Winter Emergency Fuel Payment NI: Department statement as daily limit in place for applicants

By Connor Lynch

The Emergency Fuel Payment scheme applications will be stopped each day once the daily limit has been reached.

The Department for Communities working with Bryson Charitable Group, the Consumer Council and a range of local energy companies have created the £2 million Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme designed to help struggling households during the winter.

The scheme, which runs for 84 days from January 6 to March 31, will be available to provide support for 20,000 households.

It will provide people with £100 towards their electric, gas or oil bill.

To apply for the scheme, applicants will have to meet certain conditions before filling out a form online, with this feature stopping once the daily number of applications for the scheme have been approved.

A daily limit has been put in place to ensure that the payment will be available for households until March 31.

A DfC spokesperson said: “The £2m Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme aims to deliver targeted support to those who present as being in an immediate fuel crisis and who have a temporary inability to meet their fuel costs.

“The scheme will run for the period January 6 to March 31, 2022 and will be managed by Bryson Charitable Group via an online self-referral form on the Bryson website. Applications to the scheme are limited each day to manage demand and ensure the scheme is accessible to people who need it over this winter period. The amount of applications that can be submitted each day may therefore vary and will be an operational decision for Bryson. Once the limit has been reached each day, the scheme will be temporarily paused and will reopen the next working day. The Scheme will be open daily (Mon-Fri) at 9.00am up to March 31, 2022.

“As a key contributor the Department is and will remain fully engaged with Bryson as the scheme operator to ensure the overall scheme objectives are met.”

(Getty Images)

Concerns have been raised regarding the Emergency Fuel Payment scheme with some MLAs saying that it does not go far enough in ensuring that vulnerable homes will have support for their energy bills.

UUP MLA Andy Allen said that setting a daily limit on the scheme was "unacceptable" and should not be restricted to a payment to either electric, gas or oil, as a household could be running low on heating and electric.

SDLP MLA Mark Durkan said the scheme was "a month late and millions short" and didn't believe it would provide an effective emergency response.

You can apply for the Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme by following this link.

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