1. Benefit entitlement checks
If you cannot afford to pay for fuel or something related (eg. maintaining a boiler or replacing a heater), get specialist benefits advice to make sure that you are receiving all the financial help you are entitled to. Do not delay in this, as there are time limits for claiming all benefits and restricted opportunities for backdating.
Do not be put off from seeking advice and do not assume that you are not entitled to any help or to any more help than you are already getting. Whatever your circumstances, your local Citizens Advice, advice centre or welfare rights service should be able to provide you with a benefits check free of charge. In Wales and Scotland, you can get a free benefit check via the government-funded energy efficiency schemes:
•in Wales, Nest: freephone 0808 808 2244;
•in Scotland, Home Energy Scotland: freephone 0808 808 2282.
If you are refused a benefit and need to challenge the decision, consult CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for detailed information and seek advice. If you are not entitled to any benefits, see Chapter 12.