Energy bills have been shockingly high this year, but fortunately more help is coming for those who need some support in covering these costs. Yesterday, Stormont ministers approved plans for a one-off payment of £200 for around 280,000 people in Northern Ireland.
Unlike the recent Emergency Winter Support scheme, there is no application process and payments will be made to individuals rather than households through existing payment. This is especially useful for households that may have more than one person claiming benefits, such as a couple receiving pension credit who will then be able to claim £400 for their household instead of just £200. When the payments will be made is still to be confirmed but hopefully this will be sooner rather than later as the pressure of rising bills is hitting people now.
Am I eligible for this payment?
You are automatically eligible if you if you are a resident of Northern Ireland and you received one of the following benefits between Monday 13th December and Sunday 19th December 2021:
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income support
Do you need more help?
If you are in need of more support to cover your bills over winter, you may consider applying for the Emergency Winter Support Scheme. The emergency scheme, developed by the Department for Communities alongside the Consumer Council, Bryson Energy and local energy suppliers, offers a one-off support of £100 to be spent on oil, gas or electricity.