Almost every day there’s a scary headline around the rising costs of electricity and gas in the UK throughout 2022, and other cost of living bills.
Households on fixed-term tariffs may be protected for now, but the cap on fuel prices is rising by more than 50 per cent come April. That means the average UK household can expect to see their bills jump by hundreds of pounds a year.
Ofgem, the organisation that regulates fuel prices, has announced that the new fuel cap will rise, which has left people – especially those on a low or fixed income – dreading their new meter readings.
It’s just one of the factors seeing the average cost of living rise in the UK – the Bank of England is expecting a seven per cent rise, and that’s likely to hit everything from the weekly shop to your bus and taxi fares, as well as core services such as heating and lighting.
Paul Brennan from Benefits Answers, a business which helps individuals apply for all the benefits they may be entitled to, said: “There will be people out there choosing whether to eat or heat, which is such an unfair position to be put in. Pensioners, low income families, single parents and the unemployed – the people who are least well equipped to cope with big jumps in their monthly bills – will be feeling the hit the hardest.
“That’s where we can help. My team are experts in evaluating your household income, addressing if there are any additional benefits you are entitled to, and submitting a claim, helping you have the best chance of being successful.”
The firm is upfront about how they make their money, but also about how they can help. Basically, if you are entitled to arrears, they take a percentage of that, but take no proportion of any future, regular payments.
Paul added: “Our advice is always given freely. If customers ask us to help with their claim, then we do charge for our services. We work on a no-win, no fee basis. Our fee is calculated as a percentage of any arrears of benefit they receive. We do not ask for anything from ongoing weekly or monthly benefit payments or from their savings. If the claim is unsuccessful then we don’t charge a fee.
“If successful, we charge a percentage (35 to 40 per cent) of the benefit arrears that we are able to claim. We only take a percentage of the arrears – which is money the claimant would otherwise not have had.”
Independent company Benefit Answers Ltd operates nationally from its online site, providing advice from its team of 10 benefits claims and appeals specialists.