How to apply for the ScottishPower Hardship Fund
The energy provider ScottishPower has established a Hardship Fund to help customers who are struggling to pay their energy debts, as part of its commitment to the fair treatment of its customers. Here we take a look at what the Hardship Fund is, who is eligible and how to apply.
What is the ScottishPower Hardship Fund?
The ScottishPower Hardship Fund is a scheme ScottishPower has put in place to help customers who are having difficulty being able to pay their gas and electricity bills. The Hardship Funs is designed to help them get their energy payments up to date and under control. It does this by a variety of means including adding credit to the ScottishPower energy accounts of those who are struggling, and reducing or even clearing debts that customers owe on their ScottishPower accounts.
The Hardship Fund is not managed by ScottishPower itself – it is administered by an independent organisation, Social Enterprise Direct (SED).
Who is eligible for the ScottishPower Hardship Fund?
You may be eligible for the Hardship Fund if you are currently receiving any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
You may also be eligible if your household income is low, or if you suffer a reduction in your income due to unexpected circumstances such as illness.
How to find out if you are eligible for the Hardship Fund
There is a two-step process that ScottishPower customers need to go through to find out if they are eligible for the Hardship Fund:
- Contact a recognised debt agency
A recognised debt agency such as National Debtline will be able to provide you with more information about the ScottishPower Hardship Fund, as well as offering free, independent advice about managing your money and budgeting more effectively to clear your debts and stay on top of your energy payments. They will discuss your circumstances with you and advise you whether or not you should apply for the Hardship Fund.
National Debtline is a free, confidential debt advice service run by the Money Advice Trust charity. It is available to anyone in England, Wales and Scotland.
Contact them via their website: www.nationaldebtline.org
Contact them by phone: 0808 808 4000 (9.00am – 9.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 1.00pm Saturday)
Call ScottishPower – use a ScottishPower phone number.
- Apply to Social Enterprise Direct (SED)
If a debt agency has advised you to apply for the Hardship Fund, you should contact SED, who administer it on ScottishPower’s behalf. They will assess your circumstances and make a decision about whether you are entitled to an award from the Hardship Fund. You will need to provide them with proof of your financial hardship, such as a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Contact them via their website: www.SEDhardship.fund
Contact them by phone: 0808 800 0128 (8.30am – 8.00pm Monday to Friday, 10.00am – 2.00pm Saturday)
Receiving your award
If you receive an award from the Hardship Fund to cover some or all of your arrears, SED will credit the amount to your ScottishPower energy account. You will receive confirmation of this by letter.
Awards are only paid out once you commit to a payment plan for your future energy use. You will be advised of the most suitable tariffs and payment options to meet your needs and help you avoid getting into debt in the future.