This blog post will outline if you are eligible for free flu injections, the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payments and ways to prepare your home for the Winter.
As per government recommendations, individuals above the age of 65 should get flu injections every year as viruses are always changing. The flu itself may not seem threatening but in elderly people it can easily lead to the development of pneumonia. Injections are free if:
- you are 65 and over.
- are aged six months to under 65 and have a serious medical condition such as chronic heart, lung, neurological, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, or if you have had a stroke.
- if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV or treatments that suppress the immune system such as chemotherapy.
- if you have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
It takes up to ten days for the vaccine to take effect, so it’s best to have it early on in the winter.
People born on or before May 6, 1953 are entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment in 2016 to 2017 to help with heating costs. This is a tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 paid to you between November and December. Contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on – 0345 9151515 – to find out more.
If you receive Pension Credit, or certain other benefits, you are automatically paid a Cold Weather Payment when the temperature is 0°C (32°F) or below for seven days in a row. You may be entitled to a Warm Home Discount on your electricity bill if you receive Pension Credit or if you’re on a low income. It’s a one-off discount usually made between October and March.
Preparing your home
- Ensure that your heating system is serviced and is running safely and efficiently.
- Never block air vents and if you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters make sure there’s adequate ventilation.
- Make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills.
- Consider fitting a grab rail if you have steps at your front or back door.