Could you receive between £100 and £300 tax-free?

Vulnerable heating

In Consumer Advice

The criteria for the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment changes every year so it’s worth being up-to-date with all the info in case you are now eligible to claim. This year, those born on or before 5 April 1954 could receive between £100 and £300 tax-free, to help pay heating bills.

The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual, tax-free payment, which does not affect any other benefits you may receive. Most payments are made automatically between November and December, with the majority of payments set to be made by 13 January 2020. If you are receiving a state pension or other social security benefits then you are likely to get this payment automatically. However, if you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you will need to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment.

How much you can claim depends on your circumstances during the ‘qualifying week’. The qualifying week for winter 2019 to 2020 is the 16 to 22 September 2019.

You’ll qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • You were born on or before 5 April 1954 (this date changes every year).
  • You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 16 to 22 September 2019.

If you did not live in the UK during the qualifying week, you might still get the payment if both the following apply:

  • You live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country.
  • You have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK - this can include having lived or worked in the UK, and having family in the UK.

You won’t qualify 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.
  • Are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year.
  • Need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you cannot claim public funds.
  • Were in prison for the whole week between 16 to 22 September 2019.
  • Lived in a care home for the whole time between 24 June to 22 September 2019, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

You can’t claim the Winter Fuel Payment for 2019 to 2020 after 31 March 2020, so if you think you are eligible, it’s worth checking your status now. Find out more at