Universal Credit: Claimants may be able to cap their water bills through WaterSure scheme
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Universal Credit payments will be tailored to the claimants circumstances, with additional amounts awarded for certain living costs such as childcare or rent. On top of this, if a claimant is in particularly bad financial straits, they may also qualify for a number of support schemes such as cold weather payments or discretionary housing payments.
Additionally, claimants may also be eligible for WaterSure, which is a scheme designed to cap their bills if they have a water meter.
The WaterSure scheme is designed to provide eligible recipients with peace of mind, making sure they don’t cut back on how much water they use because they’re worried about how they will afford their bills.
To qualify, claimants, or someone living with them, will need to be entitled to receive Universal Credit, housing benefit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, working tax credit, child tax credit, pension credit or income-related employment and support allowance.
In addition to this, claimants will need to either be responsible and receive child benefit for three or more children under the age of living in the property or, have (or someone living in the property must have) a medical condition which requires significant additional use of water.
Examples of these medical conditions include psoriasis, crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
So long as a person qualifies for WaterSure, they will pay no more than use the average household bill for the company they work with.
This will be the case even if they use more than the average amount of water.
It should be noted claimants will not qualify for WaterSure if they use a garden sprinkler system or having a swimming pool.
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If a person thinks they’re eligible for WaterSure, they will need to apply through their water company.
According to Citizens Advice, claimants will need to apply by filling out a specific form from their water company.
When applying, they’ll need to supply evidence that they qualify such as a copy of their awards notice for a benefit.
They’ll also need to provide evidence of their medical condition from their doctor, including how the condition is treated and the effect it has on how much water is used.
If a person qualifies, they will start getting help from the start of the billing period during which they first applied.
Should a person’s water and sewerage services be provided by different companies, the water company involved would tell the sewerage company that they’re getting help and the sewerage should then adjust their charges.
Claimants may have to reapply or show evidence that they still qualify for help each year.
The water company involved will let the claimant know if and when they need to do this.
On top of WaterSure, Universal Credit claimants may also receive financial help for:
- Their internet services
- Energy bills
- Housing costs
- Council tax
- School/childcare costs
- Funeral expenses or
- Legal costs
A full list of available support can be found on the Government’s website along with details on eligibility.
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