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Sinn Féin urge over 60's to avail of Winter Fuel Payments

21 August, 2006

Sinn Féin South Down Assembly Member Cllr Willie Clarke has urged people aged 60 or over to check and see if they are eligible to receive a Winter Fuel Payment.

The Sinn Féin Mayor of Down District Council said:

"Fuel poverty is a massive problem in the north which is set to get worse as a result of spiralling costs in the price of oil and gas. I would urge everyone who is 60 or over, and who is in receipt of a state pension or other social benefits, to avail of the Winter Fuel Payment which amounts to £200 per household, rising to £300 for anyone over the age of 80.

"People should contact their local social welfare offices or they can obtain a claim form by ringing 08459 151515."

Cllr Clarke also pointed out that people aged over 60 and who are in receipt of means-tested benefits may also be eligible for the Homes Plus Scheme which provides heating and insulation to over 60s in receipt of means tested benefits.

"The eligibility criteria for the scheme were extended in the last Budget to include people over 60 on non means-tested benefits such as attendance allowance. This grant can help pay for a range of improvement, from hot water lacking jackets to full central heating systems for pensioners. Anyone who needs help to obtain either of these grants can contact their local Sinn Féin Advice Centre." ENDS

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