Application & Assessment
How long will it take to complete an application form?
An application form can take up to 45 minutes to complete. If you are hoping to complete a form over the phone please ensure you have the following documents before calling: 1. If you are applying for help with gas or electricity debt, please have your account numbers and meter readings to hand (meter readings should be taken the day you submit your application). 2. You know the income and expenditure for the household. 3. You know any debts within the household. 4. You can tell us about why you need to make this application, especially where this is related to illnesses or financial problems.
I'm struggling to complete my application form, where do I go for help?
Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, a money advice service, a support worker, or family/friend. If you still are unable to complete the form, please email us via the relevant email or call the helpline (01733 421021) and they will be able to provide assistance:
How long will my application take to process before I get a decision?
It may take 5-10 days to process your application. In order to process your application as quickly as possible it is essential that you complete the form accurately and send any requested evidence as promptly as possible. Your application will be delayed if we do not receive all the required information.
I haven't heard anything since applying, what do I do?
If you put someone else down as your correspondent then all correspondence is sent to them on your behalf. If you haven't given us a separate correspondent, it may be that the application hasn't yet reached us. Please sign-in to the Let's Talk applications page to check on the status of your application, or alternatively email us via the relevant email:
Evidence & Documents
Can I use my estimated utility bill as evidence of my debt?
We are not able to accept estimated bills as evidence of debt. In order to assess any application for help with energy debt we need you to provide a current meter reading. If we then ask for evidence of this debt you will need to provide a copy of your energy bill showing the balance based on actual meter readings. This bill needs to be no more than 3 months old.
What do I do if I have misplaced my benefit award letters or they are outdated?
In order to process your application we will need to see evidence of any benefits you receive. If you do not have a copy of your benefits letter for the current year, you will need to contact the Department of Work and Pensions or HM Revenue and Customs and request that these letters are resent to you. Refer to gov.uk website or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to find the relevant number. Please ensure these documents refer to this current tax year.
Can I send original documents as evidence?
Do not send original documents as evidence as we are not able to return these. Please only ever send copies of the required evidence. This can be in the form of a photocopy if sending by post, or as a photograph or scanned image if emailing to us.
What medical evidence can I send in as proof of illness?
We can only accept a letter (a copy of) that is on headed paper, issued by your GP, medical consultant or support worker. We are not able to accept any other form of evidence.
Why have I received a letter asking for information that I have already provided?
Please check your letter carefully as there will be a reason stated on the letter explaining why you have been asked again. If you are still unsure, please contact us via the relevant email and an advisor will be able to guide you as to why additional information has been requested:
I'm unable to read my meters, what do I do?
If you do not have access to your meters or are unable to read them, please contact your utility provider who is able to send someone out to read these for you. Please be aware that we will not be able to assess any application for fuel debt without an accurate meter reading.
I have applied to the fund to help with my arrears but my utility provider is still contacting me for payment, what do I do?
We advise you contact your utility provider once you have applied to make them aware that you have applied to the scheme. While you are waiting to hear from us you should continue to pay for the energy you use, any arrears accrued during the period of the application wil not be covered even if you are successful.
Can you help with a debt I have already paid?
No. The trusts and funds are only set up to help with utility debts that are outstanding.
If I am successful in getting help with my gas or electricity arrears, how will I receive the money?
The amount you are awarded will either be credited directly to your energy account, or sent to you in the form of a cheque made payable to the energy supplier which you will need to send to them along with your account number.