Winter Fuel Payment

Focus on Disability - For Disabled People, the Elderly and their Carers in the UK

A Guide to the Winter Fuel Payment, a lump sum for heating costs for the elderly and pensioners to help them keep warm in winter.

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Introduction

You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 November 1954.

This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by Christmas.

You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).



If you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.

Your form must be received by 31 March 2021. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/winter-fuel-payment-claim-form

You will get a letter telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you will receive and when this will be paid.

This payment is particularly helpful for low income disabled people. or older people and pensioners.

The government pay it and it is tax free for those who fit the eligibility criteria given below.

If you get certain benefits

Your payment may be different if you or your partner get one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support

How much is paid:

How much you get depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week.

Any money you get is tax-free and will not affect your other benefits.

Circumstance Born between 21 September 1940 and 5 October 1954 Born on or before 20 September 1940
You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify) £200 £300
You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies £100 £200
You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies £100 £150
You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits £100 £150



Are you eligible?:

You’ll qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • you were born on or before 5 November 1954 – (this date changes every year)
  • you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’ – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
  • You may be able to get the payment if you live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country and you have a genuine link with the UK social security system, such as having lived or worked in the UK for most of your life



You can’t get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.

When you won’t qualify

You won’t qualify if throughout the week of 21 to 27 September 2020 you:

  • are in prison
  • are in hospital getting free treatment for more than 52 weeks
  • need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can not claim public funds
  • lived in a care home for the whole time between June and September 2020, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Change of circumstance

Report any change of circumstance as these can affect how much you get. For example, if the qualifying person stops getting a benefit, moves out, dies or goes into care.

Contact the office paying your benefits – their details are on any letters they sent you.

Most Winter Fuel Payments are paid automatically. Write to the office that pays your Winter Fuel Payment if you want to cancel it.

How to claim a Winter Fuel Payment.

You need to claim Winter Fuel Payment if you’ve not had it before and either of the following apply:

  • you don’t get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit

You can still claim Winter Fuel Payment if you receive a State Pension and you live in Switzerland or an EEA country (except for Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain).

You also need to claim Winter Fuel Payment if you have deferred your State Pension, even if you had it before. You only need to do this once.

If you’ve claimed before

You should get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically from the organisation that pays your benefits. Contact them if you have any questions or there’s a change in your circumstances. You can find their details on any letters they’ve sent you.

Claiming for the first time by phone

Call the Winter Fuel Payment Centre to claim by phone.

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Email enquiry form
Telephone: 0800 731 0160
Telephone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Textphone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7280
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0160
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

You’ll need to know:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society details
  • your BIC and IBAN numbers if you live in the EEA or Switzerland
  • the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate)

Payments can’t be made into a National Savings and Investments (NS&I) account unless you already get other benefits paid into the account.

You’ll also need to say whether during the qualifying week you’ll be:

  • in hospital getting free in-patient treatment
  • in a residential care home or Ilford Park Resettlement Home
  • in custody serving a court sentence

Claim for the first time by post

The claim form you need depends on where you live.



Where to send your claim form

Send your claim to the following address if you’re in the UK.

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1LR

Send your claim to the following address if you’re in another EEA country or Switzerland.

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1ZU
UK

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision.

You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’



Useful information

Home Insulation Guide for the Elderly: https://www.buildingmaterials.co.uk/resources/insulation-guide-elderly/

updated June 2020