We’ve been talking a lot about ways disabled people can save money or get funding for the things we need to be independent, and today is no exception. Water bills are expensive, but necessary to survive. Today we’re going to talk about the WaterSure scheme, who qualifies, and how to apply.
What is WaterSure?
Watersure is a scheme that allows for people with medical needs or households with children to get cheaper water bills at a discounted rate. To qualify, you need to either be on a water meter or be waiting for it to be installed. Under this scheme, your water bill will be capped, meaning you won’t pay more than the average bill for your area. There may be some instances where your bill is even lower, but this depends on where you live.
It should be no surprise by now that you need to qualify for programs like WaterSure. In order to get a lower rate, you have to prove that you actually need it. In order to qualify for WaterSure, you must:
- be on a water meter or have applied for one and be waiting for it to be installed, or be paying an assessed charge because it’s not possible to fit a meter at your property
- be on certain benefits
- have a high essential use of water.
Which Benefits Do I Need to Be On?
There’s a whole list of benefits that you can be on to qualify for WaterSure. What specific ones can vary by location, however all suppliers require at least one of the following:
- Universal Credit
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit awarded at a rate higher than the family element.
High Essential Use of Water?
What exactly do they mean by “high essential use of water?” Isn’t water in and of itself essential? For the purposes of this, high essential use of water means:
- someone in the household has a medical condition for which they need to use a lot of water, or
- you have three children or more under 19 and in full-time education living in your household.
People with the following medical conditions will automatically qualify if they also meet the previous criteria:
- desquamation (flaky skin disease)
- weeping skin disease (eczema, psoriasis or varicose ulceration)
- abdominal stomas
- renal failure requiring dialysis at home – although you won’t qualify for WaterSure if you’re already getting a contribution to your water costs from the NHS
- Crohn’s disease
- ulcerative colitis.
Applying for WaterSure
To apply for WaterSure, you will need to contact your water supply company and fill out a form. You will need to provide proof that you qualify, such as an awards notice from another benefit. Some companies will allow a stamp from your doctor confirming a medical diagnosis. If your water supplier won’t accept a stamp, you’ll need to pay for a doctor’s certificate. Some water suppliers will reimburse the cost of the certificate.
When Do I Start Getting Help?
After you have been accepted into the program, you will start getting help from the start of the billing period during which you first applied. Note that if your sewage and water companies are different, your water company should inform the sewage company to adjust your rate.
Like with other benefits, you may need to reapply every year or so. This varies from company to company, so ask if this is something you need to do.
And that about wraps us up for today! For more information about WaterSure, I highly encourage you to go here and read more.