Care England has been informed by the BEIS Alternative Funding Scheme team that the recently announced online portal to submit applications for the £400 discount on energy bills, has been delayed and that this digital scheme will open across all local authority areas in Great Britain by 27 February. BEIS has confirmed that they will attempt to launch the application portal, and accompanying contact centre helpline, before this date if possible.
The government announced on 19 December that eligible households would be able to submit an application from January 2023. This would include an online application on the GOV.UK webpages, and a contact centre helpline for those households who do not have online access. They took the decision to extend the pilot phase to ensure that the scheme is as robust and effective as possible. This comes after the announced pilot schemes that began on 16 January with four local authorities to test their digital systems and the end-to-end customer journey.
There are a number of points that BEIS is looking to work on that are pivotal for the successful delivery of this scheme. These include finalising guidance and data-sharing provisions for local authorities, to reflect learning from the pilot phase; ensuring that the case management system works as intended; and preparing local authorities to use the case management system so applications can be processed quickly and effectively.
They have confirmed that they will provide further details regarding both the pilot scheme and the full launch, in due course.
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