The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual, tax-free payment, to help with the costs of heating. If you are receiving a state pension or other social security benefits then you are likely to get this payment automatically. Those who quality will get a letter telling them how much they will receive and an estimated payment date. It 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 2021.
The criteria for the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment changes every year, so it’s worth being up-to-date with all the info, just in case you are now eligible to claim. Those who qualify, but don’t get paid automatically, 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 2020 to 2021 is the 21 to 27 September 2020.
This year, the payment has changed. If you are born between 28 September 1940 and 5 October 1954 you could receive:
- £200 if you qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)
- £100 if you qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies
- £100 if you qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies
- £100 if you qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits.
If you are born on or before 27 September 1940 you could receive:
- £300 if you qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)
- £200 if you qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies
- £150 if you qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies
- £150 if you qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits.
However, 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.
You’ll qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if:
- You were born on or before 5 October 1954
- You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020.
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 21 to 27 September 2020.
- Lived in a care home for the whole time between 29 June to 27 September 2020, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
The deadline for claiming payments is 31 March 2021, so if you think you are eligible, it’s worth checking your status now. Find out more at https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment