AT LONG last, you can now make a application for Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) £400 online through https://online.apply-for-energy-bill-alternative-funds.service.gov.uk/s/#where-do-you-live, writes Kelvin Alexander-Duggan.
The online application portal was due to open last month but was delayed due to 'significant complexities' which needed more testing.
The application should take you between 10 and 15 minutes to complete, You may need to upload some documents to prove your address, if you're not on the council tax database, this can be a letter from the DWP, HMRC, NHS or local council addressed to you. The requested format is PDF or MS Word. If you don't have a scanner, most local libraries will have one for use. You may also be required to upload a copy of your last bank statement if the system cannot confirm the details online, this seems to be a problem with the internet only banks.
Once completed you will be sent an email with your application reference number. The processing of your claim should take three to four weeks before it reaches your bank account. The payment will be made by your local council.
Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)
The additional £200 for those who do not heat their homes with gas and instead use oil, solid fuel, biomass or bottled gas named the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) will be available in February. The government have confirmed that most households eligible for AFP support will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no further action needed. Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier.
The application portal should be open next week.
Robust checks neccessary
Someone with no home or fixed address makes things very complex when it comes to processing claims. A great deal of Information needs to be verified and proved legitimate. Robust checks are necessary to prevent fraud and multiple applications using different C/O addresses. After a great deal of review it was deemed the risk of fraud was too high, plus the high cost in manpower to process these claims. There has been much talk on social media over the past few months within some groups on making multiple claims.
As for giving a discount on the C&RT licence, this is a non starter as most liveaboards are not on C&RT waters and are paying other harbour or navigation authorities, many of the smaller harbours and navigation authorities have very limited staff. There are hundreds of small harbours around the coast of the British Isles.
Continuous cruisers are deemed as being of No Fixed Abode and that is the penalty for using the system to your advantage for most other things. After all they are using council services, but not paying council tax and with no mooring fees. So are better off to a tune of £4,000 to £5,000 a year compared with those who do, more so in the London area.
NABO asks why is the term 'continuous cruiser licence' now in common use?
The term 'continuous cruiser licence' is often used by a well known towpath squatters group when dealing with the press. Often claiming that its members who have a 'continuous cruiser licence' are being hounded by evil C&RT, wrecking their way of life. It appears often in newspapers whenever a story is printed about someone moving on to a boat to beat the cost of living. Often stating that the only fixed cost is the continuous cruiser licence. They have for some months claimed about how they were the lead body in talks with the government for the rebate. Not a word from them now it has come out that boats without a home mooring will not get a rebate after they claimed they would.