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Social Security Benefits

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL8132, tabled on 25 May 2023

To ask His Majesty's Government what was the average amount paid to individuals for each passported benefit, including (1) warm home discounts, and (2) help from energy and water suppliers.

Answered on

9 June 2023

I refer the noble Lord to the answers I gave to questions HL7344 and HL7345 on 4 May.

Passported benefits, such as free school meals and help with healthcare costs are owned and delivered by different departments across government and Local Authorities.

This information would not be held by one single department, to get this information you would need to approach each department individually.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not hold data on all ‘passported benefits’. Passported benefit is a term used to refer to additional support/discounts or schemes, usually available to those on an income-based benefit, like Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

The vast majority of ‘passported benefits’ are provided by departments other than DWP, including Warm Home Discount, and help from energy or water suppliers. Many departments use receipt of a means-tested benefit as part of the eligibility criteria for the ‘passported benefits’ it may offer, in order to target extra support to those on the lowest incomes.

Warm Home Discount and support from energy suppliers is a matter for the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). It has confirmed that:

Households may be eligible to receive £150 directly off their energy bills each winter under the Warm Home Discount scheme.

For any queries regarding this scheme, DESNZ is best placed to provide it.

Support for water bills is a matter for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It has confirmed that:

We expect all companies to make sure households are aware of the schemes available to help those struggling to pay their bills. In England, the water sector has both statutory (WaterSure) and voluntary measures (social tariffs) in place for households who struggle to pay for their water bills.

The Consumer Council for Water (CCW) provides information on the number of households in receipt of WaterSure and social tariffs. A detailed breakdown can be found on CCW’s website (

Approximately 202,898 households benefitted from WaterSure in England and Wales in 2021/22. The average bill discount was £307 per annum.

All companies offer their own social tariffs to support vulnerable customers. Approximately 1,148,310 households benefitted from social tariffs in England and Wales in 2021/22. The average bill discount was £149 per annum.

For further information on ‘passported benefits’, the relevant department is best placed to provide it.