Millions in DWP benefits can lower water bills amid cost-of-living crisis


The WaterSure scheme allows customers who use water with medical needs or a certain number of school children to be protected from rising bills by implementing a cap

A young husband and father sits at a dining table looking at household bills and holds his head in despair
Millions of families claiming benefits could be alleviating the costs of their homes through a new scheme

Millions of families claiming benefits could alleviate their household costs through a scheme that limits water bills.

WaterSure allows customers to be protected against paying rising rates, even if they use more than the average amount of water, reports Birmingham Live.

To apply, a household must use a water meter and have a certain number of school-age children or use a substantial amount of water for medical reasons.

It comes as Boris Johnson has been urged to hold a summit in Downing Street to discuss solutions to Britain’s catastrophic rise in the cost of living.

Citizens Advice said: “To apply for the WaterSure scheme, you must have benefits and need to use a lot of water, either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children.

“You must also have a water meter or be waiting to have one installed.

“If you get your water from Welsh Water, you’re covered by WaterSure Wales, which works similarly to the English scheme.”

Rising energy rates have left some of the UK’s most vulnerable in dire straits.
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To qualify for help under the WaterSure scheme, you or someone you live with must be entitled to receive one of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing benefit
  • income support
  • Income-Based Job Seeker Allowance
  • Work Tax Credit
  • Child tax credit (except families receiving only the family element)
  • pension credit
  • Earnings Related Employment and Support Allowance

In addition, you must:

  • Be responsible for three or more children under the age of 19 and in full-time education living on the property, or
  • Have (or someone living on the property must have) a medical condition that requires significant additional water use. Examples include weeping skin conditions (such as psoriasis), Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.

Those claiming certain benefits may be eligible for the price cap
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You won’t qualify for WaterSure if you use a garden sprinkler system or have a pool, Ofwat said.

If you think you are eligible for WaterSure, you will need to apply through your water company.

Some water providers also offer WaterSure if you have a disability living allowance or personal independence payment.

Severn Trent, which covers the heart of the UK, from the Bristol Channel to the Humber and from mid-Wales to the East Midlands, says it offers WaterSure for those with all the specific benefits.

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Eligible Benefits at Severn Trent

Severn Trent offers WaterSure for the full range of possible state benefits. These are the following:

  1. Housing benefit
  2. income support
  3. Work Tax Credit
  4. Child tax credit (apart from the basic element of £547.50)
  5. pension credit
  6. Universal Credit
  7. Income-Based Job Seeker Allowance
  8. Earnings Related Employment and Support Allowance
  9. disability living allowance
  10. Personal Independence Payment

Boris Johnson has been urged to hold a summit in Downing Street
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Eligible Medical Conditions at Severn Trent

Among other rules to apply for WaterSure, you or someone else in your household must have a medical condition that means a lot of water must be used.

Severn Trent detailed these conditions as follows:

  1. Incontinence
  2. weeping skin disease (such as psoriasis)
  3. Desquamation (scaly skin disease)
  4. Crohn’s disease
  5. Kidney failure requiring home dialysis
  6. Alzheimer’s / dementia
  7. Cancer
  8. Diabetes
  9. Eczema
  10. Any condition confirmed by a doctor requires additional use of water.

If you meet the criteria for the WaterSure scheme, Severn Trent said it will ensure your bills are capped at your average annual charge.

Severn Trent offers WaterSure for the full range of possible state benefits
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WaterSure charges for 2021 to 2022:

Severn Trent said that for the current year, the charges he makes under WaterSure are as follows.

Fresh water: set at £190.75 a year

Sewerage: set at £177.91 a year

Total bill: set at £368.66 per year (equivalent to £30 per month or £96 per quarter)

They are likely to be reviewed when the new fiscal year begins in April.

Ofwat, the Water Services Regulatory Authority, says customers can also consider other tips to reduce water bills, such as installing a meter, which can cut charges by £100 a year.

Also, if you have a septic tank instead of a sewer connection, you shouldn’t have to pay a dime in sewer charges. Check your bill – it could save you around £200 a year.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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