A guide to the Winter Fuel Payment
A guide to the Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 5 April 1954, you could receive up to £300 per year to help pay your heating bills. It’s called the ‘Winter Fuel Payment’ but can also be referred to as the Winter Fuel Allowance.
So, if you’re over 65, here’s everything you need to know about the Winter Fuel Payment.
What is the Winter Fuel Payment?
The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax-free allowance, paid by the Government, to help elderly people pay for their fuel and heating bills during winter.
In most cases, if you receive a State Pension or another social security benefit (not including Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit), you should get the Winter Fuel allowance automatically. If you think you qualify, but haven’t received it, you’ll need to make a claim.
The deadline for claiming payments for winter 2019/2020 is 31 March 2020. Most payments are made between November and December.
The Winter Fuel Payment won’t affect any other winter allowances you receive, such as the Warm Home Discount. And it shouldn't be confused with the Cold Weather Payment, which is paid to people on specific benefits when the weather is consistently cold over seven days running. See more about who is eligible for cold weather payments.
Am I eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment?
You could qualify for the 2019/2020 Winter Fuel allowance if you:
- were born on or before 5 April 1954
- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the ‘qualifying’ week: 16-22 September 2019
If you didn’t live in the UK during the qualifying week, you could still be eligible if:
- you live in an EU country or Switzerland (excluding Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain, as average winter temperatures here are higher than the warmest region of the UK)
- you’ve lived and worked in the UK for most of your life.
You won’t qualify for the Winter Fuel allowance if during the qualifying week:
- you were in prison
- you were in hospital getting free treatment for more than 52 weeks
- you need permission to enter the UK and are not entitled to claim public funds
- you were in a care home and receive Pension Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
How much Winter Fuel Allowance will I get?
The amount you’ll get depends on your age and circumstances. For example, whether you live alone, with someone else, or if you or your partner receive other benefits like:
- Pension Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
Payments range from £100 to £300. So, if you’re over 80 and live alone, for example, you’re likely to receive the full amount. More information on payments per household can be found on the government’s Winter Fuel Payment page.
How do I claim for Winter Fuel Payment?
If you’ve not had the Winter Fuel Payment before, or any of your circumstances have changed, you’ll need to make a claim. You can do this by phone or by downloading the claim form from the Gov UK website.
Claiming by phone
The Winter Fuel Payment Centre is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, on 0800 731 0160.
Make sure you have your National Insurance number and bank details to hand before you call.
Claiming by post
You can request a claims form by calling the above number, or you can download it and print it out. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll need to send it to:
Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
How will my Winter Fuel Payment be paid?
You’ll receive a letter telling you how much you’re entitled to and an estimated payment date. Your Winter Fuel Payment will be paid directly into your bank account, usually between November and December.
Winter Fuel assistance can be a real help when it comes to keeping your home warm through winter. But you might also be able to reduce your energy bills by simply shopping around and comparing tariffs.
Our quick and easy comparison service only takes a few minutes, and switching energy suppliers could save you up to £345**. So why not compare with us today and see if you can save?
**Where a saving can be achieved 50% of people could achieve a saving of £345.00 on their dual fuel energy costs based on Compare the Market data in February 2020.See our guide to switching energy suppliers