WARM HOME DISCOUNT BROADER GROUP APPLICATION FORM does not match website criteria

I’m very upset because Bulb has NOT set up the warm home discount application process to match the list of Broader group criteria as shown on webpage https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115001245512-Can-I-get-the-Warm-Home-Discount- which specifically states OTHER criteria in item 4 APART from universal credit, which make ME eligible.
I have received WHD discount before and I am NOT WORKING, and I am DISABLED and I made the decision to switch from PFP to Bulb because of the fact they offer the WHD so I will be really disappointed if I do not receive it all because of the way your application form was set up.
Website states,

“4. are in receipt of universal credit, and are employed, self-employed or not in work, and your annual income is less than £16,190”

This is shown as a list of criteria. It does NOT state you MUST be in receipt of universal credit if not working or having less than £16,190 income. It says “OR” not in work etc, and MANY people have not been placed onto universal credit in these circumstances. I have never even been offered universal credit. Instead – I receive ESA and DLA. I meet the criteria for NOT WORKING and having less than £16,190 income.

“If 4, have one of the following:
• is in receipt of the limited capability for work element, with or without a work-related activity element. I AM in receipt of the limited capability for work element on my ESA document – ATTACHED
• is in receipt of the disabled child element
• has parent responsibility for a child under the age of 5 who ordinarily resides with you”

I MEET the criteria of NOT working, having income less than £16,190 and receiving limited capability for work element of ESA. I should be eligible for broader group application yet the application form ONLY takes people through the application who tick yes to universal credit.
This is wrong and unfair and it puts me at hardship as I am very ill and completing reliant on my heating and electricity for my health while too ill to work at present.
I need Bulb to sort this out. Has anyone else had this problem? If they can’t bypass the problematic application system online then there should be another way of submitting my application details or they should just credit my account with £140 to get around this as I decided to switch based on seeing https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115001245512-Can-I-get-the-Warm-Home-Discount-

As just another customer I have no practical advice on this, but can only say phone them up again, go through it all with their people and see if you can talk to someone that can truly help.

i can totally understand what you are saying because i have been told by bulb that i am not entitled to warm home discount. I receive income support. I have received it in the past when i was with sse.

@MB8 Sorry for any confusion caused, the good news is it sounds like you may be eligible with Bulb as you receive ESA and DLA:

You’re eligible if you:

  • receive income-related Employment and Support Allowance which includes a work-related activity or support component

And, one of the following:
-have a child under the age of 5 who ordinarily resides with you
-A disabled child premium
-A disability premium (or one of the following: Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance), enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium
-A pensioner premium, high pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium

Regarding part 4, we try and communicate the criteria as clearly as we can, but particularly in situations like this, it’s really not simple to do. Here’s my attempt, I’ve just changed the order around a little.

You must receive universal credit AND Your annual income must be less than £16,190 AND you must be either employed, self-employed or not in work.

@SAB we’re really sorry to hear you may not be eligible with Bulb, we’d love to be able to give it to everyone who needs it.

Warm home discount is really not a simple scheme, Broader group eligibility can vary between suppliers and most suppliers are not even part of the scheme. We’ve chosen to use only OFGEM’s recommended criteria as we’re restricted on the number of applications we can accept, other suppliers have requested extensions to these criteria so you may be eligible with one supplier and not with another.

You can see OFGEM’s supplier guidance here. herehttps://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2018/08/warm_home_discount_whd_guidance_for_suppliers_-_version_6.1.pdf

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best,

Tim

I’m afraid you can’t go rewriting the order of a statement around to suit your application form when the way it is currently written can easily be interpreted as meaning that you can be eligible IF you are not working and receive under the income threshold and not necessarily on universal credit. According to the written criteria, and whichever ambiguous way it may be written, I am therefore eligible with my low earnings, not working and the benefits I receive so i would like someone to accept my application via some means other than the more restrictive form which was designed or I would have to get someone external involved at this early stage of my joining as it is otherwise not fair to have been misled

Further to this, the Bulb criteria did state thst Broader group can be eligible by virtue of the income being under a certain amount and not working, and the Ofgem guidance on WHD which I must say is very confusing but which clearly leaves a lot of room for discretion by the energy supplier for low income and vulnerable groups does state that where additional Broader group criteria are applied; which is how I interpreted it on the Bulb website, these criteria must demonstrate that a customer is on low income and vulnerable - which indeed I am.
It says for low income,
“This can be indicated by receipt of benefits other than those outlined above, or low earned income” and for Vulnerability,
" Vulnerability can include medical, social or age-related vulnerability".
“A supplier may revert to its Priority Services Register”.

I am indeed medically and socially vulnerable, I have no income, only state benefits and I AM also on the Priority Services register.

The guideline also says that certain permissible activities are a non-core obligation such as,
"Providing financial assistance to be spent towards energy bills,
including rebates, to households that are particularly at risk of fuel
poverty.
If i understand the guidance it also ssys suppliers may also make payments of up to £140 per household towards the gas or electricity bills of consumers who are:…living in a household with a person who has significant health problems or a disability to customers not receiving broader group or core group WHD.
So; there is a lot of scope for providing this to the very customers who actually need this help and in any case the way Bulb described the broader group criteria I meet them.
Please would someone at Bulb please contact me by email to take the necessary details for my warm home discount application and request copies of the various eligible benefits I am receipt of, given that I am on the Priority Services register for medical reasons and not working and therefore have a greater need for a warm home as the application form does not reflect the current criteria wording. Thanks.

@MB8

I have absolutely no personal experience of universal credit or any other type of support to individuals, so my input is as a complete novice with regards to this aspect.

I’m just seeking clarity from you regarding your initial posting where you said:

4. are in receipt of universal credit, and are employed, self-employed or not in work, and your annual income is less than £16,190"

This is shown as a list of criteria. It does NOT state you MUST be in receipt of universal credit

The OFGEM equivalent says:

4. A person who is in receipt of universal credit, and has an …

I would suggest the only way you can interpret the Bulb wording and OFGEM equivalent is MUST be in receipt of universal credit

@MB8 We’ve popped you an email, the important information to note here is that if you receive IR-ESA and DLA you are eligible with Bulb and can select this on the application form.

The way I’ve stated the criteria for part 4 as well as our website and OFGEM’s definition all state exactly the same thing just in different ways.

As you say there is scope for a supplier to increase their eligibility criteria and many do. However, we made the decision to use only OFGEM’s recommended criteria, and OFGEM has to approve all eligibility criteria requests and review them, so sudden changes or exceptions are not possible.

I am disabled and received the warm home discount automatically, it might be age or that I receive PIP, but if you have some disability related benefit j would check on this

I understand that the roll out date for Smart meters has been delayed again, same reason, but everyone I know with the first generation is now satisfied with it. I am now at a point where I just cannot increase my standing order any more. I am going to have to do one of two things, pay for a device which will hopefully let me know where savings can be made, not easy with 2 pensioners who can’t move about to get warm, or leave Bulb.