"Having a dedicated PSR phone number really helped me when I had to ring my supplier, I seemed to get through quicker, the call handler was fully aware of my situation and sympathetic to my needs."

Phil Kelly, Aspire's Money Matters Specialist gives an overview and a brief Q&A to help understanding of the Priority Services Register (PSR).

There are times in life when we all need a little extra help or may be feeling vulnerable. It’s good to know that extra support may be available from your utility company in the form of their PSR.  The PSR is a free support service offered by the majority of Gas, Electricity & Water companies. The support is aimed to help those experiencing life situations such as age, family circumstances, health or disability, and people in vulnerable situations.

Do you have any specific examples where someone may be eligible for the PSR?

There are a broad range circumstances and although there may be slight variances utility companies look to give extra support in circumstances such as:
•    Over 65
•    Have a disability or long-term illness
•    Rely on medical equipment in your home
•    Families with children aged 5 and under 
•    Have gone through a recent bereavement, break-up or job loss
•    Are recovering from a hospital treatment
•    Have extra communication needs (such as not reading or speaking English well)
•    Experiencing mental health issues.

What types of things can the Priority Service Register support customers with?

•    Maintaining utility supply during periods of planned work or emergencies
•    Dedicated phone number for customers registered on PSR
•    Free safety checks and support visits to read meters
•    Password security for those being visited by engineers at their homes 
•    Free meter relocation for safety and reading access.
•    Nominating someone to  manage their account or help understanding your bill
•    Dedicated support for those struggling with account affordability or debt.

How do I sign up for the PSR?

The first thing is to look at your providers website and search “Priorities Services Register” which should give you details of what services they offer, eligibility and how to register.  If in any doubt ring their helpline and they should be able to discuss your situation and options open to you. If for any reason you feel you can’t make the call then consider asking a family member or friend to help and your provider will explain what actions are needed to give them authority to speak on your behalf.

What should I do next?

It doesn’t cost anything to see if you are eligible for extra support from your utility company.  If you think you may qualify check out your provider's website or if you are unsure pick up the phone and give them a ring.

“It could make a difference to the service you get when you need it most"

If you need any further help or just want to talk things through Aspire's Money Matters offers free impartial guidance to people affected by Spinal Cord Injury about effective budgeting, keeping control of finances and, where needed, help to become debt free.

For free and impartial guidance call our Money Matters Specialist on 020 8420 8960.

Aspire would like to thank National Lottery Awards for All England for awarding £20,000 to our Money Matters service. 

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