Charity welcomes the launch of the new Welsh Government Fuel Support Scheme
Age Cymru has welcomed this week’s launch of the new Welsh Government’s Fuel Support Scheme which will include those people claiming pension credit. As a result, eligible older people will now receive a £200 payment towards their fuel bills during the forthcoming autumn and winter periods.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt MS.
Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says “The inclusion of people on pension credit in this new scheme will provide some much-needed relief to older people grappling with the cost-of-living crisis.
“Older people have told us that they have cut back as much as they can on spending, including essential items such as food and fuel, so there is little wriggle room left for budgeting.
“As a result, many continue to isolate themselves as they believe the cost of venturing into their communities to meet family and friends is a ‘luxury’ they can no longer afford. This comes after nearly two years of shielding during the pandemic for some older people.
“What we need now is a long-term commitment from the government at Westminster to keep the levels of benefits and state pension in line with inflation to enable older people to face the future with a degree of confidence.
“I would also urge older people currently not receiving pension credit to enquire if they are eligible. Roughly a third of those eligible for pension credit in Wales are not claiming it, even though it’s often a passport to a wide range of other benefits and support packages.
“It is estimated that roughly £175m worth of support and benefits goes unclaimed each year in Wales – money that could help lift many older people out of a life of poverty. If you’ve been turned down before, it may still be worth making a new claim, as benefits rates change, as can your finances.”
To make a claim for Pension Credit, people should call the DWP Pension Credit claim line direct on 0800 99 1234 or visit www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim. It can be claimed by phone and online.
For other information and advice visit www.agecymru.org.uk/advice or if you want to talk to someone directly, in Welsh or English, call Age Cymru Advice on 0300 303 44 98 charged at local rate (open between 9:00am and 4:00pm, Monday – Friday) or email us at [email protected]