Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.
This week, we remind residents to access the appropriate benefits.
Thousands of Cheshire East residents could be missing out on the extra financial support that they are entitled to – with benefits available to help you during the colder months.
Support includes funding for first time central heating to be installed. If you don't have central heating in your home, and are using portable heaters, storage heaters or open fires, you may qualify.
The funding is available on a first-come-first-served basis until February 28, 2017, and the scheme is aimed at households with a low income.
Until March 31, 2017, funding is also available for replacement boilers and central heating through Warm Zone.
If your postcode begins with CW1, CW2, CW5, CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, ST7 or WA16, you may be entitled to help. The funding is based on your full postcode, your health and the household income and will be assessed by Warm Zone. Please contact the Save Energy Advice Line on 0800 043 0151 to find out more.
If you don’t live in a qualifying postcode area but you are on a means tested benefit or have a health condition made worse by the cold, our care and repair service can help by checking your eligibility for any other grants that are available. Call 0300 123 5017 (select option four) for more details.
A winter fuel payment of between £100 and £300 tax-free is available to help you pay your heating bills if you were born on or before May 5, 1953.
Most payments are made automatically between November and December if you get the state pension or another social security benefit. If you qualify, but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim by calling 03459 151515.
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.
Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “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, such as funding for first time central heating, don’t delay making an enquiry.”
Here are just some of the organisations which can help you to access the appropriate benefits this winter:
- If you are over 50 and living in the Crewe, Nantwich, Audlem, Sandbach, Alsager and Middlewich areas, contact Age UK Cheshire on 01606 881660.
- If you are over 50 and living in Macclesfield, Congleton, Holmes Chapel, Wilmslow, Knutsford and Poynton areas, contact Age UK Cheshire East on 01606 612958.
- The Citizens Advice Bureau has services across Cheshire East. For more information, visit the Cheshire East Citizens Advice Service website or call 08444 111444.
Energy Projects Plus also provides a telephone advice service on 0800 0430151 (or 0151 6373670 from a mobile) for Cheshire East residents, offering a wide range of advice on energy efficiency, information on insulation grants and offers, switching energy suppliers, managing fuel debt, renewable energy and much more. More details can also be found at: www.epplus.org.uk
For further winter-related advice, please visit: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil
Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.