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Winter Fuel Payment - Explained

Winter Fuel Payment’ is a government scheme that was made to give support the the elderly who struggle to pay for their energy bills in the winter. Unlike the discount model of the ‘Warm Home Discount’, the Winter Fuel Payment is paid directly into the bank or building society the recipient. If you meet the criteria that is listed below on this page, you could receive between £100-300 tax free to help pay for your heating costs. Mosts payments are made automatically between November and December.


What will you receive?

What you receive from the Winter Fuel Payment scheme will depend on what your circumstances were during the qualifying week. For Winter 16/17, the qualifying week is between 19th-25th September 2016. Money that you may receive will be tax-free and will not affect your other benefits. The circumstantial categories are as follows:

Gov.uk (Source) Winter Fuel Payment table
Circumstances Born on or before 5th May 1953 Aged 80 or over in the qualifying week
You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify) £200 £300
You qualify and get one of the benefits listed* £200 £300
You live with someone under 80 who also qualifies £100 £200
You live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies £100 £150
You qualify and live with your partner or sivil partner and they get one of the benefits listed* Nil** Nil**
You qualify but live in a care home and don't get one of the benefits listed* £100 £150

Eligibility

Eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment scheme for 2016/17 relies on the following criteria:

  • You need to have been born on or before 5th May 1953
  • You need to have been living in the UK throughout the week of 19th-25th September 2016.

If you live in Switzerland or a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) and have a legitimate link with the United Kingdom, there is a possibility that you will be able to claim for Winter Fuel Payment.

NOTEIf you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain you will not be eligible to claim for this scheme, as the average winter temperature in these countries is higher than the average winter temperature in the warmest region of the UK.

You will not be eligible for this scheme if within the week of 19th-25th September 2016, you:

  • Were in prison
  • Needed permission to come into the United Kingdom and did not qualify for help provided by the ‘Department of Work and Pensions’
  • Had lived in a care home for the 12 weeks or more previous to the stated dates and received Pension Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Lived in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.

How to receive the payment

If you have never received this payment before, which we will assume that because you’re here, you have not, you will need to claim for it. You will also need to claim for it if you have deferred your state pension (even if you have had it before) or any of the following apply:

  • You do not receive benefits or a state pension
  • You only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit
  • You get benefits or a state pension but you live in Switzerland or an EEA country

Claiming for the first time

By telephone

Winter Fuel Payment Centre

Telephone number: 03459 15 15 15
Phoning from outside of the UK? +44 (0) 191 218 7777

Textphone number: 0345 606 0285
Phoning from outside of the UK? +44 (0) 191 218 7280

Lines open Monday - Friday: 8am - 6pm

You should have available or to your knowledge:

  • You bank of building society account details
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your BIC and IBAN if you are living in within the European Economic Area countries stated above or Switzerland
  • The date that you were married or entered into a civil partnership if relevant

You will be asked a couple of questions regarding where you were during the qualifying week and what you were up to, just to check that you weren’t involved in any of the disqualifying activities.

By post

You can send one of the following forms to the below address. Click the relevant link depending on where you are send your form from:

I live in the UK

I live in Switzerland or an EEA country

This should be sent to the following address:
Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1LR (WV98 1ZU if sent from outside the UK)
UK

Online

You can fill in an online contact form with any query or claim that you might have via the following link.

Fill in an online contact form

If you have any questions or you have not received your Winter Fuel Payment even though your are qualified and have received it before, you can contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre via the above contact information.