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5. Impact of charitable payments on benefits
Charities may sometimes step in to help with fuel or reconnection costs, particularly when ‘vulnerable’ people have been disconnected. Citizens Advice and other advice agencies can help with applications for charitable payments.
Most charitable or voluntary payments which are paid regularly are disregarded as income for means-tested benefits. A ‘one-off’ or occasional payment may count as capital but is very unlikely to affect benefit entitlement unless it takes your capital above the limit for the benefit you are on.
For detailed information about the effect on benefits of regular and irregular payments for fuel, and the treatment of payments as income or capital, see CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook.