed Carers Allowance but due to the overlapping benefit rules do not receive it as a cash benefit i.e. they have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance
    • Contributory Based/New Style Jobseekers Allowance
    • Contributory Based/New Style Employment and Support Allowance
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment
    • Constant Attendance Allowance
    • War Pension Mobility Supplement
  • You have not received a payment under the 2022/23 scheme before 

Couples

  • You or your partner apply to the scheme by 5.00pm on 28 February 2023
  • You, your partner, or both of you are directly responsible for paying the fuel bills for your home and  one or both of you are named on the bill or account
  • You or your partner are in receipt one of the qualifying working age means-tested welfare benefits listed below at any time between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023:
    • Council Tax Reduction (N.B. A Council Tax Discount e.g. Single person discount is not a qualifying benefit)
    • Income Support
    • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Child Tax Credits
    • Pension Credit
    • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
    • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Carers Allowance – this includes those people who are being paid Carers Allowance and also people who have claimed Carers Allowance but due to the overlapping benefit rules do not receive it as a cash benefit i.e. they have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance
    • Contributory Based/New Style Jobseekers Allowance
    • Contributory Based/New Style Employment and Support Allowance
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment
    • Constant Attendance Allowance
    • War Pension Mobility Supplement
  • You or your partner have not received a payment under 2022/23 scheme before, either as a single person, as part of the same or a different couple.

If a householder (or their partner) who is liable for the fuel costs does not receive any of the qualifying benefits

The householder will be considered eligible for a payment if they have a person (another adult or a dependent child) living with them who:

  1. Lives in the householder's home as their primary residence; and
  2. Receives one of the following benefits anytime between 1 September 2022 and 31 January 2023:
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

A household will only be able to claim one Fuel Support Payment under the 2022/23 Scheme. Welsh Government has confirmed that anyone who has already received a payment either as a single person or as part of the same or a different couple will not be able to claim a second payment.

Please note: if you are entitled to one of the benefits in the list above but are not already receiving help with your Council Tax, you can apply for Council Tax Reduction. You can do this online https://eforms.caerphilly.gov.uk/eclaims/

Joint owners/joint tenants

Joint owners/tenants who are not a member of a couple i.e. you are a single claimant/occupant can apply as different households. 

For example

Four people live in a property, a couple and 2 single occupants. They are all liable for Council Tax and are jointly liable for the fuel bills for the property they live in. All are named on the bills sent by the suppliers.

Assuming the other conditions are satisfied:

  • the 2 single occupants can claim £200 each 
  • the couple can claim one payment of £200 between them

Welsh Government have accepted that the support provided through the Fuel Support Scheme will disproportionately benefit these types of living arrangements.

Evidence required on your application

People who are invited to apply

From the information we already hold for Council Tax Reduction and some Housing Benefit claims, we have been able to identify thousands of people who are likely to be entitled to the payment.

People in this group will be sent letters inviting them to make an application.

People who are not invited to apply for a payment but may be eligible

Anyone who does not receive a letter, but thinks they are eligible for a Fuel Support Payment, can still apply and should do so without delay. You may need to upload evidence that you are the person who has to pay for the fuel bills.

If you are asked to provide proof that you are responsible for the fuel bills for your home, the following evidence will be acceptable:

  • Billing customer:

    • digital copy of a recent bill or invoice for off-grid fuel
    • screenshot/photograph of a recent bill
    • screenshot of account name and address from online account / application dashboard
    • paper copy of a recent bill
  • Pre-payment customer:

    • email confirmation of a recent prepayment top up
    • screenshot of standard meter or smart meter device from property (smart meters should display top up history)
    • screenshot of account name and address from online/app account dashboard (smart meter customers only)
    • pay point receipt/similar of a recent prepayment top up
  • Off-grid customer:

    • a recent invoice for the purchase of off-grid fuel 

Before you apply

Please make sure you have the following information to hand:

  1. Your National Insurance number.

  2. If you have a partner, their National Insurance number.

  3. Your letter from Caerphilly County Borough Council inviting you to make an application for a Fuel Support payment, if you have received one. You will need some of the information in this letter.

  4. If you have not received an invitation to apply from Caerphilly County Borough Council, and do not have to pay Council Tax, you may need to upload proof that you are responsible for paying the fuel bill for your home. Examples of acceptable evidence are given in the table above.

  5. If you (or your partner) are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits but you have a dependent child or other adult living with you, who do meet the criteria above, you will also need to provide their name, date of birth and National Insurance number.

Remember

  • We will never contact you to ask for a fee to cover the cost of applying for a Fuel Support Payment.
  • We will not contact you to ask for your banking and other financial details over the phone unless you contact us first to ask for help because you cannot fill in the application form yourself. In that case you will need to provide us with all the details we need to be able to assist you.
  • If you are in doubt about whether the person you are speaking to about your Fuel Support Payment is from the council, please hang up and call the Benefits Section on 01443 864099 or email us at benefits@caerphilly.gov.uk 

Apply online

Everyone who believes they are eligible will need to apply using our online form which will be available from 26 September 2022.

Closing date for applications: 5.00pm, Tuesday 28 February 2023

If you do not make an application by the deadline date, we will be unable to make a Fuel Payment to you. We have no discretion on this point and must follow Welsh Government's rules.

If you have problems filling in the application form, please contact us and we will be able to help you with the form:

After you've applied

How long will it take for the Council to approve my application and make a payment?

For the people who have been invited to apply because we know they are liable to pay Council Tax and entitled to Council Tax Reduction, payments will be made soon after their application is received.

For everyone else, applications will take longer to process as extra cross checks will need to be made to confirm eligibility. This is an enormous task and although staff will be moved from other duties to process the applications, it may be some time before you receive your payment. For this group, payments are likely to start being made during October 2022 and will continue until the end of March 2023.

What happens if my application is approved?

We will send an email to the email address you give us to tell you that your application has been approved. The payment will be in your bank account between three to five working days after that email is sent once it has gone through the banking system. 

What If my application is not approved?

Your application will be refused if you do not meet the eligibility criteria. We will send you an email to explain that you do not meet the eligibility criteria.

If you think that we have made a mistake, or you forgot to tell us something relevant in your application, then you can send an email to benefits@caerphilly.gov.uk and we will check if a mistake has been made.

If a mistake has been made - we will put it right and tell you in an email.

If a mistake has not been made and we have correctly decided that you are not entitled to a Fuel Support Payment - we will notify you of this.

Welsh Government have confirmed there is no right of appeal against the decision.