When filling in the application form, it is very important that you give as much information as possible about your circumstances including why you have had difficulty paying for your energy bills or why you are in difficulties with other household bills and costs. It is recommended all applicants seek appropriate money advice before applying to the Trust.
When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement letter including contact details for the Trust should you need to speak with anyone throughout the assessment period. If we find there is information missing or we need more information from you, we will write to you to ask for it.
We treat all applications in the strictest confidence. If you are asking for help with your gas/electricity debts, we will contact the company so that they can confirm how much you owe.
If we are able to help you with your gas/electricity debts, a payment will be made directly to the company. We will write to you to let you know that we have made the payment.
If you are asking for help with other household debts and costs and we are able to help, we will write and let you know how the award will be paid.
If we are unable to help you, we will also write to you to tell you this.
Although the Trust is usually unable to tell you why your application was unsuccessful, here are some of the common reasons why the Trust is unable to make an award:
The Trust aims mainly to help those struggling with energy debts and has only limited funds for other household debt and costs (Further Assistance Payments). Trustees receive many more applications for help than they can award, so each month they have to make difficult decisions about who can be helped. Trustees can only give help to a small percentage of people who ask for it.
If you are in debt to your energy supplier, you should contact them either directly or through an agency like your Citizens Advice Bureau. The CAB will help you to set up a payment plan to manage your debts. Some agencies have company schemes, hardship funds and special tariffs to assist those struggling with debt.
If you receive an award from the Trust, you can apply again to the Trust after two years.
If you do not receive an award from the Trust, you can reapply if your circumstances change.
The Trust will not help with any of the following:
When we write to you for information, we will give you four weeks to find that information. If you do not reply within this time you are sent a reminder letter and given a further two weeks to submit the requested information. If you do not reply within the six weeks granted, your application is closed as we assume you no longer want to apply. If you have difficulty in obtaining the information you need to send to us (for example, if you have requested it and it has not yet arrived) please write to us before the six weeks is up and let us know. We can then give you more time to send in what you need to.
This is the only circumstance in which you will not hear anything from us. We always write to tell those who have applied if they have been successful or unsuccessful in their application for an award.