Who is eligible for the £400 energy payout and how do you apply?

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund is now live (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

High energy bills are still a concern for many – like the the cost of living crisis continues.

The government’s Energy Price Guarantee is increasing by £500 from April, and the Energy Bills Support Scheme rebate ends in March, so bills are set to rise this year.

There is good news for some, however – as an online portal has been created for the Scheme’s Alternative Fund.

Around 900,000 other households can now claim the £400 discount if they did not originally receive it.

So who is eligible? And how do you apply?

What is the £400 energy payment?

Homes with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales were eligible for the Energy Bill Support Scheme.

It’s a £400 energy bill discount that many of us receive over six months – from October 2022 to March 2023 – in £66 or £67 in installments.

Woman checking energy usage on smart meter screen

If you didn’t get the automatic rebate, see if you’re eligible to claim the £400 through the Alternative Fund (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This was applied automatically in most cases, going straight to energy suppliers to reduce bills. In some cases, depending on how you paid for the energy, it arrived in the form of vouchers.

There is now a £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund payout available.

It is a lump sum, with the £400 paid directly to the individual. It is intended to help some households that did not get the original Electricity Bill Support Scheme discount.

Who is eligible for the £400 energy payment?

Essentially, it’s available to people who live in certain situations and pay for energy usage, but haven’t received the winter discount.

Gov.uk says people living in the following may be eligible for the money:

  • a residential park house
  • on a boat at a permanent residential mooring
  • on a gypsy site and permanent traveler
  • part of a heat network without an electricity meter
  • in social or private rented accommodation that has a commercial power connection or a communal electricity supply
  • off grid electricity or gas
  • in a nursing home or assisted living center and you pay for some or all of your care (either directly or through loss of pension or other benefits)
  • in a separate domestic home within non-domestic property (such as a farmhouse or an apartment above a shop).

It has to be your main and permanent home, and you will also need a fixed address in England, Scotland or Wales.

Some people will not be eligible, such as those living in purpose-built student accommodation or people in nursing homes whose fees are paid by the NHS or local council.

How to apply for the £400 energy payout if you haven’t received it yet

You can sign up for gov.uk here if you live in England, Scotland or Wales.

However, if someone cannot apply online, you can apply on their behalf or call the helpline on 0808 175 3287, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

As part of the application, you will need to provide an email address or telephone number (if you have one) as well as details of a UK bank account in your name.

Warming hands on electric heater

This £400 support can be ordered online (Image: Getty Images/EyeEm)

You may also need proof of address if you are not registered with council tax, and for those in a nursing home, other documents will be required for the application process.

There is a different support scheme for people in Northern Ireland. Eligibility information and application can be found at NI direct.

How will the £400 be paid and when will it arrive?

According to gov.uk: ‘You will be informed of the progress of your application by email or letter. You should get a response within six weeks.

‘If you are eligible, your council will arrange a one-off payment. You don’t have to return that money.’

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