Treasury broadens support in response to rise in winter heating costs

David Ashford

People on low incomes who do not receive any income-related Social Security benefit payment can now claim a lump-sum of £75, £50 or £25 to assist with home heating costs.

The Variable Rate Winter Bonus is being introduced as an extra support measure in light of rising gas and oil prices, and is designed to assist those who fall just outside existing criteria.

Winter bonuses are already available for those receiving income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance and employed person’s allowance.

Treasury Minister David Ashford MHK said: ‘Entitlement to this payment will be assessed based on a person’s circumstances and means during the week commencing 3 January 2022. To qualify, a person’s income in that week must be just above income support levels and the applicant must be responsible for the payment of housing costs.’

More information about the different winter bonuses is available at gov.im/socialsecurity, including how to make a claim. Claims must be made before 3 February 2022 and anyone who is not able to access the website or needs more information should contact Social Security by calling 685053.

Minister Ashford added: ‘I’d urge anyone who’s struggling to pay their heating bills and isn’t sure whether they might be entitled to a Variable Rate Winter Bonus to get in touch. Treasury will continue to monitor home-heating costs over the next few weeks and consider whether further help is required.’

Anyone who receives income support, employed person’s allowance or income-based jobseeker’s allowance is not eligible for the Variable Rate Winter Bonus. People who are in receipt of those benefits and are eligible for a winter bonus – worth either £450 or £100 depending on circumstances – will be paid it automatically during January.
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