Scottish Power can help their UK customers struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month through their Hardship Fund. If you fall into arrears, the Scottish Power Hardship Fund could give you a hand by reducing and clearing your arrears. Find out how to get money to clear your debts and regain your financial independence.
What is the Scottish Power Hardship Fund?
This is independent of the Scottish Power Warm Home Discount which you can apply for separately.
See the short clip below for more information on how the Scottish Power Hardship Fund could help you.
Who manages the Scottish Power Fund?
Social Enterprise Direct (SED) is the organisation that administers the Scottish Power Hardship Fund. It’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Advice Direct Scotland. Your application will be sent to SED which will be in contact with you throughout your application process. To contact SED directly, get their number from our Scottish Power Contact guide.
Hardship Fund application conditions to receive the grant
There are two principal hurdles you have to overcome to get the grant:
- You must first satisfy the eligibility criteria which will be assessed after you submit your application form (see below).
- The second hurdle depends on your ability to agree to and stick to a repayment plan with Scottish Power. After three full months* of making satisfactory payments under your repayment plan, your account will be credited with the agreed amount.
*In exceptional cases where it is not practical to wait for three months at the risk of significantly harming your quality of life, the grant may be paid to you earlier. This will be decided upon the recommendation of the Independent Administrator and at Scottish Power’s discretion.
Scottish Power Hardship Fund eligibility
Your chances of having your application for the Scottish Power Hardship Fund accepted are largely dependent on your responses on the application form. Let’s find out what eligibility criteria you’re expected to meet, particular questions to be aware of and other steps to ensure a successful application.
Criteria to meet to be eligible
You may qualify for the Scottish Power Hardship Fund if you receive:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Low household income (below £16,190)
- Special Circumstances (e.g. wage reduction due to illness)
Note that the above criteria are not an exhaustive list. To find out what else is included, see the application form to get a better idea of the eligible benefit schemes.
Important points on the application form
You should prepare how you will answer section four of the application form, regarding “other relevant circumstances”. Read the following four questions and plan how you will answer these in a way that supports your application:
- What obstacles have made it difficult to pay your bills and how?
- Give details about any relevant circumstances at home which would affect your finances, such as any disabled or ill household members.
- If you were to be awarded the Scottish Power Hardship Fund, how would this get you back on track to continue paying your energy bills?
- If you’ve applied before for the Hardship Fund, give details as to why you’re re-applying.
Steps to find out if you are eligible
STEP 1: Contact a recognised Debt Advice agency such as the three listed below. You’ll get independent advice for free on how to manage your finances and repay your debts, including how to budget for your energy payments.
NOTE:Scottish Power wants to see applicants being proactive about improving their finances. They’ll want to see proof that you’ve sought debt advice from a recognised agency. This could be in the form of a letter or email that also contains your reference number.
Get in contact with one of the following organisations for free:
- National Debtline (Tel: 0808 808 4000)*
- Citizens’ Advice Bureau (Tel: 03444 111 444)*
- StepChange (Tel: 0800 138 1111)*
*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm.
STEP 2: Apply to Social Enterprise Direct (see our Scottish Power Contact guide). They will evaluate your circumstances and decide whether you are eligible to receive an award from the Fund.
How to apply
If you are the account holder, you can apply online by entering your details on the application form. You'll then receive an email containing a link to begin your application.
If you’re applying on somebody else’s behalf, you should call 0808 800 0128 to complete the application process by phone.
What do I need to send?
With your application form, you must attach the following supporting evidence:
- Meter reading that was taken on, or very close to, the date that you submit your application.
- Proof of income that’s less than three months old.
- Proof that debt advice has recently been sought.
What happens after my application has been sent?
Once you’ve submitted your application form, it can take up to five working days to be reviewed by the administrators of the Fund. They will then write to you to confirm whether or not your application has been approved. If it has, they’ll also confirm the amount of credit you’ll receive and when it will be applied to your account.
Note that the waiting time before you can reapply for the Fund will depend on the outcome of the application process:
|Reapplication waiting time||Outcome of your application|
|Three years||If your application has been accepted and your energy account is credited with the award, you’ll have to wait three years before you can re-apply.|
|Six months||If you get a Provisional Award but you fail to meet your three-month repayment plan, and your award for the Fund is rejected, you’ll have to wait six months from the date of the letter containing the Fund’s decision.|
|When your circumstances change||If your application is not successful* and you are not granted a Provisional Award, you can only reapply if your circumstances change.|
*If the event that your application is not successful, you are entitled to ask a manager, within the independent administrator, to review the decision taken previously by the caseworker. After the review, the manager’s decision is final.
How much money does Scottish Power payout?
Scottish Power Hardship Fund can award you anywhere between £100 and £3,000.
The value of the award will be based on:
- The size of the debt you owe.
- Your individual circumstances.
- The discretion of the Fund.
Points to note: 1. The grant awarded to you may be less than the total arrears owing to Scottish Power. So instead of clearing your arrears entirely, it could instead be used to reduce them partially. 2. The grant will not be given to you directly either by cheque or by cash. Instead, it will be credited to your energy account and applied to offset the arrears owed.