There With You This Winter: Help at hand from Age UK Camden
- Credit: PA
This winter, Age UK Camden is running its Warm Homes programme, helping older people access additional financial support.
Over the coming months, some elderly people will emerge from 20 months of self-isolation to find prices are higher and energy more expensive.
This, along with ongoing anxieties around Covid-19, could make the winter particularly difficult.
The Warm Homes programme, available to those aged 55 or over, runs from September until the end of March.
Through free appointments with trained advisors, service users can check their eligibility for additional financial support, including housing benefit, council tax reductions, pension credit and attendance allowance.
They will also find out whether they’re entitled to the government's warm homes discount, a one-off £140 payment that goes towards energy bills.
Paul Webley, information advice manager at Age UK Camden, said he is often shocked that eligible pensioners are not getting the right support.
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The 54-year-old said: “During the pandemic, I went to visit a couple in their late 90s. The lady was living with dementia while her husband dealt with all her care.
“They were entitled to loads of stuff like pension credit, which they could have been claiming since the day they retired.”
Service users can also get a home energy check, where technicians install equipment and offer advice to increase their home’s energy efficiency.
Face-to-face, telephone and video appointments, as well as home visits, are all available.
Although the services provided by the Warm Homes programme are available all year round, increased funding means the centre is currently taking more appointments.
In recent years, older people have suffered numerous hits to their income. Since, 15 May 2019, mixed-aged couples have only been able to claim pension credit once the youngest spouse has reached pension age.
Since last August, television licences are no longer free for those over 75 unless they claimed pension credit.
Age UK Camden can be contacted on 0207 837 3777, by emailing email@example.com or by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk/camden