WaterSure scheme helps Universal Credit claimants: how to check if you qualify
If you’re currently receiving benefits or have certain medical conditions, then you may be entitled to help with water bills through the WaterSure scheme.
What is the WaterSure scheme?
According to Citizens Advice, WaterSure “is a scheme which helps some people with their water bills.
“To apply for the scheme, you must be on benefits and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children. You also need to be on a water meter or be waiting to have one installed.”
Do I qualify for WaterSure?
In order to qualify for WaterSure, you need to:
- Have a water meter, have applied for a water meter but not got it yet, or be paying an assessed charge because you can't have a meter at your home
- Be on certain benefits
- Have a high essential use of water
If your household has a high essential use of water this means that:
- 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.
However, the person with the medical condition or the children under 19 must use the property as their main home.
The benefits you need to be on depends on your supplier, with Citizens Advice adding that “You should check which benefits they cover.”
All suppliers offer WaterSure if either you or someone in your household get one of the following benefits:
- 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.
Some water suppliers also offer WaterSure if you're on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments. Again, you should check with your water company if you're not sure if they cover these benefits.
Those who have one of the following medical conditions will automatically qualify for WaterSure, as long as they meet all the other qualifying conditions:
- 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.
How can I apply for WaterSure?
You can apply for WaterSure by filling out a form from your water company, supplying evidence that you qualify.
You'll also need to provide evidence of your medical condition from your doctor, including how the condition is treated and the effect that it has on how much water you use.
For further information, visit: ofwat.gov.uk/households/customer-assistance/watersure/