Get £300 off your bills with Winter Fuel Payment

Cold hands on a radiator during winter

The Winter Fuel Payment provides between £100 and £300 to help thousands of vulnerable households cover their heating bills during a cold snap. Read on to find out if you or a loved one qualifies and how to apply.

Although frigid winter evenings may still seem a long way off, the qualifying week for this year’s fuel allowance scheme is already upon us. State pension claimants born on or before 5 October 1954 will qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if they lived in the UK for at least one day between 21 and 27 September 2020.

If you are claiming a state pension and do not live in the UK during this week, you may still qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment if you are based in Switzerland or another European Economic Area (EEA) country.

The winter fuel allowance is only offered during certain months of the year, so we suggest acting fast. The deadline for winter 2020/21 is 31 March 2021, though we recommend getting your application in sooner rather than later, to ensure your heating is covered throughout the coldest months.

Do I qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment this year?

You will automatically qualify for the winter fuel allowance this year if the following applies to you:

  • You were born on or before 5 October 1954 and
  • You lived in the UK for at least one day of the qualifying week (21-27 September 2020).

You may still be eligible if you did not live in the UK during the qualifying week and both the following apply:

  • You live in Switzerland or another European Economic Area (EEA) country and
  • You have sufficient links to the UK, such as having worked here or having family in the country.

However, you will not qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • You are in hospital getting free treatment for over a year
  • You require permission to enter the UK
  • You were in prison throughout the whole of the qualifying week
  • You lived in a care home from 29 June until 27 September 2020 and received Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

Don’t qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment?Even if you’re not eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, there are a host of other home energy schemes you may qualify for, such as the Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payment and Energy Company Obligation (ECO). To find out more, visit Home Energy Grants and Schemes.

How much will I receive?

The Winter Fuel Payment varies from £100 to £300, depending on your age and living situation. All winter fuel allowance payments are tax-free and do not affect any other benefits you receive.

The table below shows how much you could receive depending on your circumstances.

  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

How to apply

If you’ve already received the Winter Fuel Payment in the past, you will usually not need to make a claim and receive it automatically.

However, you’ll need to make an application yourself if you have never received the Winter Fuel Payment before and

  • you do not get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit
  • you get benefits or a State Pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country or
  • you’ve deferred your State Pension.

To make your application and claim your winter fuel allowance, call 0800 731 0160 or textphone 0800 731 0176 from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3.30pm. The deadline for claims is 31 March 2021.

When will I receive my winter fuel allowance?

Once you’ve made your application, you’ll receive a letter in the post explaining how much you’ll get and an estimated payment date. The majority of payments are automatically paid into the customer’s bank account between November and December. Most claimants should receive their money by 13 January 2021.

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