£200 NI Energy Payment Support: who will get it?

A one-off payment of £200 is to be made to people across Northern Ireland who are struggling to meet rising energy costs, Stormont ministers have agreed.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey gave details today (Thursday) of the £55 million Energy Payment Support Scheme for vulnerable people.

It means that £200 will be made automatically to around 280,000 eligible people in receipt of specified benefits. The payment will be made through existing payment channels, without the need for an application.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The Minister said huge hikes in energy prices have placed even more pressure on people who are already struggling this winter.

Rising energy costs are making life difficult for many people. Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

“That’s why I am providing a one-off payment of £200 to support those people and families who, without additional support, may struggle to heat their homes or pay their energy bills.

“I know the impact that rising global energy prices are having on people on low incomes and I have secured this funding in order to protect people from the worst impacts.

“My Department continues to offer a range of support to assist vulnerable people on low incomes who are in fuel poverty. This includes schemes to help improve the energy efficiency of their homes, as well as Cold Weather and Winter Fuel Payments and Discretionary Support.

“This funding is vital in providing further financial support to help vulnerable people meet their energy costs and to supporting people in maintaining their physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

Who will receive the £200 payment?

Individuals will be eligible for this payment if, during the qualifying week (Monday, December 13, 2021 to Sunday, December 19,2021 inclusive), they were in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

* Pension Credit

* Universal Credit

* Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

* Income-based Jobseekers Allowance; or

* Income Support.

When will it be paid:

The Minister has said the payments “will be made as soon as practically possible”.