Money Wellness

WaterSure – get help with your water bill

Are you on benefits?

Do you use a lot of water for medical reasons or because you have at least three children?

Is your home fitted with a water meter or are you waiting for one to be installed?

If the answer to all these questions is ‘yes’, you may be able to get help with your water bills under the WaterSure scheme.

The WaterSure scheme is available to people living in England. There’s a similar scheme for people living in Wales.

How does WaterSure work?

If you qualify for help through the WaterSure scheme, your water bill will be capped. This means you won’t pay more than the average metered bill in your area.

If the amount of water you use falls below your supplier’s WaterSure cap, you’ll only pay for the amount you use.

If you want to check whether you’re likely to benefit from the scheme, ask your supplier what their cap is and compare it to what you’re currently paying.

High essential water use

To qualify for WaterSure, you need to have a high essential water use.

This means:

  • someone in your household needs to use a lot of water because of a medical condition; or
  • you must have at least three children under the age of 19 in full-time education living at home

Your property must be the main home of the person with the medical condition or the children.

Qualifying medical conditions

The following medical conditions automatically meet the high essential water use requirement:

  • abdominal stomas
  • Crohn’s disease
  • flaky skin disease (desquamation)
  • weeping skin disease (eczema, psoriasis or varicose ulceration)
  • incontinence
  • renal failure where home dialysis is needed (you won’t qualify if you get money from the NHS for your water costs)
  • ulcerative colitis

If someone in your household has another medical condition that means you use a lot of water, you can still apply for WaterSure. You’ll need details from your doctor.

Qualifying benefits

All suppliers offer WaterSure if you or another member of your household is getting:

  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income support
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • universal credit
  • housing benefit
  • pension credit
  • child tax credit (at a higher rate than the family element); or
  • working tax credit

The exact benefits you need to be on will depend on who supplies your water. Some suppliers also offer WaterSure if you’re on personal independence payments or disability living allowance.

Check with your water company to find out if the benefits you’re on mean you qualify for help.

The water meter rule

To be eligible to apply for WaterSure:

  • your home must be fitted with a water meter
  • you must have applied for a water meter to be fitted and be waiting for it to be installed; or
  • you must be paying an assessed charge because it isn’t possible to fit a water meter in your home

How do I apply for WaterSure?

Your water company will have a form for you to fill in. Find your water supplier.

You’ll need to provide evidence of the benefit(s) you receive and your medical condition (if that’s the reason you’re applying).

Evidence of your medical condition

You’ll need to tell your water company how your condition is treated and how it affects the amount of water you use.

Some suppliers will be happy with a stamp from your doctor confirming your medical condition. There is a space for this at the end of the application form.

Doctors will usually stamp your form for free. Make sure your water supplier will accept a stamp before sending your application.

If your water company won’t accept a stamp, you’ll have to pay for a doctor’s certificate. Some suppliers will give you this money back.

If your application for WaterSure help is successful

If your application is accepted, your help will be backdated to the start of the billing period when you applied.

If your home’s water and sewerage services are provided by different companies, your water company will tell your sewerage company that you qualify for help. Your sewerage charges will then be adjusted too.

How long will I continue to receive help?

You may have to reapply or provide updated evidence each year. Your water supplier will be in touch if and when you need to do this.

If your situation changes and you don’t think you’re entitled to help anymore, let your water supplier know.

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