Thousands of people across Sheffield are now not eligible for the government’s Warm Homes Discount scheme, after the government changed the criteria.
Residents across Sheffield Heeley have been in contact with Louise Haigh MP, desperate for help, because they have found out that they are now not eligible for the payment. With energy bills set to rise once again in April the Warm Homes Discount has been a lifeline for thousands.
The new criteria states that someone must now be on means tested benefits or tax or pension credits AND live in a property which the government has estimated to be ‘relatively high cost to heat – such as older, larger and more detached properties.’
One resident contacted Louise to say:
“I’ve received the Warm Homes Discount since the scheme started in 2011, I’m a carer for my daughter and we qualified through receiving benefits. This year, we’ve not received it and when I enquired, I was told this was because my house was deemed as being low-cost to heat.
“I now have no way of challenging this decision because I wasn’t informed that the criteria had changed before the end of February, which was also the date all appeals had to be made by.”
Another resident wrote to say that his autistic son had been denied the payment, despite being eligible since the start of the scheme and his circumstances not changing.
Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley, said:
“This is absolutely disgraceful and once again shows that the government are not prepared to support the most vulnerable and those on the lowest incomes in our society.
At the very moment people need more support with their energy bills, the Conservatives are taking it away! It’s absolutely shocking.
“These changes to the Warm Homes Discount scheme have already started to hit the poorest and those with the lowest income the hardest. Those who qualified last winter for this payment, and who are still facing hardship and struggling to make ends meet, now will not receive the payment this year.
“The government needs to urgently rethink this outrageous decision and listen to energy charities, experts and those who will be affected, to see the real impact of their decisions.”