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Benefit Check – Check you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to, even if you are claiming some benefits, you may be entitled to others. Some benefits are means tested, for example; Pension Credit (Guaranteed), Income Support, Council Tax and Housing Benefits. Whereas others are based on Disability such as; Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance and some are based purely on Age such as the Winter Fuel Payment. Contact Age UK Croydon for a full benefit check.
Check you are on the right tariff – The price of Gas and Electricity has increased considerably but some suppliers may be able to offer a cheaper rate or a “Social Tariff” to customers who are on a low income, have a disability or are elderly. Contact your supplier for more information.
Prepare your home – Insulate your home as best you can, double glazing, loft and cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing strips on doors and windows and thick curtains will all help. There are a number of ways to get help with the cost of insulating your home, the Warm Front Scheme provides grants for people on disability or income related benefits. Staying Put can help homeowners over 60 with grants, loans or temporary heaters. Your supplier may have funds available to customers over 70 years old or benevolent funds could help with replacing your curtains. Contact Age UK Croydon for more information, our Handy Person Project can also help with the fitting of curtains and draught-proofing. Energy saving light bulbs can also reduce your bills.
Room temperature – Set your heating at 21C, unless you are feeling cold, then turn it up slightly. Keep a thermometer to check the room temperature, available from Age UK Croydon. At night use electric blankets or a hot water bottle but never use both together. If your heating system breaks down contact your supplier as soon as possible, if they can not fix it, they may be able to supply temporary heaters, if not contact Croydon Council’s Staying Put team on 020 8760 5505 as they can arrange temporary heater.
Prepare yourself – Get the flu jab available free for over 65’s, contact your GP for more information. Eat well and drink plenty of hot drinks. Wrap up warm, ideally with several layers and keep moving. Stock up on basic foods and medicines, so you don't have to go out if the weather turns very cold.
Please see Age UK's factsheets, which can be downloaded using the link or can be ordered from the information line; 0800 169 6565 (freephone):
FS1 – Help with heating cost